Special Issue "Towards a Second Generation General System Theory"

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A special issue of Systems (ISSN 2079-8954).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Professor Gianfranco Minati (Website)

Italian Systems Society (AIRS) President and Doctoral Lecturer on Systems Science, Department Building Environment Sciences and Technology, Polytechnic University of Milan, Via Pellegrino Rossi, 42 20161 Milan, Italy
Interests: theoretical issues on systems science, such as logical openness; collective behavior; emergence; dynamic usage of models; meta-structures; multiple-systems; architecture and design as the design of meta-structures to influence emergence in social systems; managerial culture consistent with the science of complexity
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Eliano Pessa (Website)

Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, Piazza Botta, 11, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Phone: +39-0382986276
Interests: neural networks; artificial intelligence; quantum field theory; general relativity; quantum computation; general systems theory; mathematical modeling of self-organizing systems; computational neuroscience; quantum models of memory; human long-term memory; human visual perception; games theory and economic behavior

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

After Bertalanffy’s (1901–1972) introduction of General System Theory (GST), the concept of the “system” has been elaborated in almost every disciplinary field, and has allowed for interdisciplinary approaches to biology, chemistry, cognitive science, economics, education, medicine, physics, and sociology. GST has allowed the rise of, for instance, approaches and theories like Automata Theory, Catastrophe Theory, Chaos Theory, Control Theory, Cybernetics, Dissipative Structures, Game Theory, Systems Dynamics, and the Theory of Dynamical Systems.

However, after this very fecund period, on the one hand, new systemic approaches, concepts, and theories arose within the disciplines themselves, and on the other hand, GST had to deal with new problems of complexity.

Examples of new concepts are the ones introduced by network science, scale-invariance, power laws, and all the discoveries and elaborations that are quantum-based.

Examples of concepts of systemic complexity understanding focus on: coherence, development, dynamic usage of models to maintain coherences, emergence, entanglement, incompleteness, irreversibility, meta-structures, multiple non-homogeneity, multiplicity, network properties, non-linearity, non-symbolic, quantum, quasi, scenarios, self-organization, simultaneity, uniqueness, uncertainty, and incompleteness as resources.

On the other side, examples of concepts of GST pre-complexity understanding focus on anticipation, automata, completeness, context-independence, control, decisions, forecasting, growth, non-connectedness objectives, optimization, organization,  planning, precision, regulation, reversibility, separation, solutions, and standardization.

Extensions and updates of such GST concepts are not sufficient to maintain a unitary, systemic theoretical framework because of the different nature of new properties, and because of the problems involved in developing a new, theoretical unitary understanding.

This special issue will focus on the nature of new problems and their eventually common aspects and properties, on approaches that are already partially considered by different disciplines, and on new, possibly unitary, theoretical understandings.

Contributors are invited to present cases, proposals, approaches, models and theoretical frameworks to deal with the challenges of the post-GST age, for academic and disciplinary applications.

Prof. Dr. Gianfranco Minati
Prof. Dr. Eliano Pessa
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Systems is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • coherence
  • complexity
  • emergence
  • meta
  • model
  • multiple
  • network science
  • quantum
  • quasi
  • self-organization
  • system

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Special Issue on Second Generation General System Theory
Systems 2015, 3(1), 1-3; doi:10.3390/systems3010001
Received: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 16 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Beyond an Input/Output Paradigm for Systems: Design Systems by Intrinsic Geometry
Systems 2014, 2(4), 661-686; doi:10.3390/systems2040661
Received: 22 July 2014 / Revised: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 3 November 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1044 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
Open AccessArticle Adaptive Systems: History, Techniques, Problems, and Perspectives
Systems 2014, 2(4), 606-660; doi:10.3390/systems2040606
Received: 6 August 2014 / Revised: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 17 October 2014 / Published: 11 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1022 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
Open AccessArticle Postmodern Fuzzy System Theory: A Deconstruction Approach Based on Kabbalah
Systems 2014, 2(4), 590-605; doi:10.3390/systems2040590
Received: 20 August 2014 / Revised: 21 October 2014 / Accepted: 29 October 2014 / Published: 4 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (714 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Modern general system theory proposed a holistic integrative approach based on input-state-output dynamics as opposed to the traditional reductionist detail based approach. Information complexity and uncertainty required a fuzzy system theory, based on fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic. While successful in dealing [...] Read more.
Modern general system theory proposed a holistic integrative approach based on input-state-output dynamics as opposed to the traditional reductionist detail based approach. Information complexity and uncertainty required a fuzzy system theory, based on fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic. While successful in dealing with analysis, synthesis and control of technical engineering systems, general system theory and fuzzy system theory could not fully deal with humanistic and human-like intelligent systems which combine technical engineering components with human or human-like components characterized by their cognitive, emotional/motivational and behavioral/action levels of operation. Such humanistic systems are essential in artificial intelligence, cognitive and behavioral science applications, organization management and social systems, man-machine systems or human factor systems, behavioral knowledge based economics and finance applications. We are introducing here a “postmodern fuzzy system theory” for controlled state dynamics and output fuzzy systems and fuzzy rule based systems using our earlier postmodern fuzzy set theory and a Kabbalah possible worlds model of modal logic and semantics type. In order to create a postmodern fuzzy system theory, we “deconstruct” a fuzzy system in order to incorporate in it the cognitive, emotional and behavioral actions and expressions levels characteristic for humanistic systems. Kabbalah offers a structural, fractal and hierarchic model for integrating cognition, emotions and behavior. We obtain a canonic deconstruction for a fuzzy system into its cognitive, emotional and behavioral fuzzy subsystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
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Open AccessArticle Relativity with Respect to Measurement: Collapse and Quantum Events from Fock to Cramer
Systems 2014, 2(4), 576-589; doi:10.3390/systems2040576
Received: 10 July 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Some observations are presented starting with the well-known article by Vladimir Fock “Quantum Physics and Philosophical Problems”, published in 1971. In this article, which summarizes for Western readers a long and complicated reflection of the foundations of quantum mechanics (QM), Fock illustrates [...] Read more.
Some observations are presented starting with the well-known article by Vladimir Fock “Quantum Physics and Philosophical Problems”, published in 1971. In this article, which summarizes for Western readers a long and complicated reflection of the foundations of quantum mechanics (QM), Fock illustrates his “minimal” interpretation of this theory. By minimal, we mean that it only uses concepts related to the operational aspects of the measurement procedures, avoiding any mention of definite quantum ontologies (Bell’s beables). It is argued that, by taking into account the time reversal invariance of the microscopic processes and introducing the notion of irreversibility in an appropriate manner, Fock’s description becomes an anticipation of the “transaction” notion introduced by Cramer a decade later. So, the concept of “collapse” does retain the features of a QM “freak” postulate to become a new way to look at the elementary quantum processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Musical Consonance and Dissonance: Epistemological Considerations from a Systemic Perspective
Systems 2014, 2(4), 566-575; doi:10.3390/systems2040566
Received: 8 July 2014 / Revised: 2 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 20 October 2014
PDF Full-text (145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Different accounts have been given in order to face the problem of the emergence of musical consonance and dissonance. Getting a more adequate comprehension of such phenomenology may require a systemic view to integrate such multidimensionality into a unitary picture in which [...] Read more.
Different accounts have been given in order to face the problem of the emergence of musical consonance and dissonance. Getting a more adequate comprehension of such phenomenology may require a systemic view to integrate such multidimensionality into a unitary picture in which every partial solution enlightens a particular aspect of the very same problem. Such a systemic viewpoint shifts the focus from different explanations to analytic dimensions that seem to be embedded in music perception. Taking into consideration these dimensions means understanding consonance and dissonance in an embodied context, in which arithmetic, physics, psychology and physiology are part of a complex and dynamic process of understanding, which is not reducible to any privileged explanatory level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
Open AccessArticle A Contextualised General Systems Theory
Systems 2014, 2(4), 541-565; doi:10.3390/systems2040541
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 18 September 2014 / Accepted: 29 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A system is something that can be separated from its surrounds, but this definition leaves much scope for refinement. Starting with the notion of measurement, we explore increasingly contextual system behaviour and identify three major forms of contextuality that might be exhibited [...] Read more.
A system is something that can be separated from its surrounds, but this definition leaves much scope for refinement. Starting with the notion of measurement, we explore increasingly contextual system behaviour and identify three major forms of contextuality that might be exhibited by a system: (1) between components; (2) between system and experimental method; and (3) between a system and its environment. Quantum theory is shown to provide a highly useful formalism from which all three forms of contextuality can be analysed, offering numerous tests for contextual behaviour, as well as modelling possibilities for systems that do indeed display it. I conclude with the introduction of a contextualised general systems theory based on an extension of this formalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
Open AccessCommunication Networks as a Privileged Way to Develop Mesoscopic Level Approaches in Systems Biology
Systems 2014, 2(2), 237-242; doi:10.3390/systems2020237
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 21 May 2014 / Accepted: 28 May 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (117 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The methodologies advocated in computational biology are in many cases proper system-level approaches. These methodologies are variously connected to the notion of “mesosystem” and thus on the focus on relational structures that are at the basis of biological regulation. Here, I describe [...] Read more.
The methodologies advocated in computational biology are in many cases proper system-level approaches. These methodologies are variously connected to the notion of “mesosystem” and thus on the focus on relational structures that are at the basis of biological regulation. Here, I describe how the formalization of biological systems by means of graph theory constitutes an extremely fruitful approach to biology. I suggest the epistemological relevance of the notion of graph resides in its multilevel character allowing for a natural “middle-out” causation making largely obsolete the traditional opposition between “top-down” and “bottom-up” styles of reasoning, so fulfilling the foundation dream of systems science of a direct link between systems analysis and the underlying physical reality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)
Open AccessArticle On the Isomorphism between Dissipative Systems, Fractal Self-Similarity and Electrodynamics. Toward an Integrated Vision of Nature
Systems 2014, 2(2), 203-216; doi:10.3390/systems2020203
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In electrodynamics there is a mutual exchange of energy and momentum between the matter field and the electromagnetic field and the total energy and momentum are conserved. For a constant magnetic field and harmonic scalar potential, electrodynamics is shown to be isomorph [...] Read more.
In electrodynamics there is a mutual exchange of energy and momentum between the matter field and the electromagnetic field and the total energy and momentum are conserved. For a constant magnetic field and harmonic scalar potential, electrodynamics is shown to be isomorph to a system of damped/amplified harmonic oscillators. These can be described by squeezed coherent states which in turn are isomorph to self-similar fractal structures. Under the said conditions of constant magnetic field and harmonic scalar potential, electrodynamics is thus isomorph to fractal self-similar structures and squeezed coherent states. At a quantum level, dissipation induces noncommutative geometry with the squeezing parameter playing a relevant role. Ubiquity of fractals in Nature and relevance of coherent states and electromagnetic interaction point to a unified, integrated vision of Nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Second Generation General System Theory)

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