Thursday, December 11, 2008

intra-disciplinary in systems thinking

In previous postings I use the term Internet Systematics to denote an approach very similar to Systems Thinking as given by the full review of the field by C.Francois. A comment on previous posting underlined the problem what is a systems approach ?

George Adamopoulos, the constant postmaster (*) located a relevant paper
a very welcoming comment that has me going on this "systems" direction.

The title was "A bootstrap is cooking" signaling the feeling that a legitimization of the work is on the way. I am close but not quite there. How can you express something to Systemists that I am not certified in their full language versus how to introduce Systems thinking to Networkers without going into details that do not interest them for sure adn for what purpose ?

The best I have done so far is the book The phenomenon of Science a really simple introduction though is using the term cybernetics. But my real work is almost a redux of the book, for example Automation Quantum or Network Transition instead of Turchin's Metasystem Transition (see wikipedia) so it will be to talk about two evolutionary cases.

Systems, General Systems, Cybernetics is really a inter-disciplinary approach applied across Science fields like Biology, Economy etc.

Internet Systematics (or Systemics) seems to constitute an intra-discipline systems approach applied across the complexity layers of the Network phenomenon. Hum ?

Googling the term takes to a Phd program in MIT !

Intra-disciplinary knowledge areas

The intradisciplinary computing knowledge areas are organized into the three I's: interaction, informatics, and infrastructure.

Interaction refers to topics related to the combined action of two or more entities (human or computational) that both affect one another and work together when facilitated by technology. It in turn encompasses several subtopics relating to how people and technology interact and interface.

Informatics is the study of computational/algorithmic techniques applied to the management and understanding of data-intensive systems. It focuses on the capture, storage, processing, analysis, and interpretation of data. Topics include primarily algorithms, complexity, and discovery informatics.

infrastructure comprises aspects primarily related to hardware, software (both system software and applications), communications technology, and their integration with computing systems through applications. The focus is on the best organization of these elements to provide optimal architectural solutions. It includes, on the hardware side, system-level design (e.g., for system-on-a-chip solutions) and their building block components. On the software side, it covers all aspects of systems and applications software development, including specification and design languages and standards; validation and prototyping, and multi-dimensional Quality-of-Service management; software product lines, model-driven architectures, component-based development, and domain-specific languages; and product estimation, tracking, and oversight. The communications subtopic includes sensor networks and protocols, as well as active networks, wireless networks, mobile networks, configurable networks, and high speed networks as well as network security and privacy, quality of service, reliability, service discovery, and integration and interworking across heterogeneous networks. At the system level there are issues related to conformance and certification; system dependability, fault tolerance, verifiable adaptability, and reconfigurable systems; and real-time, self-adaptive, self-organizing, and autonomic systems.

(*) Constant Gardener, is a John Le Carre recent title that I think best describes Adamo's consistent attention to Network Administration, a noble profession and discipline still out of the radar of many Universities and Research Centers.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A bootstrap is cooking

I have just discovered a 1999 paper by C.Francois (a systemist from Argentina) titled Systemics and Cybernetics in Historical perspective. It begins by stating that Systems Thinking (ST) is an on-going process for over 100 years. It elaborates a list of authors and contributions to an evolving conceptual framework. He also mentions some concept of meta-system, I need to check the definition and how it relates to the definition used by Turchin and adopted here.
One aspect of the adaptation is the pivotal concept of Meta-system transition here becomes Network transition (aka Automation Quantum)

But the most important "correlation" to the on-going works of Meta-Artificial blogged here, is the idea that it is not just me (*) that applies System thinking but big developments like McCarthy's LISP, Codd's Relational computing and so on also incorporate Systems thinking. It is the macroscopic feature of ST that characterizes its mode, for example in LISP is the abstraction of low level details like memory issues and machine details. It is also the mathematical framework brought into programming quite a large scale conceptual armory deployed. Also ideas such as "program as data" that need an architectural shift of the basic reference system in use (classic programming - imperative programming).

It is a pity that Francois does not cite Turchin, perhaps 10 years after his publication I may suggest to him an update but clearly his review does help me realize the interdisciplinary character that in my case takes a particular meaning, no doubt it can operate across the per-layer disciplines of the Network (I guess I am in err in thinking WWW - the application layer- is a different discipline than say TCP/IP layer of engineering and queuing theory mathematics. The formation of orgs such as W3C and OASIS also underline the argument.

Also, the paper provides a "handle" to an introduction to the theme Internet Systematics that is more close to its own origins than the approach "next to ai phase" developed along the way sometime later.

I am particularly happy to see Kevin Kelly's definition of the technium (I need to get familiar with his works, although I came across to him in the days of Wired mag at least 10 years ago, and communicate to seek and give comment) where Kelly targets the concept of Global Brain.

Also interesting thought is that I just received a ping on TWINE from Laylor about GB.

(*) originally in the field of Functional Programming and then to the field of Computer Networking (note that -ing indicates a dynamic view)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

metasystem transition

Part of the current focus of meta-artificial

concerns SNS (social network software/service) as the next transition to expect.

The following posting also a shared idea on twine refers to metasystem transition re-casting Turchin's vision.

All previous postings since 2005 refer to various aspects of associating metasystem transition
to the evolution of the global internet machine. The latter is not just hardware, software or even communications. What is it ?

I found Turchin's concept of meta-mechanical-process used in his paper

"A constructive interpretation of the full set theory", Journal of Symbolic Logic, 52, pp.172-201, 1987

where he uses this term to describe a process initiated by a computer that includes associated user activity.

This concept helps me assume the existence of a reality which is a joint man-machine enterprise.

So, I interpret Net advances such as the introduction of automatic naming (aka DNS) replacing the manual distributed naming procedure as a kind of metasystem transition over the above man-machine enterprise.