From: Alison Powers [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, December 02, 2017 7:44 AM
Subject: Re: source code
AP : I apologize for that rant. Let’s please keep this thread about source code. Boris, if you wish to discuss your ideas about wording and meaning please write it up in a separate thread.
HB : Thanks Alison for your proposal, but I did it so many times in these last years in discussions with Rick, that I don’t know anymore what to do.Â
Please help me to find a thread where we could discuss it so that it will have any effect. Sorry to say but Rick is still writing about things that can’t be found in PCT and you are not correcting him.Â I don’t understand why you wrote against my porposal ofÂ arguments which mostly include PCT (Bills’ arguments) but you never write against Ricks’ imaginational constructs which has usually nothing to do with PCT.
If you find a solution for where and how to write so that effects will be seen in the sense that PCT is promoted then please move all our threads to new topics. I really don’t know anymore what to do so that PCT would be properly understsood.
AP : Your bringing it up in a thread that is focusing on a different topic is distracting. This is an important topic that needs the focus of those who are discussing it here.
HB : I apologize if I intruded in the topics that is important for those who are discusing it here. But who are those ? Sorry if I ask. I just answered to what Bruce Nevin was writing about. It was meant as addition to his thoughts. I hope it wasn’t understood as critics, because it was not that It was just my proposal for better working of IAPCT.
I thought that Title of Bills’ book was Â»Behavior : Control of PerceptionÂ«. And because so many interpretations were exposed in last few years I just wanted to make it straight with Bills’ work. As you can see I used mostly Bills’ arguments. I would appreciate if you could look at them and tell me what you think about my proposal.
Sometimes it seems to me that you slip under Rick oppinion. As it was also the case with Martin and Bruce and some others. Rick can be very persuasive. But I think that we all, from time to time change our oppinion. I see it most important that on the end we’ll be convinced that we have right interpretation of PCT.
There were many discussions abuot whether behavior has anything to do with control or not. And I exposed so many arguments under so many topics that I don’t know anymore what or where to write.
I hope you will not Â»kill meÂ« J if I try to make a short Â»abstractÂ« of problems with terminology which is used on CSGnet forum about Â»Behavior is control of perceptionÂ«.
If somebody use Â»Behavior is control of perceptionÂ« it can be understatoo in at least two ways through control loop. If you use it in the direction of outer environment you got the Â»pictureÂ« which Rick is promoting with RCT (Ricks’ Control TheoryÂ«). It consist of elements :
Behavior is controlÂ Ã there is some Â»controlled variableÂ« in environment Ã and there is some Â»Controlled Perceptual VariableÂ« or PCV. The loop ends here. He does not explain how Â»controlled perceptionÂ« enters comparator as probably he saw that Bill is using clear Â»perceptual signalÂ« entering comparator. His Â»perceptual signalÂ« carries no control.
This is Ricks ’ Â»halfÂ« loop theory outside the organism which hasÂ nothing to do with PCT. It’s not just that terms used by Rick are rarely used in PCT but also they are not used at all. Term Â»Controlled Perceptual VariableÂ« or Â»Controlled PerceptionÂ« was never mentioned in PCT literature, neither iin conversation with Bill. But still Rick is using it widely. Please tell him to stop using terms that are not part of PCT legacy.
And the main problem I see with such Â»halfÂ« loop theoriesÂ is that they have no evidences specialy biological or physiological. Behavior according to Bill can’t be proved that it can be controlled, and also how ordinary perceptual signal can carry control. Those are problems which were geniously and succesfully solved by Bill.
Another direction of understanding Â»Behavior is Control of PerceptionÂ« in Bills’ PCT is turned arround. So succession of control loop sequences is opposite toÂ Ricks RCT :
Behavior is caused by Â»errorÂ« signal ÃŸ Â»errorÂ« signal is the result of perceptual control ÃŸ Â»matched reference and perceptionÂ« ÃŸ ordinary perceptual signal (not PCV) is formed and enters comparator.
The conclussion is that Â»Behavior is the consequence of Control of perceptionÂ« and is just causing effects to outer environmentÂ what is affecting input functionÂ with Â»addedÂ« effects of disturbances and turned into ordinary perceptual signal which enters comparator. Everything is clear and can be supported by physiological evidence as is not the case with Ricks’ Â»half-loop theoryÂ«…
All these can be found also in diagram (LCS III) and of course in PCT definitions (B:CP). I propose that diagram and definitions should become main part of presentation in IAPCT.Â Of course this only my proposal. You can extract from enormous Bills legacy your citations and interpretations, But I choosed these. Diagram (LCS III) and Bills definitions of control loop (B:CP).
And to be even more credible all thos events in control loop (Bills’ diagram and definitions)Â is in accordance to physiological facts which were proposed by Bill.
So I think that Bill choosed very exact Title of his book which is represented in Â»Behavior : Control of PerceptionÂ« with very profound meaning which include thought that Â»Behavior (output)Â« is not controlled and there is no Â»Controlled PerceptionÂ«.Â And when somebody use Â»Behavior is control of perceptionÂ« it should be by my oppinion understood in PCT not RCT sense.
I hope Alison that we can come to mutual agreement about the meaning of PCT and that we shall exclude RCT or other elements that oppose PCT or even use terms that are not part of PCT. And I would be specialy glad if IAPCT would accept my proposal and put mentioned Bills citations into the presentation to World public.
On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:35 PM, Alison Powers email@example.com wrote:
Behavior (that has been decided upon by the organism which wants to maintain homeostasis of its goals) is the control of its perception
Behavior by itself is not what controls perception. To say that would allow for the assumption that behavior is merely a reaction to the environment - a reflex - that has no cognitive purpose behind it. A mistake that has been made by others in the past. However, it is understood by those who know PCT that the organism either consciously or unconsciously affects its environment with behavior in order to manipulate the environment so that it matches, or maintains homeostasis of its goals.
The premise of PCT is that this behavior is controlled by the organism which serve to control the organisms perceptions which in turn serve to maintain its goals. Therefore, in PCT circles, it is okay to say that behavior is the control of perception since we (PCT followers) know that behavior is a conscious or unconscious set of actions that are purposefully enacted by that organism in order to maintain that organism’s goals. As I said, behavior is controlled by the organism in order to control its perceptions in order to maintain or achieve its goals.
I really don’t think there is a problem with stating that behavior is the control of perception, Boris, when those who understand PCT know that one of the main rules of PCT is that behavior is not simply a reaction to the environment but are actions directed by an organism according to that organisms goals. Behavior is the control of perception.
On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 9:49 PM, Boris Hartman firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:31 PM
To: Control Systems Group Network (CSGnet)
Subject: Re: source code
We just need to visit https://sites.google.com/site/perceptualcontroldemos/ more often, to boost it in the Google ranking.
HB : Well I accidentaly saw this :
This website serves as a repository for computer programs that were developed to highlight various aspects of Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), a theory of human and animal behavior developed by William T. Powers. According to PCT (and the title of Bill’s seminal 1973 book), behavior is the control of perception. To control a perception is to take actions that tend to bring the perception toward a given state (reference value) and keep it there by opposing the effects of any disturbances to that perception, as in steering a car so as to keep it on the road and heading where we want it to go.
HB : Ttitle of the book is not : Â»Behavior is control of perceptionÂ«, because somebody could think that Â»Behavior is controlÂ«. Titile is Â»Behavior : Control of PerceptionÂ«. It’s a problem when many interpretation of Bills’ book Title are present.
So Title can be explained in many ways , but with the explanation Â»Behavior is control of perceptionÂ« the interpretation somehow determine the way it has to be understand (what is mostly Ricks merit). And it seems that this interpretation offers Â»Behavior is controlÂ« although also other mening as Â»control of perceptionÂ« can be in the game.
So in which way the sentence Â»Behavior is control of perceptionÂ« has to be understand ?
The second problem which is much the same as upper interpretation I see in IAPCT interpretation of what PCT means :
IAPCT : Essentially, PCT views people as purposeful, living control systems, whose behavior shapes its consequences instead of the other way around. PCT is a feedback-governed view of human behavior. It holds that we target certain variables for control and we compare our perceptions of the current state of those variables with our goal state or reference condition for those variables. If unacceptable gaps exist, we behave in ways that serve to close those gaps. Thus it is that our behavior serves to control our perceptions. There are, however, other actors and factors at work that influence the same variables we are trying to control. Ordinarily these disturbances as they are known in PCT are compensated for and pose no problem. On occasion they can prove overwhelming. Our control is far from perfect.
HB : Problem I see here is that PCT is described as Â»control of variablesÂ« and of course that Â»behavior serves to control our perceptionsÂ« what seems to mean that Â»Behavior is controlÂ«.
Both versions of interpreting Powers work seems to me of Â»lower levelÂ« understanding not worth of Powers real intelectual power.
In my version of PCT interpretation (as Rick emphasized) I wrote many times that William T. Powers was great genius and such interpretations of PCT as we see above is by my oppinion degradation of his great mind. PCT is much more then :
Â»Control of variablesÂ« (what is probably Ricks' version of control as he is the one who is emphasizing Control of variables in LCS environment)
Â»Behavior serves to control perceptionÂ« or Â»Behavior is Control of PerceptionÂ« what could mean that Â»Behavior is controlÂ«.
Both statements can be seen often in RCT (Ricks Control Theory). So we are back to basic problem what PCT is about. My oppinion is that IAPCT should citate William T.Powers thoughts about PCT (it’s his Theory) not inventing some Ricks’ Control imaginational constructs.
So my proposal is that first page of IAPCT should contain great citations of William T.Powers and it should serve as memorial to his Theory.
My proposal is that IAPCT should start with citation which shows the real nature of PCT and that is :
Bill P. at all (50th Anniversary, 2011) :
Perceptual Control Theory (PCT) provides a general theory of functioning for organisms. At the conceptual core of the theory is the observation that living things control the perceived environment by means of their behavior. Consequently, the phenomenon of control takes center stage in PCT, with observable behavior playing an important but supporting role.
Bill P (B:CP) :
PCT…Â«can explain a fundamental aspect of how every living thing works, form the tiniest amoeba to the being who is reading these words.Â«
HB : This is significant difference to what was proposed above. It says that :
PCT is general theory about how all organisms function
Behavior is means of control with supporting role to Â»Control of perceptionÂ«
Phenomen of Control takes central stage in PCT what involve also Â»control of variablesÂ« in organism not outside it. Because in organisms there are also processes which don't look like a control loop but are essential for organisms functioning and they support and even enable control.
So definition of control in PCT is (B:CP) :
CONTROL : Achievement and maintenance of a preselected state in the controlling system, through actions on the environment that also cancel the effects of disturbances.
HB : Achievement and maintainance of Â»preselected stateÂ« in organism is also enabled by Â»controlÂ« of subsequent processes to support actual control loop processes.
Bill P :
Obviously not every variable ….can be involved in this wrongness-detection. Somme processes are burried deep in the details of organ function and cellular function.
Bill P :
For control of most of the variables in the physiological-biochemical system we rely entirely on the inherited system to work right.
HB : Bills’ legacy show that interpretation of PCT should involve also physiological and biological knowledge not just psychological and algebraic if we want to understand the phenomenon of how references are produced and realized :
Bill P (LCS I) : Reference state can not exist under the old cause-effect model. They refer, as far as external observations are concerned only to future states of the organism or it’s environment. They cannot affect present behavior, and they must be treated simply as outcomes of events caused by prior events. The flaw of this reasoning is hard to understand if one does not know (as the founders of scientific psychology did not know) of organizations capable of complex internal activities that are essentially independent of current external events.
HB : From Bills’ literature we can see also that Â»control in organismÂ« is quite hard concept to understand. It’s not just about Â»Controlling variables in organismÂ« and controlling with behavior, but it involves the whole functioning of the organism, where Â»control of variablesÂ« in environment outside organism is not included as Rick is proposing. There is no such a thing in PCT.
Bill P :
All sensory endings act to convert the magnitude of some physical interaction into the magnitude of a neural current (with or without significant emphasis of rates of change). Coverversely, all sensory information available to more central parts of the brain must first exist in the form of these primary neural currents.
The organism acts to bring under control, in relation to some reference state, the sensed perceptions.
HB :It’s quite clear that time line shows that perception will be controlled after it is sensed not before so to be Â»controlled perceptionÂ«. So how Â»Control of PerceptionÂ« really function :
Bill P (1998) : Our only view of the real world is our view of the neural signals that represent it inside our own brains. When we act to make a perception change to our more desireble state – when wwe make the perception of the glass change from Â»on the tableÂ« to Â»near the mouthÂ« - we have no direct knowledge of what we are doing to the reality that is the origin of our neural signal; we know only the final result, how the result looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes, and so forth…It means that we produce actions that alter the world of percception…
HB : It’s obviously that Â»Behavior is not controlling perceptionÂ«, but it’s used just for changing the world of perception. And it’s obviously that we change perception to our more desirable state not about how we Â»Control behaviorÂ« or some Â»Controlled variableÂ« in environment or that we even control perception with behavior. Theory is about Â»Control of perceptionÂ« inside organism. Everything is grasped in perception.
Bill P : Briefly, then: what I call the hierarchy of perceptions is the model. When you open your eyes and look around, what you see – and feel, smell, hear, and taste – is the model. In fact we never experience ANYTHING BUT the model. The model is composed of perceptions of all kinds from intensities on up.
HB : As I proposed many times in these years in my version of PCT understanding PCT definitions should be respected which by my oppinion represent PCT control loop which can be confirmed by biological and physiological evidences :
Bill P (B:CP):
OUTPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that converts the magnitude or state of a signal inside the system into a corresponding set of effects on the immediate environment of the system
Bill P (LCS III)::…the output function shown in it’s own box represents the means this system has for causing changes in it’s environment.
Bill P (LCS III):
FEED-BACK FUNCTION : The box represents the set of physical laws, properties, arrangements, linkages, by which the action of this system feeds-back to affect its own input, the controlled variable. That's what feed-back means : it's an effect of a system's output on it's own input.
Bill P (B:CP) :
INPUT FUNCTION : The portion of a system that receives signals or stimuli from outside the system, and generates a perceptual signal that is some function of the received signals or stimuli.
Bill P (B:CP) :
COMPARATOR : The portion of control system that computes the magnitude and direction of mismatch between perceptual and reference signal.
On Sat, Nov 25, 2017 at 4:13 PM, Bruce Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Sorry, I meant to include it, and forgot. Itâ€™s
The title I gave to the site is actually â€œPerceptual Control System Demos.â€?
Iâ€™m surprised that a Google search didnâ€™t turn it up!
From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:50 AM
To: Bruce Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: source code
URL, please? A search on “Perceptual Control Demos abbott” doesn’t nail it in an obvious way. I see
http://users.ipfw.edu/abbott/pct/ (I don’t see demos there)
http://www.pct-labs.com (apparently hosted by Dag)
On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bruce Abbott email@example.com wrote:
I have a Google website, Perceptual Control Demos, that offers downloadable copies of all the programs in LCS III, plus a few others that I have written. Each is a zip file that includes source code and the executable. These are all Delphi (a descendent of Pascal) programs. I donâ€™t know anything about posting to SourceForge, but I suppose that could be another repository option. The Google site is probably going to be less permanent as itâ€™s tied to me personally.
Most of the effort (and code) that goes into writing these programs centers on creating the user interface; in fact readers of the code often are surprised at how little code involves simulating the control systems and the physics. So thereâ€™s usually not much thatâ€™s reusable
From: Bruce Nevin [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:07 PM
To: Adam Matic email@example.com
Cc: Tom Bourbon firstname.lastname@example.org; Bruce Abbott email@example.com; j richard kenneway firstname.lastname@example.org; Rupert Young email@example.com; Greg and Pat Williams firstname.lastname@example.org; Gary Cziko email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: source code
BN: Thanks, Rick. Adam now included.
BN: Bill’s source code was an initial concern, but it’s a much broader issue. We should have a common repository for code developed by others and as new code is developed ongoing. Many code management issues should be considered. Does it make sense to think of libraries of reusable and adaptable code? There’s an obvious modularity to any CT hierarchy. Should we think of the architecture of a control loop in modular terms? Should we organize a project or collection of related projects in sourceforge? Other questions will occur to anyone experienced in software development. These questions are outside my scope–above my pay grade, as the saying goes. But I’m confident they should be addressed.
On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:00 PM, Richard Marken email@example.com wrote:
If it’s source code for Bill’s demos you want you should also copy to Adam Matic (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 8:17 AM, Bruce Nevin email@example.com wrote:
I sent the below query in August. Greg said he has no source code and referred me to Dag and Gary
My concern was archiving, but maybe better would be an active development repository in sourceforge. Should I ask more widely on CSGnet for volunteers competent to take this up?
On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56 AM, Bruce Nevin firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Tom, Bruce, Richard, Rupert, Greg,
For years when I have told people about demos and simulations I have said that the source code is available so that they can see that we are not ‘cheating’ in any way. For example, the 2011-2012 web-published joint paper says this. This needs to be a true statement. We need to have the source code assembled in an accessible archive.
Another reason (of which I know you, Tom, have a vivid awareness) is the value of the source code for learning how make computer simulations and other PCT programs. I, personally, have felt the lack.
Would you five be willing to work together to pull together all the source code you can, and associated documentation if any, and get it to appropriate archives?
It should be archived at Northwestern and on our several websites. Replication is welcome, on the LOCKSS principle beloved of archivists (“lots of copies keep stuff safe”).
You may well determine among you that other people should be involved. Please let me, Richard Pfau, and Allie know your decisions and how it’s going.
Richard S. Marken
"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you
have nothing left to take away.â€?
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery