Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2009, Brisbane, Australia, Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

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A Basic Principle for the Architecture of Computer-based information processing

Roberto R Kampfner


In this paper we discuss the effect of computer-based information processing on the adaptability of the systems. Because of the close relationship that exists between subsystem independence and adaptability, the effect that the structure of computer-based information processing has on subsystem independence is central to our discussion. We are focusing here on complex systems that face an uncertain environment and that are controlled and operated by humans with the help of computer-based information systems. This type of systems includes organizations, complex projects, and complex processes and devices controlled by humans with the help of computers.
Three closely related, but distinct types of interdependence between the subsystems of a system can be distinguished. The first one is the interdependence between the computer-based information system and the subsystems of the main system it supports. The second type of interdependence is the one that exists among the other subsystems of the main system. The third type of interdependence is between the components, or functional subsystems, of the computer-based information system. These three types of interdependence between the subsystems of a system are clearly closely interrelated. The principle for architecture design presented here provides guidelines for the design of computer-based information systems that enhance the effectiveness and adaptability of the system they support by reducing as much as possible the effect that the various types of interdependence have on adaptability.

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