Device for potential regulation in a system built in such a way as to be able to take account of certain possible variations of the environment and to produce appropriate compensatory behavior of the system.
A. LOTKA introduced the idea in 1924 and constructed an experimental model in the guise of an artificial mechanical insect fitted with a par of antennae which act as a spatial sensor at some distance (1956, p.341,382).
Such an artificial device throws light on the nature of adjustors in natural systems:
- The adjustor is specific. It is able to interpret some data of a certain class, as for example evaluate the critical distance away from some obstacle.
- It must be able, at least potentially, to use the data transmitted by effectors and elaborators.
- It must be able to carry out the needed comparisons between the captured data and the registered norms �(for example maxima length, or maximum tolerable potential or weight)
- In view that its action aims at avoiding potential inadmissible situations, it evokes in our minds the illusion of intentionality.
- Its registered norms imply a range of possible futures, which gives us the illusion of (perfect) predictability.
One may conceive the need for adjustors of adjustors, for coordination of complex behaviors. Such a notion is very stimulating for the study of neuro-physiological behavior, as well as social regulations or artificial organisms "physiology" or "ethology".
The "timer" concept, introduced by Jessie MILLER is an important development of the adjustor's concept. (1990)