Viable system model

The viable system model (VSM) is a model of the organisational structure of any autonomous system capable of producing itself - wikipedia

A core aim of is to create software for decentralised governance. To this end we need an interface that clarifies the roles of the various functional parts of the system, and to do this at various levels.

The VSM provides us with an excellent and well thought through starting point for the design of such a system. Pattern Language is another approach which we can learn from in the implementation of the software. Both the VSM and pattern language have particular relevance to the design of the Governance Interface to these systems.

# What is a viable system?

A viable system is any system organised in such a way as to meet the demands of surviving in the changing environment. One of the prime features of systems that survive is that they are adaptable.

An exemplary model of a viable system. Assumption: There is one System 1 purchasing external resources and one System 1 which produces the value, delivered to the customers.  - wikimedia

The VSM expresses a model for a viable system, which is an abstracted cybernetic (regulation theory) description that is applicable to any organisation that is a viable system and capable of autonomy.

# Overview The model was developed by operations research theorist and cybernetician (cybernetics) Stafford Beer (Anthony Stafford Beer) in his book ''Brain of the Firm'' (1972). Together with Beer's earlier works on cybernetics applied to management, this book effectively founded management cybernetics.

The first thing to note about the cybernetic theory of organizations encapsulated in the VSM is that viable systems are recursive (recursion); viable systems contain viable systems that can be modeled using an identical cybernetic description as the higher (and lower) level systems in the containment hierarchy (Beer expresses this property of viable systems as ''cybernetic isomorphism'').

A development of this model has originated the theoretical proposal called viable systems approach.

# Sections

# See also