, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 520–529 | Cite as

Placing Humans in the Feedback Loop of Social Infrastructures

NII Research Strategies on Cyber-Physical Systems
  • Günter MüllerEmail author
  • Wolfgang Wahlster


Informatics is more than just computer science and incorporates the impact of services on society, where individuals interact with information technology. The mode of interaction has not changed, and still requires adaption of humans to the system. This however, cannot be maintained with an “Internet of Things,” where physical entities interact with computers and Big Data transforms known concepts of learning and adaption. The NII (National Institute of Informatics) is Japan’s primary academic research body in evolving social infrastructures. Wiener’s vision of “cybernetics” and the objectives associated with the internationally almost forgotten term “informatics” may help in detecting the unifying “ribbon” around seemingly loosely coupled projects. While Wiener describes the conjunction of control and communication, where in a closed feedback loop the control logic is driven by physical measures, the NII extends this model to include humans, which expands the challenges of the control logic to the conjunction of cyberspace and physical processes. This may have social impacts as well as technical challenges, such as the ability to build a reverse interaction model. In addition, future development may lead to the emergence of unintended, unpredictable safety, reliability, and acceptance problems.


Information System Control Logic Physical Entity Social Infrastructure Closed Feedback Loop 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Computer Science and Social Studies, Department Of TelematicsAlbert-Ludwig University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.DFKI GmbhSaarbrückenGermany

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