Advertisement

Positive Feedback in Natural Systems

  • Donald L. DeAngelis
  • Wilfred M. Post
  • Curtis C. Travis

Part of the Biomathematics book series (BIOMATHEMATICS, volume 15)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 1-14
  3. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 15-25
  4. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 27-37
  5. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 39-49
  6. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 51-59
  7. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 61-73
  8. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 75-98
  9. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 99-126
  10. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 127-155
  11. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 157-186
  12. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 187-200
  13. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 201-219
  14. Donald L. DeAngelis, Wilfred M. Post, Curtis C. Travis
    Pages 221-245
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 247-292

About this book

Introduction

Cybernetics, a science concerned with understanding how systems are regulated, has reflected the preoccupations of the century in which it was born. Regulation is important in twentieth century society, where both machines and social organizations are complex. Cybernetics focused on and became primarily associated with the homeostasis or stability of system behavior and with the negative feedbacks that stabilize systems. It paid less attention to the processes opposite to negative feedback, the positive feedback processes that act to change systems. We attempt to redress the balance here by illustrating the enormous importance of positive feedbacks in natural systems. In an article in the American Scientist in 1963, Maruyama called for increased attention to this topic, noting that processes of change could occur when a "deviation in anyone component of the system caused deviations in other components that acted back on the first component to reinforce of amplify the initial deviation." The deviation amplification is the result of positive feedback among system components. Maruyama demonstrated by numerous examples that the neglect of such processes was unjustified and suggested that a new branch of cybernetics, "the second cybernetics," be devoted to their study.

Keywords

Markov chain Mathematica Systems behavior complex system cybernetics dynamics homeostasis mathematics matrices modeling regulation society stability system

Authors and affiliations

  • Donald L. DeAngelis
    • 1
  • Wilfred M. Post
    • 1
  • Curtis C. Travis
    • 1
  1. 1.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-82625-2
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-82627-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-82625-2
  • Series Print ISSN 0067-8821
  • Buy this book on publisher's site