A subsystem is a part of a larger system that can function on its own. It is composed of interrelated elements that work together to complete a specific task or function, but can also be connected to other subsystems or the larger system. Subsystems can be physical, conceptual, or logical, and are typically divided up into smaller parts.
Subsystems are important components of large systems because they allow components to work together in a coordinated way. For example, an airplane has many subsystems, such as its engines, navigation systems, and wings, that all operate independently and in coordination with one another to enable the plane to fly.
Subsystems can also be used to divide a large system into easier-to-manage parts, and can provide a way to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable ones. For example, in an automobile, the engine, brakes, and transmission are all separate subsystems that can be managed independently of one another, allowing for more efficient production and maintenance.
In addition, subsystems can also provide a way to measure the performance of a system as a whole. By measuring the performance of each individual subsystem, it’s possible to get an overall picture of how the system is performing. For example, in a computer system, the processor speed, memory, and storage capacity of each component can be measured separately to get an overall idea of the system’s performance.
Example of Subsystem
A good example of a subsystem is the human body. The human body consists of many different components, such as the skeletal system, nervous system, and circulatory system, that all work together to create a functioning organism. Each of these components can be considered a subsystem, as they can all function independently and in coordination with one another to allow for movement and other functions.
In addition, these subsystems can be further divided into smaller parts, such as the bones of the skeletal system or the organs of the circulatory system. This allows for even more granular control over the body, allowing for more precise diagnosis and treatment of ailments.
Overall, the human body is a great example of a system composed of many different subsystems, each working together to create a functioning organism.
When to use Subsystem
Subsystems can be useful when dealing with large and complex systems, as they provide a way to break down the system into smaller, more manageable parts. They can also be used to measure the performance of a system as a whole, by measuring the performance of each individual subsystem. Additionally, subsystems can provide a way to coordinate the different parts of a system, allowing them to work together in a more efficient and effective manner.
Types of Subsystem
There are three main types of subsystems: physical, conceptual, and logical.
- Physical subsystems are those that involve physical components, such as engines, brakes, and transmission in an automobile, or the wings, fuel systems, and navigation systems in an airplane.
- Conceptual subsystems involve the mental processes and models used to develop a system. These include ideas, designs, and plans that are used to develop a system.
- Logical subsystems are those that involve the data, information, and control processes used to manage and coordinate a system. These include the software and hardware components that are used to control and monitor a system.
Steps of Subsystem design
The steps for designing and implementing a subsystem include:
- Defining the purpose of the subsystem: The first step is to define the purpose of the subsystem and determine what it is meant to accomplish.
- Identifying the components and resources: Once the purpose of the subsystem is determined, the next step is to identify the components and resources that will be needed to make it work.
- Designing the subsystem: The next step is to design the subsystem, taking into account the components and resources identified in the previous step.
- Implementing the subsystem: Finally, the subsystem must be implemented, which involves integrating the components and resources into the system and testing the subsystem to ensure it meets the desired requirements.
In order to design and implement a subsystem, it is important to clearly define the purpose of the subsystem and identify the components and resources needed for its implementation. Once the purpose of the subsystem is determined and the components and resources are identified, the subsystem can be designed and implemented by integrating the components and resources into the system and testing the subsystem to ensure it meets the desired requirements.
Advantages of Subsystem
- Subsystems can be divided into smaller parts, making them easier to manage.
- Subsystems can be connected together to form a larger system or to other subsystems.
- Subsystems can work independently and in coordination with one another, allowing for greater efficiency and flexibility.
- Subsystems can be used to measure the performance of a system as a whole, providing a way to track progress and identify areas of improvement.
Limitations of Subsystem
Subsystems can be limited in a variety of ways. For instance, they may be limited by their size, complexity, or power. Subsystems may also be limited in terms of their ability to interact with other subsystems and the larger system as a whole. Additionally, subsystems can be limited by their inability to be upgraded or changed without disrupting the overall system.
Another limitation of subsystems is that they may struggle to work together if they are not properly integrated. This can lead to problems such as incompatibility between different subsystems, or a lack of coordination between subsystems.
Finally, subsystems can be limited by their cost. Subsystems often require additional resources to function, which can increase the overall cost of the system.
- Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE): MBSE is a method of developing systems that focuses on creating a model or representation of the system. This model is then used to understand how the system works, predict its behavior, and design new solutions.
- Design for X (DFX): DFX is a methodology that focuses on designing a system to meet specific requirements. This includes considering the design parameters, cost, performance, reliability, and other aspects of the system to ensure that it meets the desired criteria.
- System of Systems (SoS): SoS is a concept that looks at how multiple systems can be connected and used together to create a more complex, interconnected system. The components of these systems can be combined in different ways to create new functionalities or capabilities.
|Subsystem — recommended articles|
|Kanban card — Parametric modeling — Analytic hierarchy process — CAE — Business architecture — Element of the system — Network organization structure — Structural programming — Management of complexity|
- Jacob, C. R., & Neugebauer, J. (2014). Subsystem density‐functional theory. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Molecular Science, 4(4), 325-362.
- McCool, D. (1998). The subsystem family of concepts: a critique and a proposal. Political Research Quarterly, 51(2), 551-570.
- Page, D. N. (1993). Average entropy of a subsystem. Physical review letters, 71(9), 1291.