The number of subsystems into which it is partitioned (H. SIMON, 1965, p.65).
SIMON comments: "Thus, a hierarchic system is fiat at a given level if it has a wide span at that level. A diamond has a wide span at the cristal level, but not at the next level down, the molecular level" (p.65).
Moreover, SIMON observes that "Most physical and biological hierarchies are described in spatial terms… On the other hand, we propose to identify social hierarchies not by observing who lives close to whom, but by observing who interacts with whom. These two points of view can be reconciled by defining hierarchy in terms of intensity of interaction, but observing that in most biological and physical systems relatively intense interaction implies relative spatial propinquity. One of the interesting characteristics of nerve cells and telephone wires is that they permit very strong specific interactivity at great distances. To the extent that interactions are channeled through specialized communications and transportation systems, spatial propinquity becomes less determinative of structure" (p.65).
From a more dynamized viewpoint, one may visualize the system as creating the field, or even being the field.
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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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