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System design is the

[t]ranslation of customer requirements into comprehensive, detailed functional, performance, or design specifications, which are then used to construct the specific solution.[1]
(1) a specification of the structure of the system, including the component view, the information view, and the computational process view.
(2) a breakdown of system functions into sequences (graphs) of subfunctions assigned to nominal component subsystems, coupled with a specification for the information and materials that must be available at the component interfaces in order for the subfunctions to be accomplished.[2]


  1. California Office of Systems Integration, Definitions (full-text).
  2. NIST, Concepts for Automating Systems Integration (NISTIR 6928), at 3 (Feb. 2003) (full-text).