Autonomous decentralised systems and society

Autonomous decentralised systems and society

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The concepts of autonomous decentralised systems were developed for the control of large engineering systems such as high-speed trains with the goal of increasing their resilience where centralised control systems could not be trusted to be always operating and accessible. Historically, social organisations, both civic and commercial, were controlled or governed with a balance of centralised, top-down and decentralised, bottom-up mechanisms. We consider how the emergence of a `hyperconnected' world, together with advances in education, political, and management science, is changing this balance. We begin by considering the emergence of the management of large-scale enterprises during the Industrial Revolution and contrast this with the roles of complex systems in the emergence of autonomous social structures. We go on to examine how this changing balance is becoming manifest in public and private social structures and conclude with thoughts on its evolution.

Chapter Contents:

  • Abstract
  • 10.1 Introduction
  • 10.2 Systems thinking, complex systems, and global systems science
  • 10.3 Centralisation in industry
  • 10.3.1 Emergence
  • 10.3.2 Evolution
  • 10.4 Autonomy in social systems
  • 10.4.1 The formation dynamics of autonomous distributed systems in society
  • 10.4.2 Social ADS in large organisations
  • 10.5 Social control systems
  • 10.5.1 ICT and Social ADS
  • 10.6 Case studies of social and enterprise systems in transition
  • 10.6.1 Telecommunications
  • 10.6.2 Local government
  • 10.6.3 National government
  • 10.7 Conclusions
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

Inspec keywords: large-scale systems; multivariable systems; politics; multi-agent systems; decentralised control

Other keywords: centralised control systems; society; private social structures; public structures; engineering systems; autonomous decentralised systems; social organisations; decentralised mechanism; bottom-up mechanism; complex systems; autonomous social structures; high-speed trains; hyperconnected world

Subjects: Multivariable control systems

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