a self-organizing system that indicates the ability of living organisms to maintain certain quantities (for example, of body temperature) within physiologically permissible limits (homeostasis).
The English scientist W. R. Ashby, the inventor of the homeostat, constructed it in 1948 as a device consisting of four magnetic systems having crossed reverse connections. Each connection is regulated with the aid of a ring rheostat with taps that switch over when the magnets shift, providing the system with several hundred thousand different states. When there is an unstable state the magnets shift, randomly changing the pattern of homeostat connections: a new position is sought in which a state of equilibrium is achieved. The homeostat has the ability to organize itself: that is, it can to a certain degree learn and adjust through its behavioral patterns to an equilibrium with the environment, given some randomness in its internal construction (for example, given changing parameters, connections with the environment, and partial breakage).
REFERENCESIvakhnenko, A. G. Tekhnicheskaia kibernetika: Sistemy avto-maticheskogo upravleniia s prisposobleniem kharakteristik, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1962.
“Ustroistvo dlia modelirovaniia gruppovoi vzaimozavisimoi deiatel’nosti (gomeostat).” In Problemy inzhenernoi psikhologii, vol. 3, part 2. Moscow, 1968.
Ashby, W. R. Vvedenie v kibernetiku. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from English.)
V. P. ISAEV