# Fundamental error systems engineering

When discussing the terms used in systems engineering, I discovered an interesting collision that could become the bomb at the heart of all this science if it is not corrected.

I share this collision, because it has a methodological value for those involved in the modeling of subject areas.

Set

In mathematics there is a definition of set. A multitude is much, conceivable as a whole. The whole is understood as the fact that we consider the set to be one accounting object. This object of accounting has a different meaning than an individual object. We can perceive objects individually - one way of organizing our perception, but we can perceive groups of objects - another way. The first method allows us to carry out operations on groups: add them, subtract them, and find common parts.

An attribute of a set will be, for example, the number of its elements.

The synthesis process

In philosophy, there is the concept of synthesis. This is a designation of a change in the perspective of our perception. We can perceive many objects, and then based on this set we can synthesize these objects and create an object of a larger scale. In other words, make a composition.

The difference between the set and the synthesis process

We ask the mathematician to give an example of a set and its synthesis. A mathematician may propose considering many points on a segment. He will think this set as a whole, not in the sense that the points on the segment form a segment, but in the sense that the group of points is one. With this group, he can do the union operation with another group of points lying on the circle and get one large group of points. He can also synthesize points lying on one segment and get a segment. Thinking of a group of points as a whole is not a synthesis of this group into an object.

An attribute of a segment will be, for example, its length.

Definition of a system

Now we turn to the definition of a system:
A system is a set of elements that are in relationships and relationships with each other, which forms a certain integrity, unity.

An attribute of the system will be, for example, the number of its elements.

Description of collision

There is an ambiguity in the definition of a system that system engineering authors have not recognized. By the words “forms a certain integrity” it is necessary to understand - conceivable as one, and not an operation of synthesis. That is, a system is a group of objects, not objects of a group, and on systems we can carry out the same operations that we carry out on sets: addition, subtraction, intersection.

You can perform a synthesis operation on the system and obtain an object. But the object obtained as a result of synthesis is not a system, because it is no longer a multitude of objects.
The attribute of the resulting synthesis object can be, for example, the color of the object.
It is clear that the system cannot have color.

But it seems that in systems engineering they do not distinguish between the concepts of an object and a system. This is due to the fact that they do not share the way of perceiving many objects as a whole and the process of synthesizing an object based on its design.

If system engineers had made the right conclusions, they would have recognized that what they call a system has a synonym - design. And, that the system, that the construction - are one and the same thing.

Oil on fire pours our tongue. There is no way in it to separate two points of view: a look at a design and a look at an object have the same name. I wrote about this earlier in the article The concept of system and design. Their place in the design of information systems

But what I did not expect when I wrote this article is that in system engineering they do not distinguish between a system and an object obtained on the basis of its synthesis.

In the end, I see that a whole layer of important knowledge has leaked from systems engineering. About the opportunities that were eventually lost, I described in the article Structural Modeling. Modeler Requirements