Is external control important for internal control?

  • Evo Busseniers VUB, Global Brain Institute
Keywords: Internal vs external control, multi-agent model, coordination


In cybernetics, the basic assumption is that systems aim for control.
But what and how are they controlling? I dierentiate two categories of
control: internal and external control. In external control, one starts from
outside, and tries to determine the environment completely. While with
internal control, one's own aspirations are taken as a starting point, and
useful synergies with the environment are sought. I'll dene these con-
cepts in cybernetic terms, and argue why they are not necessary related.
There are two aspects in this dierence. The rst lies in the locality: is
there an aim for global control, or only for control in the immediate envi-
ronment? There is also a dierence in what one tries to change. An agent
could adapt its links, or try to change either the methods or the goals of
its neighbors.
Several of these cases will be further explored by giving an existing model
that falls under this circumstances. All of these models will be put into
an overarching framework. The model of controllability is a model about
global control, while the others model local control, based on neural net-
works or perceptual control theory.