"The subsystem which transmits to the decider information about time-related states of the environment or of components of the system".
This is one of J.G. MILLER's 20 critical subsystems in his taxonomy of living systems. It was however introduced only in 1990, i.e. 25 years after the original work, in an article by Jessie MILLER (1990), who states: "living systems, at all levels,… have an information- processing system, the timer. The timer consists of one or more oscillators known as clocks or pacemakers, the phase of which can be reset. They measure duration or order in time or underlie rhythms of various sorts. The timer subsystem synchronizes internal processes of the system and coordinates the system with its environment" (p.164).
It is very significant that, in parallel with PRIGOGINE's generalized thermodynamics, SABELLI's process theory, and with chaos theory, the MILLERs now also acknowledge the unavoidable need to introduce time in our understanding of complexity.
The timer can be studied through the system's life cycle, its periodic variations, and be useful for forecasting and planning.
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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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