BOUNDARY REGULATION 1)2)
No boundary is ever absolutely closed, nor completely open. It depends on the energy flow, as noted by R.N. ADAMS, in accordance with LOTKA's Principle of maximum energy flow: "The distinctiveness and stability of the boundaries of a dissipative process vary directly with the tendency of that process to seek a minimum dissipation rate, inversely with its tendency to maximize energy flux" (1988, p.149).
As to the autonomy of the system it depends at least partly on its ability to close or open its boundary for the purpose of maintaining its dynamic stability by regulating its inputs and outputs of energy.
The study of a variety of systems shows that boundary regulation is partly automatic (by reflexes) and partly voluntary. Furthermore the deliberate part of regulation grows steadily with the complexity through the evolutive scale of systems.
As dynamic stability results generally from the cyclical or hypercyclical succession of states, boundary regulation depends on the knowledge the system has of its own states, past, present and possible futures. The heightened predictability aptitude in highly complex systems goes matched with the increase of the feedforward (i.e. willful) capacity for regulation of their boundary conditions.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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