Structure


Structure

Structure is a fundamental and sometimes intangible notion covering the recognition, observation, nature, and stability of patterns and relationships of entities. From a child's verbal description of a snowflake, to the detailed scientific analysis of the properties of magnetic fields, the concept of structure is an essential foundation of nearly every mode of inquiry and discovery in science, philosophy, and art.cite book | last = Pullan | first = Wendy | title = Structure | publisher = Cambridge University Press | location = Cambridge | year = 2000 | isbn = 0521782589 ]

A structure defines what a system is made of. It is a configuration of items. It is a collection of inter-related components or services. The structure may be a hierarchy (a cascade of one-to-many relationships) or a network featuring many-to-many relationships.

Types of structure

Biological structure

In biology, structures exist at all levels of organization, ranging hierarchically from the atomic and molecular to the cellular, tissue, organ, organismic, population and ecosystem level. Usually, a higher-level structure is composed of multiple copies of a lower-level structure.

Chemical structure

Chemistry is the science treating matter at the atomic to macromolecular scale, the reactions, transformations and aggregations of matter, as well as accompanying energy and entropy changes during these processes. The chemical structure refers to both molecular geometry and to electronic structure. The structural formula of a chemical compound is a graphical representation of the molecular structure showing how the atoms are arranged. A protein structure is the three dimensional coordinates of the atoms within (macro) molecules made of protein.

Built structure

A structure usually refers to any large, man-made object permanently fixed to Earth's surface, as a result of construction. These are divided into buildings and nonbuilding structures, and make up the infrastructure of a human society. There are also animal-built structures, such as anthills and beaver dams.

Musical composition

Music is an art form consisting of sound and silence expressed through time. The term musical form, a type of structure, refers to two related concepts:
* the type of composition (for example, a musical work can have the form of a cool symphony, a concerto, or other generic type)
* the structure of a particular piece (for example, a piece can be written in binary form, sonata form, as a fugue, etc.)

Social structure

A social structure is a pattern of relations. They are social organizations of individuals in various life situations. Structures are applicable to people in how a society is as a system organized by a characteristic pattern of relationships. This is known as the social organization of the group. Sociologists have studied the changing structure of these groups. Structure and agency is the two confronted theories about human behaviour. The debate surrounding the influence of structure and agency on human thought and behaviour is one of the central issues in sociology. In this context "agency" refers to the capacity of individual humans to act independently and to make their own free choices. "Structure" here to those factors such as social class, religion, gender, ethnicity, customs etc. which seem to limit or influence the opportunities that individuals have.

Data structure

In computer science, a data structure is a way of storing data in a computer so that it can be used efficiently. Often a carefully chosen data structure will allow the most efficient algorithm to be used. The choice of the data structure often begins from the choice of an abstract data type. A well-designed data structure allows a variety of critical operations to be performed, using as few resources, both execution time and memory space, as possible. Data structures are implemented by a programming language as data types and the references and operations they provide.

References

See also

* Crystal structure
* Data structure
* Mathematical structure
* Nonbuilding structure
* Primary structure
* Protein structure
* Quarternary structure
* Secondary structure
* Structural geology
* Tertiary structure


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  • structure — [ stryktyr ] n. f. • 1528; « construction » XIVe; lat. structura, de struere « construire » 1 ♦ Manière dont un édifice est construit; agencement des parties d un bâtiment. ⇒aussi superstructure. « L immobile structure des cathédrales »… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • structuré — structure [ stryktyr ] n. f. • 1528; « construction » XIVe; lat. structura, de struere « construire » 1 ♦ Manière dont un édifice est construit; agencement des parties d un bâtiment. ⇒aussi superstructure. « L immobile structure des cathédrales » …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • structure — structure, social structure A term loosely applied to any recurring pattern of social behaviour; or, more specifically, to the ordered interrelationships between the different elements of a social system or society . Thus, for example, the… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Structure — Struc ture, n. [L. structura, from struere, structum, to arrange, build, construct; perhaps akin to E. strew: cf. F. structure. Cf. {Construe}, {Destroy}, {Instrument}, {Obstruct}.] 1. The act of building; the practice of erecting buildings;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • structure — 1 *building, edifice, pile 2 Structure, anatomy, framework, skeleton are often used interchangeably. Structure is by far the richest in implications and the widest in its range of application. In general it denotes the formation, arrangement, and …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • structure — STRUCTURE. s. f. La maniere dont un edifice est basti. La structure de ce bastiment est agreable. ce Palais est d une structure solide. On dit, La structure du corps humain, pour dire, La maniere dont le corps humain est composé, dont les parties …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • structure — I (composition) noun arrangement, configuration, constitution, design, disposition, essence, fabric, form, formation, layout, make up, organization, pattern, plan, set up, shape, style, substance II (edifice) noun building, establishment,… …   Law dictionary

  • structure — [struk′chər] n. [ME < L structura < structus, pp. of struere, to heap together, arrange: see STREW] 1. manner of building, constructing, or organizing 2. something built or constructed, as a building or dam 3. the arrangement or… …   English World dictionary

  • structure — [n1] makeup, form anatomy, architecture, arrangement, build, complex, configuration, conformation, construction, design, fabric, fabrication, format, formation, frame, framework, interrelation, make, morphology, network, order, organization,… …   New thesaurus

  • structure — ► NOUN 1) the arrangement of and relations between the parts of something complex. 2) a building or other object constructed from several parts. 3) the quality of being well organized. ► VERB ▪ give structure to. ORIGIN Latin structura, from… …   English terms dictionary


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