Halliday & Matthiessen (1999: 41-2):
A system network is an acyclic directed graph, consisting of systems partially ordered in delicacy. Each system constitutes a choice (alternation, opposition) between two or more terms. These terms are represented by features, and a system as a whole is a Boolean combination of features:
- It has an entry condition, the condition under which the systemic choice is available. The entry condition may be a single feature or a complex of features, conjunct and/or disjunct. These features must serve as terms in other systems [except in the case of a logical recursive system].
- It has a set of terms, the options that are available given the entry condition. The terms are represented by features, which are related by exclusive disjunction.Collectively, a set of related systems for a system network (since features in the entry conditions to systems must be terms in other systems).