Regulation In Biological Systems
10/6. Regulation blocks the flow of variety. On what scale can any particular mechanism be measured for its value or success as a regulator? The perfect thermostat would be one that, in spite of disturbance, kept the temperature constant at the desired level. In general, there are two characteristics required: the maintenance of the temperature within close limits, and the correspondence of this range with the desired one. What we must notice in particular is that the set of permissible values, has less variety than the set of all possible values in for is some set selected from the states of If is a regulator, the insertion of between and lessens the variety that is transmitted from to Thus an essential function of as a regulator is that it shall block the transmission of variety from disturbance to essential variable.
- Ashby, W.R. (1956), An Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman and Hall, London, UK. Republished by Methuen and Company, London, UK, 1964. Online.