Systems analysis provides the procedural framework for the formulation, design, and analysis of symbolic models of systems. Usually the structural (organizational) aspects of a system are investigated by descriptive, analogue, or analytic modeling. Simulation modeling, which involves the merger of various structural models with a simulator and a simulation model, is usually employed to investigate the functional (operational) aspects of a system.
The sequence of procedures used in systems analysis forms a detailed statement of the execution of the scientific method. On using these procedures the model builder is required to examine his subject from new analytical vantage points. Operational research techniques such as linear programming, game theory, congestion analysis, and list processing can provide the model builder with various types of analytical support. In systems analysis the model builder also requires a high level of tactical support in such areas as data quality control, planning, allocation of funds, equipment, and time, scheduling, computer services, numerical analysis, and experimental design. Suitable methodology for both analytical and tactical support is generally available to most systems investigators from institutional computing centers.
As we continue to ask increasingly more complex questions concerning the structure and function of our modern and ancient environmental systems, we will find that the context of systems analysis is especially appropriate.