Analysis is a process of reasoning or a method of inquiry that proceeds by breaking a system down into its elementary parts, studying those parts in isolation and then forming a description of the whole system in terms of its basic components and interactions. Analysis is one of the two fundamental processes of reasoning and can be contrasted with synthesis. Analysis is the process of reasoning used within a reductionist paradigm which searches for descriptions of higher level phenomena in terms of lower level more elementary parts and their linear interactions.