Cybernetics: The Role of Information and Computation in Systems

  • George E. Mobus
  • Michael C. Kalton
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


Information, as defined in Chap.  7, and computation, as described in Chap.  8, will now be put to work in systems. Cybernetics is the science of control and regulation as it applies to maintaining the functions of systems. In this chapter, we investigate basic cybernetics and control theory. But we also investigate how complex systems have complex regulatory subsystems that, unsurprisingly, form a hierarchy of specialized control or management functions. These subsystems process information for the purpose of managing the material processes within the system and to coordinate the system’s behaviors with respect to its environment. This chapter covers what might be argued to be the most crucial aspect of the science of complex systems such as biological and social systems. It is the longest!


Control Signal Living System Strategic Management Longe Time Scale Complex Adaptive System 
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  10. Wiener N (1950) The human use of human beings: cybernetics and society. Avon Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • George E. Mobus
    • 1
  • Michael C. Kalton
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty in Computer Science & Systems, Computer Engineering & Systems Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Washington TacomaTacomaUSA
  2. 2.Faculty in Interdisciplinary Arts & SciencesUniversity of Washington TacomaTacomaUSA

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