The Magic Ring: Systems Thinking Approach to Control Systems by Piero MellaThe Magic Ring: Systems Thinking Approach to Control Systems by Piero Mella

The Magic Ring: Systems Thinking Approach to Control Systems

byPiero Mella

Hardcover | May 19, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info

$143.50 online 
$193.50 list price save 25%
Earn 718 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


This book presents a gradual path toward "educating" readers in understanding how Control Systems truly operate and in recognizing, simulating and improving them in all fields of activity. Starting from the hypothesis that knowledge of Control Systems is not only a technical fact but also represents a discipline - that is, "A discipline is a developmental path for acquiring certain skills or competencies. (...) To practice a discipline is to be a lifelong learner. You "never arrive"; you spend your life mastering disciplines." (Senge, 2006, p. 10) - Piero Mella has set the objective of making Control Systems a topic that is, in a certain sense, simple and attractive by turning to the effective symbolism typical of Systems Thinking models and avoiding too technical and formal a treatment of the subject. Thus readers should know that this is not an engineering, physics, biology or economics text, nor a mathematics one either. Technical or mathematical tools are not necessary to construct Control Systems; instead the book adopts a highly simple and universal logic behind the notion itself ofcontrol processand the simple and universal action of the Control Systems that produce this process.

The Magic Ring:Systems Thinking Approach to Control Systemsis divided into 10 chapters. Chapter 1 seeks to review the basic language of Systems Thinking and the models it allows us to create, while Chapter 2 introduces the control process, presenting thetheoretical structureof four simple Control Systems we all can observe and manage. In Chapter 3 a general typology of Control Systems is proposed with examples taken from observations of reality. The view of Control Systems is broadened in Chapter 4 by introducing two important generalizations: 1.multi leverControl Systems, with levers that are independent or dependent of each other; 2.multi-objectivesystems, with independent or interdependent objectives. Chapter 5 outlines the guidelines for recognizing, observing or designing Control Systems and presents the problems that arise regarding their logical realization, introducing the fundamental distinction between symptomatic and structural control. Chapters 6-9 undertake a "mental journey" through various "environments", increasingly broader in scope, suggesting to the reader how to recognize therein Control Systems that, by their ubiquitous presence, make the world possible in all its manifestations. Finally Chapter 10 covers ideas about a Discipline of Control Systems and the human aspects of control.

Title:The Magic Ring: Systems Thinking Approach to Control SystemsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:597 pagesPublished:May 19, 2014Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:331905385X

ISBN - 13:9783319053851

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

The Language of Systems Thinking for Control Systems.- The Ring: The General Structure of Control Systems.- The Rign Variety: A Basic Typology.- The Ring Completed: Multi-lever and Multi-objective Control Systems.- The Ring: Observation and Design.- The Magic Ring in Action: Individuals.- The Magic Ring in Action: Life Environments.- The Magic Ring in Action: Organizations.- The Magic Ring Explores Cognition and Learning.- Concluding Remarks: Toward a General Discipline of Control.

Editorial Reviews

"There are ten chapters. Each has some general material, as well as complementary material with specific examples. . There are a number of useful and informative diagrams of system structure. . Overall, this book is a fairly good read with lots of interesting examples and some thoughtful commentary along the way." (Jeffrey Putnam, Computing Reviews, March, 2016)"It is a self-contained work whose basic concepts are presented at the beginning and gradually introduces a true discipline of the control systems that is accessible to a large group of nonspecialists. . A number of examples are aimed in systems found in organizations and companies, thus the text can aid in the professional growth of managers, consultants and corporate employees in general. Teachers, professionals and educated people in general can also find sources for reflection." (Vasile Dragan, zbMATH, Vol. 1303, 2015)