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Modelling Positive Feedback

SERIES: Positive Feedback
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


This is not a single paper, but a series of five covering a period of time that commenced some four years ago, and containing an important set of processes, which can deliver productions as far apart as the Radical Creation of the entirely New, all the way to playing a crucial role in the maintenance of a Stable Overall Situation or Level.

Clearly, such a range of possibilities for what appeared to be a single process, demanded a through-going analysis, which, for this author, reached a recent climax in his Theory of Emergences (2010).

In this particular set, however, are much earlier technical considerations involving the conception of Positive Feedback all the way from the simply comprehended Avalanche, to integral parts of systems such as those involved in Living Organisms (Metabolic Pathways)

There is, of course, a much broader area of feedback than the above definition, and elsewhere it has been shown that both Positive and Negative feedbacks are different manifestations by natural transformations of a single set of circumstances, where one can be transformed directly into the other.

But here, we are concentrating upon a more limited, yet considerably more important, remit:-

to equip ourselves to tackle the clearly alternate episodes of Emergence and Stability in all overall processes of Development.

Positive Feedback in Stability and Emergences
is a succinct description of the range of roles involved.

The Nature of Processes is a wider look at all forms of Feedback, and outlines their roles in everything from the Second Law of Thermodynamics to Emergences.

Then Moderated Positive Feedback looks at the basic elements involved in that process, and particularly at how it can be changed from an unchecked avalanche to a controlled Phase in a bigger system.

Preparatory to their confident inclusion in Emergences, the inter-relation of separate feedback processes is carefully considered in Sequences of Feedback, which plots a path to their ultimate integration into the Metabolic Pathways of Life itself.

Finally, the necessary wherewithall for the construction of a simulation/animation model of positive feedback is included in Modelling Positive Feedback, which though by no means comprehensive, should be sufficient to guide the initial attempt at the creation of such a necessary and revealing demonstration.

This is not a comprehensive collection (that would certainly require a very much-expanded publication, which would require a very different location and a much longer involvement by the author. But, several possible following developments have been outlined, and they will, if they prove both appropriate and useful, be also aired here on SHAPE Journal.


1.The possibility of creating a simulation of positive feedback clearly requires a programmable model, and various considerations and illustrative diagrams and tables are developed to help with the design problems that would be involved.

2.Clearly, the hermetically separated stages in a multi- phase series of positive feedbacks would literally never occur. They would invariably overlap to some degree, so the next development had to be an attempt to model such a situation.

3.All sorts of implications and conditions had to be listed for possible inclusion in such a program, particularly as overlapping would dramatically alter the dynamic of the system as a whole and both modify its results and mediate its tempo.

4.As is usual in these design considerations, a paper run-through of how the situations would have to progress was then generated and included in the paper.

5.There was finally enough to commence with the writing of the simulation program, but clearly only by successive and constantly adjusted programs could the simulation be produced to deliver a meaningful and usable model.

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