BIT Numerical Mathematics

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 24–50 | Cite as

The nature of data — From measurements to systems

  • Ole Immanuel Franksen
Part I Computer Science Invited Paper


In spite of the fact that the concept of data is at the foundation of the sciences, we do not present it in our computer education in the context of a scientific theory, based on laws or immutable principles. Rather, by drilling computer programming, we teach it as dependent upon current technology, destined to be obsolete in 10–15 years. The aim of this paper is to reverse this trend. In a historical perspective and across a broad spectrum of disciplines, we trace the development of data from the basic notion of measurement to the description of theoretical systems and models. From this survey we deduce a common framework of ideas which, developed by the great scientists of the past, suggests how we may establish a modern theory of data, conceived as a distinct geometry characterized by data laws or invariances.


Computer Programming Broad Spectrum Computational Mathematic Scientific Theory Historical Perspective 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


The operational viewpoint

  1. 1.
    O. I. Franksen,An operational formulation of the electric network problem. In Ø. Bjørke and O. I. Franksen (eds.):System Structures in Engineering — Economic Design and Production. Tapir Publishers, Trondheim, 1978, pp. 15–178.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Leon O. Chua,Memristor — the missing circuit element. IEEE Trans. on Circuit Theory, Vol. CT-18, No. 5, Sept. 1971, pp. 507–519.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    H. Nicholson,Structure of Interconnected Systems. Peter Peregrinus, Ltd., London, 1978.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    O. I. Franksen,The virtual work principle. A unifying systems concept. In Ø. Bjørke and O. I. Franksen:Structures and Operations in Engineering and Management Systems. Tapir Publishers, Trondheim, 1981, pp. 17–152.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    O. I. Franksen, Mathematical programming in economics by physical analogies, I–III. Simulation, 1969: No. 6, June, pp. 297–314; No. 1, July, pp. 25–42; No. 2, August, pp. 63–87.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nicolas Georgescu-Roegen,The Entropy Law and the Economic Process. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1971. Reprinted as paperback, 1976.Google Scholar

The symbolic viewpoint

  1. 7.
    O. I. Franksen, P. Falster and F. J. Evans,Qualitative Aspects of Large Scale Systems. Developing Design Rules Using APL. Lect. Notes in Control and Information Sciences, Vol. 17, Springer Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York, 1979.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    O. I. Franksen,Mr. Babbage's Secret. The Tale of a Cypher — and APL. Strandbergs Forlag, Denmark, 1984. For countries outside Scandinavia: Prentice-Hall, Inc., USA, April, 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© BIT Foundations 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ole Immanuel Franksen
    • 1
  1. 1.Electric Power Engineering DepartmentTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark

Personalised recommendations