The process of dis-assimilation and emission or elimination of products by a living system.
The catabolic process includes the following phases:
- Production: the synthesis within the system of specific material or energetic products destined to be exported as outputs into the environment.
- Encoding: the recoding of internal information into a public code in order to produce information that can be interpreted and used by other systems (specially in human systems).
- Output transduction: The translation of the prepared products from the system through its boundary into its environment.
Not all products – specialy those of human systems – are inocuous for the environment. Some, as for example long life radioactive wastes, cannot even be artificially recycled in an efficient manner.
For the respective roles of the subsystems concerned in catabolic processes, see J. MILLER's 20 critical subsystems.
The process of absorption and assimilation of inputs by a system is called "anabolism", while "metabolism" is the generic term for the whole process of absorption, transformation and emission of matter, energy and information.
In a more or less analogic meaning, higher level living systems (groups, enterprises, organizations, communities, etc…) all catabolize specific outputs.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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