From Circuit Theory to System Theory

  • L. A. Zadeh
Part of the International Federation for Systems Research International Series on Systems Science and Engineering book series (IFSR, volume 7)


The past two decades have witnessed an evolution of classical circuit theory into a field of science whose domain of application far transcends the analysis and synthesis of RLC networks. The invention of the transistor, followed by the development of a variety of other solid-state devices, the trend toward microminiaturization and integrated electronics, the problems arising out of the analysis and design of large-scale communication networks, the increasingly important role played by time-varying, nonlinear and probabilistic circuits, the development of theories of neuroelectric networks, automata and finite state machines, the progress in our understanding of the processes of learning and adaptation, the advent of information theory, game theory and dynamic programming, and the formulation of the maximum principle by Pontryagin, have all combined to relegate classical circuit theory to the status of a specialized branch of a much broader scientific discipline—system theory—which, as the name implies, is concerned with all types of systems and not just electrical networks.


System Theory Maximum Principle Circuit Theory Optimal Input Signal Flow Graph 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

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  • L. A. Zadeh

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