Hierarchical Principle of Control

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hierarchical Principle of Control


(in technology), a principle of constructing multilevel control systems (automated control systems for a sector or enterprise, self-teaching and self-organizing systems, and digital computer complexes) according to which control functions are distributed among cosubordinate parts of the system.

According to the hierarchical principle, generalized control signals from the subsystems of the higher level go to control subordinate subsystems, and conversely, concrete informative and master signals from lower levels of the hierarchy are used to form control signals at higher levels. For example, in the control device of a digital computer the sequence of control signals is generated with due regard for the master signals of the operations, synchronizing signals, and status signals for the units of the computer and master signals that determine operating control modes.

Modern computer systems use supervisory programs, which determine the optimum plan for loading particular units of the system and control all programs and subroutines. The hierarchical principle is also closely related to the organizational principle of the control systems. For example, use of the principle of decentralized control when building a multilevel automatic control system for an industrial enterprise makes possible the most efficient use of the basic computer at the highest level by transferring the processing of a large amount of intrashop or intradepart-mental data to the computing devices of the middle or lower elements of control. The flows of control data and the time required to process them are thus substantially reduced.


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Golubev-Novozhilov, Iu. S. Mnogomashinnye kompleksy vychislilel’nykh sredstv. Moscow, 1967.
Geller, S. I., and Iu. P. Zhuravlev. Osnovy logicheskogo proektirovaniia tsifrovykh vychislilel’nykh mashin. Moscow, 1969.
Mesarovic, D., D. Macko, and Y. Takahara. Theory of Hierarchical Multilevel Systems. New York-London, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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