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By Samuel Eilon (auth.)

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1956) 'Operations engineering', Management Science, 2, 4· 2 Correspondence Between a System and its Controllers CONTROL BY SIGNALS As we have seen in the previous chapter, a controller of a system is an individual or a device that can bring about a change in the mode of operation of one or several constituent elements of the system. The controller achieves this purpose by transmitting a signal to the system with instructions to the effect that certain operating characteristics are no longer desirable and should be abandoned in favour of other characteristics or levels of operation.

This is an obvious shortcoming of verbal instructions, but they have the advantage that they can be generated at short notice and without the characteristic delays that are often involved in formulating and comprehending long written instructions. ), provided both the controller and the system are fully aware of what convention is adopted, so that no disparity between the intentions of the controller and the interpretations by the system can occur. The choice of which type of signal to use is usually determined by the circumstances in which control is to be exercised.

G. through the intervention of another controller) or-if the system happens to be in 5 3-by what means, or under what circumstances, the controller can assume control. MULTI-CONTROLLERS Administrative systems are often controlled by several controllers and a study of the relationships between them can offer a fascinating insight into the workings of the control function. 4 shows a system, which can assume one of four states, and two controllers. 4(a) two of the system's states are controlled by controller A and two by controller B.

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