Computer Sciene of Udayana State University

February 19, 2009

Characteristics of System

Filed under: Computer Science — ignaga @ 1:25 PM

system has nine main characteristics:

1. Components.
2. Interrelationships.
3. Boundary.
4. Purpose.
5. Environment.
6. Input.
7. Output.
8. Interface.

A component is either an irreducible part or an aggregate of parts, also called a subsystem. The
simple concept of a component is very powerful. For example, in case of an automobile we can
repair or upgrade the system by changing individual components without having to make
changes the entire system.

• The components are interrelated; that is, the function of one is somehow tied to the function of
the others. For example, in the Store system the work of one component, such as producing a
daily report of customer orders, may not progress successfully until the work of another
component is finished, such as sorting customer orders by date of receipt.

• A system has a boundary, within which all of its components are contained and which
establishes the limits of a system, separating it from other systems.

• All of the components work together to achieve some overall purpose: the system’s reason for

• A system operates within an environment – everything outside the system’s boundary. The
environment surrounds the system, both affecting it and being affected by it. For example, the
environment of a university includes prospective students, foundations, funding agencies and the
new media. Usually the system interacts with its environment. A university interacts with
prospective students by having open houses and recruiting from local high schools.

• The point at which the system meets its environment are called interface.

• A system must face constraints in its functioning because there are limits to what it
can do and how it can achieve its purpose within its environment. Some of these constraints are
imposed inside the system (e.g., a limited number of staff available).
Others are imposed by the environment (e.g., due to regulations).

• A system interact with the environment by means of input and output. Input is anything
entering the system from the environment; output is anything leaving the system crossing the
boundary to the environment . Information, energy, and material can be both input and output in
relation to the environment. People, for example, take in food, oxygen, and water from the
environment as input. An electrical utility takes on input from the environment in the form of
raw materials (coal, oil, water power, etc), requests for electricity from customers. It provides for
output to the environment in the form of electricity.


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