International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics

2nd Edition, as published by Charles François 2004 Presented by the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science Vienna for public access.


The International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics was first edited and published by the system scientist Charles François in 1997. The online version that is provided here was based on the 2nd edition in 2004. It was uploaded and gifted to the center by ASC president Michael Lissack in 2019; the BCSSS purchased the rights for the re-publication of this volume in 200?. In 2018, the original editor expressed his wish to pass on the stewardship over the maintenance and further development of the encyclopedia to the Bertalanffy Center. In the future, the BCSSS seeks to further develop the encyclopedia by open collaboration within the systems sciences. Until the center has found and been able to implement an adequate technical solution for this, the static website is made accessible for the benefit of public scholarship and education.


CONNECTIONS (A Classification of) 1)2)

I. BLAUBERG, V. SADOVSKY and E. YUDIN propose the following classification of the different types of connections in systems:

"1. Interaction connections, further subdivided into connections of properties (these are registered, e.g. in the physical formulas of the type pv = const) and connections of objects (e.g. humoral connections, connections of the predator-prey type in biology, connections between separate neurons in neuron-psychic processes).

A special type of interaction connections are those between separate subjects-individuals, and between human collectives or social systems…

…Within this type one may distinguish co-operative and conflicting connections

2. Connections of generation, or genetic ones, in which one object appears as the agent causing the existence of another one…

3. Transformation connections, further subdivided into:

a) transformation connections realized through a certain object which conditions this transformation or sharply intensifies it (such is the function of chemical catalysts).

b) transformation connections realized through direct interaction of two or more objects, in (and due to) which the objects, singly or jointly pass from one state to another (such is for example, the interaction of organism and environment in the process of forming the species).

4. Connections of structure (frequently called structural connections). Their nature is illustrated clearly enough by chemical bonds.

5. Connections of functioning… the common feature of these types is that objects unified by a connection of functioning jointly perform a definite function.

6. Connections of development which may be regarded… as a modification of functional state connections, the difference lying in that the process of development is essentially distinct from a simple change of states and therefore requires additional characteristics.

7. Connections of control, which, depending on their concrete type, may form a variety of either functional connections or of those of development" (1977, p.142-144).

As any classification in general, this one is tentative and could be ordered differently as, in the authors words it "exhibits an extreme diversity of meanings given to the" connection" concept" (p. 144).

A comparison with connection modes shows that, even in structural connections only, the diversity is significative.

Moreover any connection implies in principle an interaction, thus the first class includes the other six ones, even if the structural connections may in some cases appear to be a "fossilized" residue: petrified wood is an interesting example.


  • 1) General information
  • 2) Methodology or model
  • 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
  • 4) Human sciences
  • 5) Discipline oriented


Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science(2020).

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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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