Verkehrsplanung und Verkehrstechnik | Institut für Verkehrswissenschaften

Technische Universität Wien

What is a system?

A system can be defined as “a set of elements which are connected by certain relationships…” [1] (Duden 2007). “A system is made up of elements which are in certain relationship with each other” [2] (Ossimitz 2000, p. 3). The relationships between the elements of a system facilitate specific processes or operations. Furthermore, a system has to be distinguishable from its environment, i.e. it is necessary to define system borders. Other properties of a system are purpose, i.e. the function of the system, and temporal behavior (Ossimitz 2000, p. 3).


[1] Own translation, original in German: “eine Menge von Elementen, zwischen denen bestimmte Beziehungen bestehen....

[2] Own translation, original in German: “Ein System besteht aus Elementen, die in bestimmten Relationen zueinander stehen


Duden (2007) Band 5 , Fremdwörterbuch, Mannheim.

Ossimitz, G. (2000) Einführung in die Systemwissenschaften, Karl-Franzens Universität Graz. Graz.