Requisite Variety and Its Implications for the Control of Complex Systems

  • W. Ross Ashby
Chapter
Part of the International Federation for Systems Research International Series on Systems Science and Engineering book series (IFSR, volume 7)

Abstract

Recent work on the fundamental processes of regulation in biology (Ashby, 1956) has shown the importance of a certain quantitative relation called the law of requisite variety. After this relation had been found, we appreciated that it was related to a theorem in a world far removed from the biological—that of Shannon on the quantity of noise or error that could be removed through a correction-channel (Shannon and Weaver, 1949; theorem 10). In this paper I propose to show the relationship between the two theorems, and to indicate something of their implications for regulation, in the cybernetic sense, when the system to be regulated is extremely complex.

Keywords

Operational Research Secular Change Biological World Scientific Strategy Simple Majority Vote 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ashby, W. Ross, Design for a brain. 2nd. imp. Chapman and Hall, London, 1954.Google Scholar
  2. Ashby, W. Ross, An introduction to cybernetics. Chapman and Hall, London, 1956.Google Scholar
  3. Bourbaki, N., Théorie des ensembles. Fascicule de résultats. A.S.E.I. No. 1141. Hermann et Cie, Paris, 1951.Google Scholar
  4. Neumann, J. and Morgenstern, O., Theory of games and economic behaviour. Princeton, 1947.Google Scholar
  5. Shannon, C. E. and Weaver, W, The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1949.Google Scholar
  6. Sommerhoff, G., Analytical biology. Oxford, University Press, London, 1950.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Ross Ashby

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations