Good regulator

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The good regulator is a theorem conceived by Roger C. Conant and W. Ross Ashby that is central to cybernetics. It is stated that "every good regulator of a system must be a model of that system".

Any regulator that is maximally successful and simple must be isomorphic with the system being regulated. This makes a model necessary. With regard to the brain, insofar as it is successful and efficient as a regulator for survival, it must proceed, in learning, by the formation of a model (or models) of its environment.[1]

The theorem is general enough to apply to all regulating and self-regulating or homeostatic systems.

The theorem does not explain what it takes for the system to become a good regulator. The problem of creation of good regulators is addressed by practopoietic theory.

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  1. ^ Conant and Ashby, Int. J. Systems Sci., 1970, vol 1, No 2, pp. 89–97

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