Trans-Disciplinary Systems as Complex Systems

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The system concept is a widely-used concept in research and practice. Already in the 50s of the previous century, a community was created to investigate interrelationships between domains and create a theory surpassing and comparing domains. The General Systems Theory (GST) community has tried to come up with such a theory for several decades. The ambition has grown more realistic in the years after, recognizing that an all-encompassing theory would not be possible. Since then, systems research was aimed at generating useful and usable approaches to compare and interrelate domains, thus creating a trans-disciplinary approach to enable description and analysis of large, and even complex, systems. The concept of systems, however, is often loosely used. Levels of abstraction are neglected, and interrelationships between systems ignored. In this paper, the concept of system is put in historical context, and further elaborated upon in the context of complex and trans-disciplinary systems. Two examples of transdisciplinary systems are presented and discussed to illustrate the use of the system concept.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransdisciplinary Engineering: A Paradigm Shift - Proceedings of the 24th ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary Engineering, TE 2017
EditorsC.H. Chen, A.C. Trappey, M. Peruzzini, J. Stjepandić, N. Wognum
PublisherIOS Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61499-778-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-779-5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event24th ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary Engineering - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 10 Jul 201714 Jul 2017
Conference number: 24


Conference24th ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary Engineering
Abbreviated titleTE 2017


  • Aircraft dispatch
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Decision support
  • Multi-criteria decision making
  • Root cause analysis

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