VARIETY REDUCTION 1)2)
The process of simplification of a system's model by aggregation of similar elements or interrelations and the elimination of irrelevant ones.
Statistical methods based on the use of the law of great numbers are a very general technique for variety reduction.
No model can ever be complete, i.e. isomorphic to the situation or system. On the contrary, it must be enormously simplified if it is to be manageable and useful. Variety reduction is however a tricky proposition: "similarity" or "relevance" are based on more or less subjective criteria, whose use may be difficult, particularly in borderline cases.
An historic example is given by the multiple – and sometimes, quite divergent – criticism directed at the Club of Rome's World models.
Variety reduction is also linked to the resolution level see ked in relation to the type of situation to be studied.
In a different meaning, variety reduction must at times be applied to human organizations or systems wherein an excessive proliferation of elements, or subsystems, or redundant products is observed. This is a fundamental issue in controlling bureaucracies.
- 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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