Control and communication in developing countries : a cybernetic analysis and a proposed solution, exemplified by a distributed database system for the implementation of a national plan
This thesis proposes some enhancements of the control and communication aspects of the implementation of a National Plan in any developing country. A cybernetic model for the viable system is used following the approach developed by Beer. Weaknesses of typical current practice are identified and a hierarchical organization, based on the model, is suggested as an alternative, in which all the systems implementing and monitoring the N. P. are considered as one single system, making its functions easier to recognize. Deficiencies, which are characteristic of the situation of developing countries, are identified and remedies are suggested to increase effectiveness. The model provides for the cybernetic principle of freedom, allowing the creation of autonomous subsystems with their own computational needs. A distributed system using micros, databases, and national communication networks, is described, which provides the requirements for realizing the suggested organization, together with packaged software to compensate for missing experience and know-how. The proposals are made in the form of a comprehensive package whose built-in complexity (sophistication) is very high. It is still effective even with inexperienced users but can take full advantage of their developing knowledge. This thesis includes listings and sample runs of some portions of the package which, for purposes of demonstration, have been implemented in dBASE II and an 8080 assembly program on an Intertec Superbrain QD microcomputer.