Active Regulation: General Systems Design Principles

Active Regulation: General Systems Design Principles

by Gerald Weinberg
     
 
Active Regulation is Volume 3 in the General Systems Thinking series that begins with the world-wide best-selling, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking. (also available in ebook formats) That first series volume focused on the question,"Why do we see what we see?" The second and third books tackle the next question, namely "Why do things stay the same?"

Overview

Active Regulation is Volume 3 in the General Systems Thinking series that begins with the world-wide best-selling, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking. (also available in ebook formats) That first series volume focused on the question,"Why do we see what we see?" The second and third books tackle the next question, namely "Why do things stay the same?"

Most people take for granted the stability they see in the world, but for systems thinkers, stability is one of the most fundamental properties, and puzzles, about the systems they struggle to understand and create. Indeed, it's such a fundamental property that it forms the topic of both this volume and its predecessor, Passive Regulation (Volume 2 in the series).

Originally part of the book, On the Design of Stable Systems, in its first, hardcover incarnation, Active Regulation does not just focus on computer systems, but systems of all kinds—human, natural, and technological.
In a highly readable, original presentation the Weinbergs here explore the subtle art and science of regulating systems, projects, and people in the most efficient and logical manner possible. The authors draw on their respective backgrounds in technology and social science to offer fresh insights and translate them into a language that anyone can understand.

In the course of this presentation, and with the help of dozens of figures, the Weinbergs introduce a host of laws and theorems derived from the best thinking of systems thinkers over the past century. For the most part, the regulation schemes examined in this volume are based on error-controlled regulation—in many ways the most effective of all regulation strategies.
Chapters include:
• The Search for Regulation
• The Homeostatic Heuristics
• Other Regulatory Heuristics
• Types of Regulatory Mechanisms
• Regulation and Environment
• When the Model Fails
• Making Regulation Mysterious
• Overly Simple Views of Regulation
• Blindness and Reversed Vision
The book also contains an extensive bibliography and an appendix explaining some useful mathematical notation.

In addition to being a reference book for professional and lay people alike, Active Regulation is suitable as an undergraduate text in the humanities, social, natural, and engineering sciences. It is unique in its approach, highly readable, and offers practical ways of solving problems.

Editorial Reviews

Ann R. Prentice
"The authors combine the views of their disciplines and look at larger issues such as the interplay between systems and people, the abstract and concrete, and the theoretical and practical . The authors' style is light and sometimes humorous with a large number of quotations from literature. . . . Never dull . . . the book bears evidence of a global view in which systems design is a means if organizing ideas, structures, things, and experience."
Anonymous
"The book is good at . . . the explanation of imaginative approaches to the organization of systems (of humans or of machines)."
Jonathan Siegel
the ideas and the examples really make you think. With examples chosen from many fields, the book illustrates its central ideas with a cross-fertilization that helps one think outside ones box.
It starts with a very simple idea -- stability. Things change so little most of the time we hardly notice. And yet stability usually requires active forces to sustain it. As an information systems designer, Weinberg helped me see why this simple idea, and a few simple ideas that follow, turn out to ex
Matt Dawson
Anyone who considers themselves a systems thinker must read this book! Whereas the first book attempts to answer the first question in the systems triumvirate, "Why do we see what we see?", this books tackles the next question, namely "Why do things stay the same?" As a marriage and family therapist, understanding systems is crucial to my work. This book is clearly written, and provides real world examples of sometimes difficult topics. I have read this book cover to cover 3 times in the last 2

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012929815
Publisher:
Gerald Weinberg
Publication date:
06/04/2011
Series:
General Systems Thinking , #3
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Dani and Jerry Weinberg live in New Mexico with their German Shepherd Dogs. They are internationally respected for their innovative thinking on both human and technical issues.
Dani has a PhD in anthropology and was a university professor and an organizational consultant before retiring to become a full-time dog trainer. She brings her knowledge about learning and communication systems to her work with both dogs and people, helping people enhance all their human and animal relationships. Dani is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and an evaluator for the Warm Hearts Network at Animal Humane New Mexico. Both Dani and Jerry are Field Instructors for Paws With a Cause, a national organization that trains and places assistance dogs.

Jerry (Gerald M.) Weinberg focuses on ways to help people improve their effectiveness. A highly influential author, trainer, and consultant, he draws on experiences gained in all three roles, as well as from a long technical career as a software developer and researcher. Jerry is author, coauthor, or editor of more than 60 books on topics ranging from computer systems and programming to education, thinking, and problem solving—and most recently, on writing, itself, and fiction. <www.geraldmweinberg.com>

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