Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Feedback is most usefully understood in considering the behavior of complex dynamic systems and in problem solving related to such systems. Feedback expresses the concept of circular causation postulated to operate in dynamic systems and is particularly related to one of two fundamental elements in such systems, namely the informational content of such systems, the other essential component in that description being the material states or elements in those systems. The term came into wide application with the development of the discipline of systems dynamics in 1971 by Jay Forrester but has been shown by George Richardson in 1991 to have originated much earlier, as far back as third-century Greece. Systems dynamics itself refers to the syntax and mathematical modeling techniques developed by Forrester and his students to describe and analyze the behavior of any kind of complex system. Complexity is understood both as detail complexity—referring to the sheer A ...