Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2012, San Jose, CA, USA, 56th Annual Proceedings of ISSS

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Curt McNamara, Len Troncale


This paper continues a series that further develops the Systems Processes Theory (SPT) – as a candidate general theory of systems (GTS) that is tightly coupled to the experimental results of the several natural sciences and a half-century of systems research in an attempt to produce a true “science” of systems. This paper focuses on the discovery and documentation of mutual, causal “influences” between 55 systems processes (SPs) that were critically selected in a previous paper (Friendshuh & Troncale, 2012). We call these mutual, non-linear, causal influences, or other impacts or relations, Linkage Propositions (LPs). LPs create a “net” of interacting systems processes that we claim explains, “how many systems work” in a more detailed and experimentally verified manner than many previous systems theories. This paper begins by defining LPs and suggests criteria for determining what is and is not an LP. It continues with 30 case studies of finding possible LPs in the peer-reviewed literature of the natural sciences from quantum physics to astronomy to chemistry to geology to biology to ecology to network theory, even to human systems. We emphasize the steps that could be used by any informed investigator to find their own LPs between systems processes in personal scans of the available scientific literature. The paper continues by comparing several available computer tools that could be used to graphically portray the SP-LP network. Each is evaluated for usability, simplicity, and breadth of applicability. The tools are compared by applying them to making an overview map of the defining characteristics of Linkage Propositions. Then one of them, CMAP, is used to show how the new LPs suggested in this paper can be graphically related to previous CMAPs of the SPT. The paper closes with an image of future work that would further contribute to building, testing, and applying the SPT to complex systems of systems problems facing humanity today.

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