FIRST CONGRESS ON THE INFORMATION SYSTEM SCIENCES. SESSION 17. THE FLEXIBILITY OF AUTOMATED INFORMATION SYSTEMS.
MITRE CORP BEDFORD MASS
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The common characteristics of all types of information systems are detailed, with systems defined as having procedural restrictions and orderliness. The discrete parameter types of simple man-made systems are compared with biological systems to show the flexibility of the apparently continuous parameter aspect of the latter. Hierarchic arrangements are explained and their uses in formal systems described. The flexibility as well as the inefficiency and limitations of informal systems are shown, and the possible reduction in flexibility when formal systems take over is discussed. The goals and requirements of systems design activity are covered, taking into account the use of automation and mechanization to attain the goals. Advantages and disadvantages of thinking machines are discussed, and their use for military command and control purposes is examined in relation to operational effectiveness. The need for flexible military systems is described, but these systems must be balanced by standardized procedures to maintain full control. Author