Behavior (a systems definition, 2004)

In brief. David Ing.

We use the term “behavior” widely. Do we really know what we mean by that? Here’s an entry from the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics.

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0247
BEHAVIOR 1) – 4)

1. “The system of interconnected and expedient actions carried out by an organism” (UNESCO-UNEP, 1983, p.6)

2. A repetitive sequence or pattern of actions or operations, and resulting states, characteristic of a specific system.

The second definition is more general than the first, since it can apply to non-living systems, as well as to societies of organisms.

The concept of behavior, when referring to a complex system, may be associated with an interconnected network of actions.

G. PASK gives the following examples: “The behavior of a steam engine is a recurrent cycle of steam injection and piston mouvements that remains invariant. The behavior of a cat is…

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