A naturally existing, or artificially installed plan for adaptation in a system..
The adaptive plan must respond to the following fundamental questions, as stated by J. HOLLAND:
"To what parts of the environment is the organism (system, organization) adapting?
How does the environment act upon the adapting organism?
What structures are undergoing adaptation?
What are the mechanisms of adaptation?
What part of the history of its interaction with the environment does the organism retain?
What limits are there to the adaptive process?
How are the different hypotheses about adaptive processes to be compared?
Moreover, as we attempt to answer these questions in different contexts, essentially the same obstacles to adaptation appear again and again. They appear with different names and guises, but they have the same basic structure. For example, "nonlinearity", "false peak", and "epistasis effect" all designate versions of the same difficulty" (1992, p.2)
"False peak" is equivalent to "local optimum".
A general genetic adaptive plan may produce a number of different plans more precisely adapted to more specific conditions.