VARIABLE (Relevant) 1)2)
A variable whose variations practically matter for the system's behavior.
Sun flares do not seem to influence notably the timetable of railways systems. However, blizzards may do. One and the same variable can be relevant for one system and irrelevant for another one. Tides are relevant for harbours and navigation lines, but are not for bus lines (save f. ex. in case of being them connected with a ferry line).
There are also degrees of relevance: some variables do continuously condition the system's behavior, as for example voltage for a sawmill; some others have only incidental relevance. A normally irrelevant variable may sometimes become crucially relevant, as for example a forest fire for the global ecology of a national park.
Generally, variables are considered relevant when their influence is permanent or frequent, mainly in relation to the goals assigned to the system.
Serious problems may however emerge when, for some reason, relevant variables remain hidden from the observer.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
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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