Functional Blueprints: An Approach to Modularity in Grown Systems

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Functional Blueprints: An Approach to Modularity in Grown Systems
Abstract. The engineering of grown systems poses fundamentally different system integration challenges than ordinary engineering of static designs. On the one hand, a grown system must be capable of surviving not only in its final form, but at every intermediate stage, despite the fact that its subsystems may grow unevenly or be subject to different scaling laws. On the other hand, the ability to grow offers much greater potential for adaptation, either to changes in the environment or to internal stresses developed as the system grows. I observe that the ability of subsystems to tolerate stress can be used to transform incremental adaptation into the dynamic discovery of viable growth trajectories for the system as a whole. Using this observation, I propose an engineering approach based on functional blueprints, under which a system is specified in terms of desired performance and means of incrementally correcting deficiencies. I demonstrate this approach by applying it to integrate s...
Jacob Beal
Added 10 Feb 2011
Updated 10 Feb 2011
Type Journal
Year 2010
Authors Jacob Beal
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