Abstract: Sustainability and, in particular, green sustainability are very complex subjects, because they typically include several integrated sub-systems. Many of these contain dynamically changing objects and variables, which are often difficult to measure and calibrate. Green sustainability means waste reduction and optimization with a non-toxic process focus that can be maintained over time, for a very long time. Furthermore, it means the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes and functions, biological diversity and productivity over time. Sustainable, green engineering design, manufacturing, demanufacturing and re-engineering are changing every aspect of our lives. In this paper, we offer an overview, a systems engineering framework, as well as some methodology and concrete results.
Abstract: This paper suggests a new methodology capable of accessing in detail the contribution of companies to countries’ sustainability related to economic performance. The concept of sustainability has been brought up in several debates, leading to a clearer understanding of its progress in recent decades. The most adequate indicators to achieve a unique value to define sustainability have been identified. However, specific behaviors of economic agents such as exist in particularly large organizations, have rarely been exposed and evaluated regarding their positive or negative contribution to the increase of sustainability throughout the world. This paper proposes an integrated approach incorporating an evaluation of the positive and negative contributions to sustainability by means of a logistic biplot application. This allows the creation of a summarized index that combines all single sustainability indicators. These synthetic indices allow the positioning of each of the companies in a geometric representation for an original exploration of the sustainability paradigm. The supplied method permits accessing and evaluating information concerning specific behaviors of economic agents such as big companies. In our paper, we have followed the engagements towards sustainability of big corporations, individually or as groups, across the different activity sectors in Portugal and Spain.
Abstract: The aim of this editorial is to briefly introduce some papers of different nature presented by the contributors to the special issue on “Second Generation General System Theory”. These contributions have been focused on the need for building a post-Bertalanffy Systemics, based on new problems, representations, and approaches to complexity. Furthermore, such new Systemics is expected to be able to theoretically generalize new related systemic concepts and approaches introduced by different disciplines. Such a theoretical generalization is going to coincide with a new kind of interdisciplinarity. The latter should substitute the classical one, based on considering problems and solutions within a discipline as equivalent to problems and solutions within another one. This equivalence was used within the framework of general systemic concepts like Anticipation, Completeness, Feedback, Finality, Forecast, Separability, Openness, and Reversibility. The contributions contained in this special issue constitute very interesting examples of new approaches and of their possibilities of theoretical generalization. Therefore, the issue itself can be considered as a window on the new Systemics and its challenges.
Abstract: Given a stress-free system as a perfect crystal with points or atoms ordered in a three dimensional lattice in the Euclidean reference space, any defect, external force or heterogeneous temperature change in the material connection that induces stress on a previously stress-free configuration changes the equilibrium configuration. A material has stress in a reference which does not agree with the intrinsic geometry of the material in the stress-free state. By stress we mean forces between parts when we separate one part from another (tailing the system), the stress collapses to zero for any part which assumes new configurations. Now the problem is that all the new configurations of the parts are incompatible with each other. This means that close loop in the earlier configuration now is not closed and that the two paths previously joining the same two points now join different points from the same initial point so the final point is path dependent. This phenomenon is formally described by the commutators of derivatives in the new connection of the stress-free parts of the system under the control of external currents. This means that we lose the integrability property of the system and the possibility to generate global coordinates. The incompatible system can be represented by many different local references or Cartan moving Euclidean reference, one for any part of the system that is stress-free. The material under stress when is free assumes an equilibrium configuration or manifold that describes the intrinsic “shape” or geometry of the natural stress—the free state of the material. Therefore, we outline a design system by geometric compensation as a prototypical constructive operation.
Abstract: We survey some of the rich history of control over the past century with a focus on the major milestones in adaptive systems. We review classic methods and examples in adaptive linear systems for both control and observation/identification. The focus is on linear plants to facilitate understanding, but we also provide the tools necessary for many classes of nonlinear systems. We discuss practical issues encountered in making these systems stable and robust with respect to additive and multiplicative uncertainties. We discuss various perspectives on adaptive systems and their role in various fields. Finally, we present some of the ongoing research and expose problems in the field of adaptive control.