Chapter 7 - Ashby's Law

Chapter 7 - Ashby's Law - Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety...

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Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety
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1. Basic concepts 2. Applications to Organizations
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1. Basic concepts a) Dynamic systems – Systems regulate/control their output by responding to disturbances • from the system’s external environment i t l ithi th t • from internal sources within the system – Negative feedback t i b t d i t b h i k l t h – Average time between disturbances vs. how quickly the system responds to disturbances
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b) Process of regulation Example: “a” is the desired output (i.e., goal) or every disturbance (D) the system must generate a response • For every disturbance (D), the system must generate a response (R) to maintain “a” as the output R xyz 1b a c D2 a c b 3c b a R xy a a c 3 c b
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c) Variety he number of possible states of a system (and their The number of possible states of a system (and their relative probabilities)
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d) Law of requisite variety – “Only variety can destroy variety” (destroy = absorb, cope with, etc.) – Requisite Variety ariety of responses required by system to destroy (cope with) • Variety of responses required by system to destroy (cope with) incoming disturbance variety • Minimum amount of variety that must be generated by system to control for a desired outcome, given all sources of disturbance variety – E.g., Game of chess – E.g., E-mail spam filtering
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Th ti l l ti b t i t & t i t e) Theoretical relation between variety & uncertainty – Both deal with the amount of complexity and change countered by a system encountered by a system – Both are based on mathematical “Information Theory” • (Norbert Weiner, Claude Shannon) – Uncertainty is a measure of the amount of information needed to know the state of a system precisely ncertainty is proportional to the variety of the system Uncertainty is proportional to the variety of the system – Alternatively: Variety is proportional to the amount of
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course MANAGEMENT MSCI 311 taught by Professor Dumiering during the Spring '08 term at Waterloo.

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Chapter 7 - Ashby's Law - Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety...

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