The two faces of behaviour

In distributed systems, local subsystems have distinct behaviour that together contribute to a desired overall behaviour. The local behaviour is typically simple algorithmically compared to the overall.

On the other side, some classes of systems composed of subsystems (like particles) also have distinguishable behaviour that can be modelled and expressed mathematically (like fluid flow).

Notes on systems

  • When a system interacts with its environment, it seeks to create a mirror image of its own interface inside the environment. But because the environment is a system as well, it, also, seeks to create a mirror image (and more often than not succeeds) inside the system.
  • Economics is the study of how a system can efficiently use available resources in itself and in the environment to achieve its goals.
  • Systems have goals. Sometimes a system designer implants the goals, but other times systems develop their own goals.
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