Self-restructuring [UTI]

Incorporated contributions
Díaz & Hofkirchner (20/2/09)
Usage domain
German Selbst-restrukturierung
(used in the Unified Theory of Information as the lowest capacity of information systems) Self-restructuring is the most primitive type of self-organising processes, in which the most primitive manifestation of signs also occurs. This type of systems is also called dissipative, because, in thermodynamic terms, they dissipate the entropy as a sub-product of the work carried out during the restructuration, in which, at the same time that the energy degrades, the system manages to get rid of it. This is necessary for the new structure to be considered a creation of a superior order, instead of a degradation of the system. The structuring process leads to a special and/or temporal pattern.

Understood as information processing, the creation of patterns is the rudimentary way of producing signals, being the pattern the distinction carried out by the system in which the three semiotic relations can be found (→sign): 1st) a syntactic relation can be observed, insofar as the creation of the pattern is a type of recursive process which builds on the previous pattern and chooses one amongst various possible patterns; 2nd) as far as the incoming energy allows the system to change its pattern, the input becomes a signal that makes the new pattern arise, although it does not establish it completely. The state adopted by the system when creating a new pattern can be interpreted as a representation of the input, thus it can be said it is a semantic relationship. 3rd) As long as the new pattern corresponds to the observable behaviour in which the system expresses its activity, the pragmatic relation remains also thematised here.

However, the three semiotic relationships coincide with the pattern and, therefore, they are not differentiated yet. It can be said that the pattern reflects the conditions of its environment, as the pattern depends on it. Such reflection of the environment constitutes a precondition for the appearance of a sphere of influence in which the behaviour of the system launches that of the adjacent ones, so that the appropriate conditions can emerge for the maintenance and improvement of the system, which will be possible in →self-reproducing systems.
  • FENZL, N., HOFKIRCHNER, W. (1997). "Information Processing in Evolutionary Systems. An Outline Conceptual Framework for a Unified Information Theory".  Schweitzer, F. (ed.), Self-Organization of Complex  Structures: From Individual to Collective Dynamics, Foreword by Hermann Haken. London: Gordon and Breach, pp. 59-70.
  • FLEISSNER, P., HOFKIRCHNER, W. (1996). "Emergent Information. Towards a unified information theory".BioSystems, 2-3 (38), pp. 243-248.
  • HOFKIRCHNER, W. (1998). "Information und Selbstorganisation – Zwei Seiten einer Medaille". Fenzl, N., Hofkirchner, W., Stockinger, G. (eds.): Information und Selbstorganisation. Annäherungen an eine vereinheitlichte Theorie der Information. Innsbruck: Studienverlag, pp. 69-99.
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J.M. Díaz Nafría & W. Hofkirchner (20/02/2009)
[The co-authored contribution was discussed and agreed within this page, then edited and reviewed in the left column]