Fall 2013—Assignment 1—Due at start of Class 2 on September 10th
Automatic feedback system diagram
Summary: Choose a system that involves feedback and regulation to achieve its goals. Using the first-order cybernetic model presented thus far, define a system and its interactions via a diagram on a single 8.5 x 11 sheet. Can be a hand sketch or software rendering.
Identify a system that includes automatic feedback
- The system should not rely on a person to close the feedback loop.
- Please do not use a boat pilot or a thermostat.
Create a diagram of the system (on a single 8.5 x 11 inch page)
- Identify the specific components of the system and their functions (e.g., lever, height indicator)
- Describe the components in cybernetic terms (e.g., sensor, comparator, actuator, etc.)
- Represent the relationships between components visually
- Title the system
- Include your name, the date, assignment number and version number of the submission on the page.
Refer as needed to the materials about first-order feedback systems.
Your diagram should help its audience answer these questions—in other words, as you iterate your model, ask yourself each of these questions to ensure that the answer is explicitly or implicitly on the page:
- Where is the boundary between the system and its environment?
- What are the relevant components of the system?
A relevant element is one that is required to understand how the loop of goal-action-feedback is closed. Use the handouts to help identify these components.
- How is information transmitted between components? In what form?
- What is the goal (desired state) of the system?
- What forces typically disturb the system or push it away from its goal?
- What does the system measure (to create feedback)? How?
- What part of the system matches feedback (current state) to goal (desired state)?
- What part of the system determines its response to its environment?
- How does the system respond to disturbances?
The ability to answer these questions from the model helps ensure the system is a closed-loop, cybernetic system. It may be obvious but it is useful to read these instructions multiple times during your process of choosing, sketching, and refining your model.
Make 2 printouts, one to use during the class and one to hand in.
Place a copy in the class dropbox BEFORE class begins. If there is an issue with the canvas dropbox, email a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com BEFORE class begins.