Feedback Loop - Tool/Concept/Definition
An intimate relationship of common understanding and agreement among three individuals, usually where two Top definition Unlike a ménage à trois, a closed loop relationship ("clr") is typically a long-term relationship that involves a third. Ludwig Bertalanffy describes two types of systems: open systems and closed systems. The open systems are systems that allow interactions between their internal elements and the environment. An open system is defined as a “system in exchange of matter with its A closed system offers a deterministic relationship. A family system that is closed will be restrictive and negative, where as an open In a healthy family system, relationships are strong. . on October 9, and was among our readers' favorite family-themed essays this year.
Clearly, the growth of the skin has to be adaptive. As bodies grow, they stretch the overlying skin, which proliferates and expands until the tension has been reduced. The growth of the skin therefore keeps up with that of the body. If skin is damaged, it has to repair itself, adapting its activity to whatever unpredictable location and shape the hole happens to have.
Foetal skin, however, heals without scars. If it is cut, cells that used to have neighbours suddenly encounter free space. They respond to it by organising a contractile band along their exposed edge. This band links the cytoskeletal fibres of neighbouring cells so that the whole edge of the wound starts to contract, closing it up. As closure proceeds, cells that meet make junctions with one another and, as they no longer feel a free edge, they lose their contractile band and become normal members of a sheet again.
This proceeds until the hole has disappeared completely. Self-organising processes seem to operate at much larger scales, too — beyond the level of single organisms. Schools of fish, for example, consist of individuals that align themselves with one another so that the school moves and changes direction as a cohesive entity. This can turn a predator species into a highly efficient hunting collective — when, for example, tuna schools form outstretched arms to engulf their prey.
Similar behaviour can also protect prey species: Instead, each individual seems to base its behaviour on purely local influences: Computer models produce quite convincing schooling behaviour when their constituent fish — all the same, with no special leader in charge — have four basic behaviours: Searching happens only if a fish finds itself isolated.
Repulsion is strong at short distances and attraction kicks in at larger ones, which tends to keep fish an optimal distance apart, and they reorientate to swim in the average direction of their various neighbours.
The flocking of birds appears to work in a similar way: Again, the behaviour of the model is so good it implies that real birds might well organise their flocks by each obeying simple, local rules. Schooling and flocking behaviours are, of course, restricted to large groups of individuals from a single species. Might self-organising properties operate even at the level of multi-species ecosystems?
Vegetation on arid soils will, for example, arrange itself into groups with plain soil between them: All of these examples, and many more like them, turn out to have something in common when analysed at the mechanistic level: This type of control is called feedback, and is represented by a loop feeding information from the output of a process back to its input.
In the case of the cytoskeleton, the stability of a filament depended on whether it was carrying a mechanical force, which in turn depended on whether it was in the right place to connect to cell junctions.
The achievement of a filament to be in a useful place or not is therefore fed back to decide what it will do next survive, or be disassembled. In the case of the blood capillaries, the extent to which present growth has been adequate to bring enough oxygen into the tissues is fed back, via VEGF, to control whether the capillaries continue to grow or remain as they are. And the same principle seemed to explain the schooling of fish: Seen from the abstract perspective of feedback loops, adaptive self-organisation looks more or less the same across all scales of life, from the architecture of subcellular assemblies to the arrangements of co-operating species in ecosystems.
In this sense, the loop is a near-universal symbol of living processes. We have, then, two very different models for understanding life. In the loop-centred model, feedback-rich processes allow cells, bodies and ecosystems to construct themselves adaptively in response to the prevailing conditions.
Can these models, which seem on the face of it very different, ever be reconciled? The feedback loops that guide self-organisation, at any scale, rely ultimately on the action of protein-based mechanisms, and proteins are encoded by genes. In my account of capillary development, the proteins HIF1A and VEGF highlighted the importance of specific molecules to organisation at a larger scale. Even events at much larger scales, such as the schooling of fish, ultimately rely on protein machines.
Genes are therefore essential to self-organisation at all the scales of life — just not in a deterministic way. Rather, the genes are needed to make the machines that mediate feedback-driven self-organisation: This has interesting consequences.
Where any part of the mechanism is sensitive to the environment, the whole self-organising loop can be too. Powerful root cause forces are working to weaken the loop, as the annotated version explains below. Note the final conclusion: Few real world problems are as simple.
For example, The Dueling Loops of the Political Powerplace model has 43 variables, 3 main loops, about 5 additional loops, and 4 stocks. It is a simplification of a larger model that has variables, 11 stocks, and countless loops. Its construction took a single person several years.
Another example is the World3 model in Limits to Growth, which contains about variables and 20 stocks. It took 17 researchers 2 years to construct the model. The Voter Feedback Loop is a simple loop for educational purposes. Much more detail would be needed, in a simulation model, to deeply and correctly determine how the loop works and how it's being weakened by those seeking to subvert the democratic process for their own gain.
Understanding the behavior of difficult complex social system problems well enough to even begin to hypothesize a realistic solution, with a high probability of working the first time, is impossible without understanding the key feedback loops involved. A quick introduction to how feedback loops work The universe contains only two kinds of feedback loops: Once you grasp how they work you are well on your way to understanding the foundation of systems thinking.
An example of a reinforcing loop is Population Growth. As population goes up, so does births per year. As that goes up, so does future population. The loop goes round and round, growing exponentially until the loop hits its limits, which are not shown.
An example of a balancing loop is Constrained Population Growth. Here the constraint is carrying capacity, which is the maximum number of people a system can support. Population will grow until it reaches this constraint, also known as a limit or target.
Let's call this one a limit. In a balancing loop the gap equals the limit minus the actual state. Suppose the carrying capacity is people and population starts at That causes a population gap of This increases births per year to a high rate.
As that goes up, so does population. As population rises, the population gap falls. This lowers the birth rate, which over a long period of time lowers population, which increases the gap, which increases the birth rate, and so on until the gap approaches zero.
This behavior causes population to gradually approach the carrying capacity of the system, since the system can support a limited number of people. In practice population will tend to overshoot carrying capacity and suddenly collapse, due to long delays in environmental degradation.
Open systems offer becoming, difference, practice, molecular, noise, pathological, and present. In short, systems theory in social sciences is basically closing the gap between phenomenology and structuralism and instead searching for embedded hermeneutics in which the subject is not cut off from a society but weaved in a social context.
Once the Cartesian subject, who imposed mental concepts on reality, is flattened out, then the task is how to actualize materiality. One possible way of describing the non-subject-centered view of the world is through the organization.
- Open and closed systems in social science
- A closed loop
According to Gregory Bateson"Relationship could be used as basis for definition. In other words, materiality should not be represented by us but through us. It flattens out the representational systems that have become deterministic. The interconnection automatically reveals spaces that are left unconnected or silenced under the abstract machine of signifiers.
The study produced with this connection is a mere description of a complexity that is characteristic of a society.
There is no politics involved in this. Politics implies categories and naming, which according to Bateson, is always classifying and thus reducing complexity of organization.
The essay surveys various disciplines to demonstrate the ways in which the idea of difference or becoming has posed challenges against given conceptual categories within their respective fields.
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Anthropology[ edit ] Although anthropology has been somewhat successful in displacing the modern subject from the center by observing various other institutions such as gift exchange and kinship, it continues to struggle with developing the open systems. In anthropology, the open system raises the question of how to represent a native point of view. The idea behind the ethnographic writing is to understand a complexity of an everyday life of the people without undermining or reducing the native account.
Historically, ethnographers insert raw data, collected in the fieldwork, into the writing "machine. The systems theory, however, challenges, among other fields, the ethnographic writing that is usually focused on representing the Other.
Anthropologist Gregory Bateson is the most influential and earliest founder of the system theory in social sciences. In natural science, systems theory has been widely used approach. Bateson's work influenced major post-structuralist scholars especially Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. In fact, the very word 'plateau' in Deleuze and Guattari's magnum opus, A Thousand Plateaus, came from Bateson's work on Balinese culture.
The feedback loop is a better symbol of life than the helix | Aeon Essays
With the posthumanist turn, however, the art of ethnographic writing has suffered serious challenges. Anthropologists are now thinking of experimenting with a new style of writing — for instance, writing with natives or multiple authorship. It also undermines the discipline of identity politics and postcolonialism. Linguistics[ edit ] One can also trace open and closed systems in linguistics. The two most obvious examples are of Ferdinand de Saussure and Valentin Voloshinov.
Saussure, in seeking to discover universal laws of language, formulated a general science of linguistics by bifurcating language into langue, abstract system of language, and parole, utterance or speech. The phonemes, fundamental unit of sound, are the basic structure of a language.
The linguistic community gives a social dimension to a language. Moreover, linguistic signs are arbitrary and change only comes with time and not by individual will. The distinction of language between langue and parole without any feedback loop demonstrates that a language is a closed system. Volosinov rejects abstract objectivism perpetuated by the language distinction between langue and parole.
He also rejected the Cartesian notion of language as a mere manifestation of pure subjectivity. In fact, he dissolved the dichotomy of objectivity, language as external and independent of human consciousness, and subjectivity, language as a cognitive activity.