Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

CYBERNETICS ANDComplex adaptive systems

  • Andrew P. Sage
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_205


Cybernetics is a term that is occasionally used in the literature of such areas as systems engineering and OR/MS to denote the study of control and communication in, and, in particular between humans, machines, organizations, and society. The word cybernetics comes from the Greek word Kybernetes, which means “controller,” or “governor,” or “steersman.” The first modern use of the term was due to Professor Norbert Wiener, an MIT professor of mathematics, who made many early and seminal contributions to mathematical system theory (Wiener, 1949). The first book formally on this subject was titled Cybernetics and published in 1948 (Wiener, 1948). In this book, Wiener defined the term as “control and communication in the animal and the machine.” This emphasized the concept of feedback control as a construct presumably of value in the study of neural and physiological relations in the biological and physical sciences. In the historical evolution of...

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew P. Sage
    • 1
  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA