"A table of columns and rows employed for organizing a set of interrelated values."
A matrix is basically a combinatory device. It can be used, for instance, to discover all the possible interconnections between various characteristics; or indicate all the possible transitions from one state or phase to others, indicating its various probabilities. It may also be constructed and operated as an encoding decoding device.
J. WARFIELD and N.M. AYIKU proposed the use of a number of interconnected binary matrixes to understand complex flows of any kinds within a system. They emphasize the following types of matrixes:
Input matrix: to be used to define what inputs are required by each actor
Output matrix: to be used to find out what outputs are produced by each actor
Actor interaction matrix: to respond to the structural question: what actors supply inputs to what other actors
Input-Output matrix: responding to the structural question: What inputs are required to produce what outputs.
It may be useful to convert these matrixes into graphs, which may lead to an "interpretive structural model" (J. N. WARFIELD & N.M.B. AYIKU, 1989, p.29-35).
Matrixes are generally two-dimensional, but may have more dimensions. This however makes their practical use much more difficult.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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