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Cybernetics

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Cybernetics

Cybernetics is a transdisciplinary[1] approach for exploring regulatory systems, their structures, constraints, and possibilities. Cybernetics is relevant to the study of systems, such as mechanical, physical, biological, cognitive, and social systems. Cybernetics is applicable when a system being analyzed is involved in a closed signaling loop; that is, where action by the system generates some change in its environment and that change is reflected in that system in some manner (feedback) that triggers a system change, originally referred to as a "circular causal" relationship. Some say this is necessary to a cybernetic perspective. System dynamics, a related field, originated with applications of electrical engineering control theory to other kinds of simulation models (especially business systems) by Jay Forrester at MIT in the 1950s.

Concepts studied by cyberneticists (or, as some prefer, cyberneticians) include, but are not limited to: device.

Norbert Wiener defined cybernetics in 1948 as "the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine."[2] The word cybernetics comes from Greek κυβερνητική (kyverni̱tikí̱), meaning "governance", i.e. all that are pertinent to κυβερνώ (kyvernó̱), the latter meaning "to steer, navigate or govern", hence κυβέρνησις (kyvérni̱sis), meaning "government", is the government while κυβερνήτης (kyverní̱ti̱s) is the governor or the captain. Contemporary cybernetics began as an interdisciplinary study connecting the fields of control systems, electrical network theory, mechanical engineering, logic modeling, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, anthropology, and psychology in the 1940s, often attributed to the Macy Conferences. During the second half of the 20th century cybernetics evolved in ways that distinguish first-order cybernetics (about observed systems) from second-order cybernetics (about observing systems).[3] More recently there is talk about a third-order cybernetics (doing in ways that embraces first and second-order).[4]

Fields of study which have influenced or been influenced by cybernetics include

  • American Society for Cybernetics
  • IEEE Systems, Man, & Cybernetics Society
  • International Society for Cybernetics and Systems Research
  • The Cybernetics Society
Societies
  • Mailman, Joshua B. 2012. "Seven Metaphors for (Music) Listening: DRAMaTIC" in Journal of Sonic Studies v.2.
Music
  • Norbert Wiener and Stefan Odobleja - A Comparative Analysis
  • Reading List for Cybernetics
  • Principia Cybernetica Web
  • Web Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems
  • Glossary Slideshow (136 slides)
  • Basics of Cybernetics
  • What is Cybernetics? Livas short introductory videos on YouTube
  • Practopoiesis
General

External links

  • Medina, Eden (2011). Cybernetic revolutionaries : technology and politics in Allende's Chile. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.  
  •  
  • Gerovitch, Slava (2002). From newspeak to cyberspeak : a history of Soviet cybernetics. Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.]: MIT Press.  
  • Johnston, John (2008). The allure of machinic life : cybernetics, artificial life, and the new AI. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  
  • Heikki Hyötyniemi (2006). Neocybernetics in Biological Systems. Espoo: Helsinki University of Technology, Control Engineering Laboratory.
  • Francis Heylighen, and Cliff Joslyn (2002). "Cybernetics and Second Order Cybernetics", in: R.A. Meyers (ed.), Encyclopedia of Physical Science & Technology (3rd ed.), Vol. 4, (Academic Press, San Diego), p. 155-169.
  • Charles François (1999). "Systemics and cybernetics in a historical perspective". In: Systems Research and Behavioral Science. Vol 16, pp. 203–219 (1999)
  • Heinz von Foerster, (1995), Ethics and Second-Order Cybernetics.
  • Heims, Steve Joshua (1993). Constructing a social science for postwar America : the cybernetics group, 1946-1953 (1st ed.). Cambridge, Mass. u.a.: MIT Press.  
  • Pangaro, Paul. "Cybernetics - A Definition". 
  • Stuart Umpleby (1989), "The science of cybernetics and the cybernetics of science", in: Cybernetics and Systems", Vol. 21, No. 1, (1990), pp. 109–121.
  • Arbib, Michael A. (1987). Brains, machines, and mathematics (2nd ed.). New York: Springer-Verlag.  
  • Patten, Bernard C.; Odum, Eugene P. (December 1981). "The Cybernetic Nature of Ecosystems". The American Naturalist (The University of Chicago Press) 118 (6): 886–895.  
  • Hans Joachim Ilgauds (1980), Norbert Wiener, Leipzig.
  • Beer, Stafford (1974). Designing freedom. Chichester, West Sussex, England: Wiley.  
  •  
  • Helvey, T.C. (1971). The age of information; an interdisciplinary survey of cybernetics. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Educational Technology Publications.  
  • Roy Ascott (1967). Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision. Cybernetica, Journal of the International Association for Cybernetics (Namur), 10, pp. 25–56
  • William Ross Ashby (1956). An introduction to cybernetics. Chapman & Hall. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  •  

Further reading

  1. ^ Müller, Albert (2000). "A Brief History of the BCL". Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 11 (1): 9–30. 
  2. ^ Wiener, Norbert (1948).  
  3. ^ Heinz von Foerster (1981), 'Observing Systems", Intersystems Publications, Seaside, CA. OCLC 263576422
  4. ^ Kenny, Vincent (15 March 2009). "There’s Nothing Like the Real Thing". Revisiting the Need for a Third-Order Cybernetics". Constructivist Foundations 4 (2): 100–111. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Tange, Kenzo (1966) "Function, Structure and Symbol".
  6. ^  
  7. ^ "La cybernétique est l’art de l’efficacité de l’action" originally a french definition formulated in 1953, lit. "Cybernetics is the art of effective action"
  8. ^ Leary,Timothy. "The Cyberpunk: the individual as reality pilot" in Storming the Reality Studio. Duke University Press: 1991.
  9. ^ H.S. Tsien Engineering Cybernetics, Preface vii, 1954 McGraw Hill
  10. ^ Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, 1948 MIT Press
  11. ^ a b Kelly, Kevin (1994). Out of control: The new biology of machines, social systems and the economic world. Boston: Addison-Wesley.  
  12. ^ Couffignal, Louis, "Essai d’une définition générale de la cybernétique", The First International Congress on Cybernetics, Namur, Belgium, June 26–29, 1956, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1958, pp. 46-54
  13. ^ CYBCON discusstion group 20 September 2007 18:15
  14. ^ Johnson, Barnabas. "The Cybernetics of Society". Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  15. ^ Cariani, Peter (15 March 2010). "on the importance of being emergent". Constructivist Foundations 5 (2): 89. Retrieved 13 August 2012. artificial intelligence was born at a conference at dartmouth in 1956 that was organized by McCarthy, Minsky, rochester, and shannon, three years after the Macy conferences on cybernetics had ended (Boden 2006; McCorduck 1972). The two movements coexisted for roughly a de- cade, but by the mid-1960s, the proponents of symbolic ai gained control of national funding conduits and ruthlessly defunded cybernetics research. This effectively liquidated the subfields of self-organizing systems, neural networks and adaptive machines, evolutionary programming, biological computation, and bionics for several decades, leaving the workers in management, therapy and the social sciences to carry the torch. i think some of the polemical pushing-and-shoving between first-order control theorists and second-order crowds that i witnessed in subsequent decades was the cumulative result of a shift of funding, membership, and research from the “hard” natural sciences to “soft” socio-psychological interventions. 
  16. ^ a b Jean-Pierre Dupuy, "The autonomy of social reality: on the contribution of systems theory to the theory of society" in: Elias L. Khalil & Kenneth E. Boulding eds., Evolution, Order and Complexity, 1986.
  17. ^ Peter Harries-Jones (1988), "The Self-Organizing Polity: An Epistemological Analysis of Political Life by Laurent Dobuzinskis" in: Canadian Journal of Political Science (Revue canadienne de science politique), Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1988), pp. 431-433.
  18. ^ a b c Kenneth D. Bailey (1994), Sociology and the New Systems Theory: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis, p.163.
  19. ^ Feinstein, C.H. (September 1969). Socialism, Capitalism and Economic Growth: Essays Presented to Maurice Dobb. Cambridge University Press. p. 175.  
  20. ^ Note: this does not refer to the concept of Racial Memory but to the concept of cumulative adaptation to a particular niche, such as the case of the pepper moth having genes for both light and dark environments.
  21. ^ McClelland, Kent A., and Thomas J. Fararo (Eds.). 2006. Purpose, Meaning, and Action: Control Systems Theories in Sociology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  22. ^ "SSCC (Sinai Sustainability Cybernetics Center)". MIT Enterprise Forum, Pan Arab Region. 
  23. ^ "SSCC (Sinai Sustainability Cybernetics Center)" the 46th team to qualify for this year's MIT semi-finalist round — Naharnet. Naharnet.com (2013-04-25). Retrieved on 2013-11-02.
  24. ^ "SSCC, One minute movie". 
  25. ^ "TV Interview on the project(Arabic)". 
  26. ^ "CYSP I, the first cybernetic sculpture of art's history". Leonardo/OLATS - Observatoire Leonardo des arts et des technosciences. 
  27. ^ Bruce Clarke and Linda Dalrymple Henderson, ed. (2002). From Energy to Information: Representation in Science, Technology, Art, and Literature. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 255–277. 
  28. ^ Ascott, Roy (2003). Edward A. Shanken, ed. Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology, and Consciousness. Berkeley: University of California Press. 
  29. ^ Schellnhuber, H.-J., Discourse: Earth system analysis - The scope of the challenge, pp. 3-195. In: Schellnhuber, H.-J. and Wenzel, V. (Eds.). 1998. Earth system analysis: Integrating science for sustainability. Berlin: Springer.
  30. ^ Schellnhuber, H.-J., Earth system analysis and the second Copernican revolution. Nature, 402, C19-C23. 1999.

References

See also

technical cybernetics or engineering cybernetics.

Biomechatronics

Complexity science attempts to understand the nature of complex systems.

Complexity science

Related fields

Geocybernetics aims to study and control the complex co-evolution of ecosphere and anthroposphere,[29] for example, for dealing with planetary problems such as anthropogenic global warming.[30] Geocybernetics applies a dynamical systems perspective to Earth system analysis. It provides a theoretical framework for studying the implications of following different sustainability paradigms on co-evolutionary trajectories of the planetary socio-ecological system to reveal attractors in this system, their stability, resilience and reachability. Concepts such as tipping elements and tipping points in the climate system, planetary boundaries, the safe operating space for humanity and proposals for manipulating Earth system dynamics on a global scale such as geoengineering have been framed in the language of geocybernetic Earth system analysis.

In Earth system science

Nicolas Schöffer's CYSP I (1956) was perhaps the first artwork to explicitly employ cybernetic principles (CYSP is an acronym that joins the first two letters of the words "CYbernetic" and "SPatiodynamic").[26] The artist Roy Ascott elaborated an extensive theory of cybernetic art in "Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision" (Cybernetica, Journal of the International Association for Cybernetics (Namur), Volume IX, No.4, 1966; Volume X No.1, 1967) and in "The Cybernetic Stance: My Process and Purpose" (Leonardo Vol 1, No 2, 1968). Art historian Edward A. Shanken has written about the history of art and cybernetics in essays including "Cybernetics and Art: Cultural Convergence in the 1960s"[27] and "From Cybernetics to Telematics: The Art, Pedagogy, and Theory of Roy Ascott"(2003),[28] which traces the trajectory of Ascott's work from cybernetic art to telematic art (art using computer networking as its medium, a precursor to net.art.)

In art

An example of cybernetics in Education was introduced by Gihan Sami Soliman; an educational consultant, as a project idea to be implemented with the help of two team members in Sinai. The Sinai Sustainability Cybernetics Center announced as a semi-finalist project by MIT annual competition 2013.[22][23][24][25] The project idea proposed relating education to sustainable development through an IMS project that applies a multiple educational program related to the original natural self-healing system of life on earth. Education, sustainable development, social justice disciplines interact in a causal circular relationship that education would contribute to the development of the local community in Sinai village, on both sustainability and social responsibility levels while the community itself provides a unique learning environment that will contribute to the development of the educational program in a closed signaling loop.

In education

By examining group behavior through the lens of cybernetics, sociologists can seek the reasons for such spontaneous events as smart mobs and riots, as well as how communities develop rules such as etiquette by consensus without formal discussion. Affect Control Theory explains role behavior, emotions, and labeling theory in terms of homeostatic maintenance of sentiments associated with cultural categories. The most comprehensive attempt ever made in the social sciences to increase cybernetics in a generalized theory of society was made by Talcott Parsons. In this way, cybernetics establishes the basic hierarchy in Parsons' AGIL paradigm, which is the ordering system-dimension of his action theory. These and other cybernetic models in sociology are reviewed in a book edited by McClelland and Fararo.[21]

In sociology

In psychology

Mathematical Cybernetics focuses on the factors of information, interaction of parts in systems, and the structure of systems.

In mathematics

In management

An artificial heart, a product of biomedical engineering.
, in which the small errors and imperfections in a system can generate disasters. Other topics studied include: System Accidents and cascading failuresCybernetics in engineering is used to analyze

In engineering

Computer science directly applies the concepts of cybernetics to the control of devices and the analysis of information.

In computer science

Cybernetics in biology is the study of cybernetic systems present in biological organisms, primarily focusing on how animals adapt to their environment, and how information in the form of combining artificial systems with biological systems.

In biology

ASIMO uses sensors and sophisticated algorithms to avoid obstacles and navigate stairs.
Cybernetics studies systems of control as a concept, attempting to discover the basic principles underlying such things as

Basic cybernetics

Cybernetics is sometimes used as a generic term, which serves as an umbrella for many systems-related scientific fields.

Subdivisions of the field

More recent proposals for socialism involve "New Socialism", outlined by the computer scientists Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell, where computers determine and manage the flows and allocation of resources among socially-owned enterprises.

The design of self-regulating control systems for a real-time planned economy was explored by Viktor Glushkov in the former Soviet Union during the 1960s. By the time information technology was developed enough to enable feasible economic planning based on computers, the Soviet Union and eastern bloc countries began moving away from planning[19] and eventually collapsed.

Cybernetics and economic systems

Recent endeavors into the true focus of cybernetics, systems of control and emergent behavior, by such related fields as game theory (the analysis of group interaction), systems of feedback in evolution, and metamaterials (the study of materials with properties beyond the Newtonian properties of their constituent atoms), have led to a revived interest in this increasingly relevant field.[11]

One characteristic of the emerging new cybernetics considered in that time by Felix Geyer and Hans van der Zouwen, according to Bailey (1994),[18] was "that it views information as constructed and reconstructed by an individual interacting with the environment. This provides an epistemological foundation of science, by viewing it as observer-dependent. Another characteristic of the new cybernetics is its contribution towards bridging the micro-macro gap. That is, it links the individual with the society".[18] Another characteristic noted was the "transition from classical cybernetics to the new cybernetics [that] involves a transition from classical problems to new problems. These shifts in thinking involve, among others, (a) a change from emphasis on the system being steered to the system doing the steering, and the factor which guides the steering decisions.; and (b) new emphasis on communication between several systems which are trying to steer each other".[18]

In political science, Project Cybersyn attempted to introduce a cybernetically controlled economy during the early 1970s. In the 1980s, according to Harries-Jones (1988) "unlike its predecessor, the new cybernetics concerns itself with the interaction of autonomous political actors and subgroups, and the practical and reflexive consciousness of the subjects who produce and reproduce the structure of a political community. A dominant consideration is that of recursiveness, or self-reference of political action both with regards to the expression of political consciousness and with the ways in which systems build upon themselves".[17]

[16] In the 1970s,

New cybernetics

Prominent cyberneticians during this period include:

Artificial intelligence (AI) was founded as a distinct discipline at a 1956 conference. After some uneasy coexistence, AI gained funding and prominence. Consequently, cybernetic sciences such as the study of neural networks were downplayed; the discipline shifted into the world of social sciences and therapy.[15]

Split from artificial intelligence

While not the only instance of a research organization focused on cybernetics, the Biological Computer Lab at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, under the direction of Heinz von Foerster, was a major center of cybernetic research for almost 20 years, beginning in 1958.

Wiener popularized the social implications of cybernetics, drawing analogies between automatic systems (such as a regulated steam engine) and human institutions in his best-selling The Human Use of Human Beings : Cybernetics and Society (Houghton-Mifflin, 1950).

In the early 1940s John von Neumann, although better known for his work in mathematics and computer science, did contribute a unique and unusual addition to the world of cybernetics: von Neumann cellular automata, and their logical follow up the von Neumann Universal Constructor. The result of these deceptively simple thought-experiments was the concept of self replication which cybernetics adopted as a core concept. The concept that the same properties of genetic reproduction applied to social memes, living cells, and even computer viruses is further proof of the somewhat surprising universality of cybernetic study.

During this stay in France, Wiener received the offer to write a manuscript on the unifying character of this part of applied mathematics, which is found in the study of Brownian motion and in telecommunication engineering. The following summer, back in the United States, Wiener decided to introduce the neologism cybernetics into his scientific theory. The name cybernetics was coined to denote the study of "teleological mechanisms" and was popularized through his book Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (MIT Press/John Wiley and Sons, NY, 1948). In the UK this became the focus for the Ratio Club.

John von Neumann

In the spring of 1947, Wiener was invited to a congress on harmonic analysis, held in Bourbaki, a French scientific society, and mathematician Szolem Mandelbrojt (1899–1983), uncle of the world-famous mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot.

Cybernetics as a discipline was firmly established by Norbert Wiener, McCulloch and others, such as W. Ross Ashby, mathematician Alan Turing, and W. Grey Walter. Walter was one of the first to build autonomous robots as an aid to the study of animal behaviour. Together with the US and UK, an important geographical locus of early cybernetics was France.

Numerous papers spearheaded the coalescing of the field. In 1935 Russian physiologist P.K. Anokhin published a book in which the concept of feedback ("back afferentation") was studied. The study and mathematical modelling of regulatory processes became a continuing research effort and two key articles were published in 1943. These papers were "Behavior, Purpose and Teleology" by Arturo Rosenblueth, Norbert Wiener, and Julian Bigelow; and the paper "A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity" by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts.

W. Edwards Deming, the Total Quality Management guru for whom Japan named its top post-WWII industrial prize, was an intern at Bell Telephone Labs in 1927 and may have been influenced by network theory. Deming made "Understanding Systems" one of the four pillars of what he described as "Profound Knowledge" in his book "The New Economics."

Early applications of negative feedback in electronic circuits included the control of gun mounts and radar antenna during System Dynamics.

Contemporary cybernetics began as an interdisciplinary study connecting the fields of control systems, electrical network theory, mechanical engineering, logic modeling, evolutionary biology and neuroscience in the 1940s. Electronic control systems originated with the 1927 work of Bell Telephone Laboratories engineer Harold S. Black on using negative feedback to control amplifiers. The ideas are also related to the biological work of Ludwig von Bertalanffy in General Systems Theory.

The early 20th century

The study of teleological mechanisms (from the Greek τέλος or telos for end, goal, or purpose) in machines with corrective feedback dates from as far back as the late 18th century when James Watt's steam engine was equipped with a governor, a centrifugal feedback valve for controlling the speed of the engine. Alfred Russel Wallace identified this as the principle of evolution in his famous 1858 paper. In 1868 James Clerk Maxwell published a theoretical article on governors, one of the first to discuss and refine the principles of self-regulating devices. Jakob von Uexküll applied the feedback mechanism via his model of functional cycle (Funktionskreis) in order to explain animal behaviour and the origins of meaning in general.

The first artificial automatic regulatory system, a water clock, was invented by the mechanician Ktesibios. In his water clocks, water flowed from a source such as a holding tank into a reservoir, then from the reservoir to the mechanisms of the clock. Ktesibios's device used a cone-shaped float to monitor the level of the water in its reservoir and adjust the rate of flow of the water accordingly to maintain a constant level of water in the reservoir, so that it neither overflowed nor was allowed to run dry. This was the first artificial truly automatic self-regulatory device that required no outside intervention between the feedback and the controls of the mechanism. Although they did not refer to this concept by the name of Cybernetics (they considered it a field of engineering), Ktesibios and others such as Heron and Su Song are considered to be some of the first to study cybernetic principles.

James Watt

The word cybernetics was first used in the context of "the study of self-governance" by Plato in The Alcibiades to signify the governance of people.[14] The word 'cybernétique' was also used in 1834 by the physicist André-Marie Ampère (1775–1836) to denote the sciences of government in his classification system of human knowledge.

The roots of cybernetic theory

History

[13], "Cybernetics is the study of systems and processes that interact with themselves and produce themselves from themselves."American Society for Cybernetics, President of the Louis Kauffman The most recent definition has been proposed by [12], one of the pioneers of cybernetics, characterizes cybernetics as "the art of ensuring the efficacy of action."Louis Couffignal A more philosophical definition, suggested in 1956 by [11] Cybernetics was borrowed by

French physicist and mathematician André-Marie Ampère first coined the word "cybernetique" in his 1834 essay Essai sur la philosophie des sciences to describe the science of civil government.[9]

The term cybernetics stems from efficient and effective.

Simple feedback model. AB < 0 for negative feedback.

Etymology

  • "The science and art of the understanding of understanding." — Rodney E. Donaldson, the first president of the American Society for Cybernetics
  • "A way of thinking about ways of thinking of which it is one." — Larry Richards
  • "The art of interaction in dynamic networks." — Roy Ascott

Other notable definitions include:

  • "Science concerned with the study of systems of any nature which are capable of receiving, storing and processing information so as to use it for control." — A. N. Kolmogorov
  • "The art of securing efficient operation." — Louis Couffignal[7]
  • "'The art of steersmanship': deals with all forms of behavior in so far as they are regular, or determinate, or reproducible: stands to the real machine -- electronic, mechanical, neural, or economic -- much as geometry stands to real object in our terrestrial space; offers a method for the scientific treatment of the system in which complexity is outstanding and too important to be ignored." — W. Ross Ashby
  • "A branch of mathematics dealing with problems of control, recursiveness, and information, focuses on forms and the patterns that connect." — Gregory Bateson
  • "The art of effective organization." — Stafford Beer
  • "The art and science of manipulating defensible metaphors." — Gordon Pask
  • "The art of creating equilibrium in a world of constraints and possibilities." — Ernst von Glasersfeld
  • "The science and art of understanding." — Humberto Maturana
  • "The ability to cure all temporary truth of eternal triteness." — Herbert Brun

Cybernetics has been defined in a variety of ways, by a variety of people, from a variety of disciplines. The Larry Richards Reader includes a listing by Stuart Umpleby of notable definitions:[6]

Definitions

Contents

  • Definitions 1
  • Etymology 2
  • History 3
    • The roots of cybernetic theory 3.1
    • The early 20th century 3.2
    • Split from artificial intelligence 3.3
    • New cybernetics 3.4
    • Cybernetics and economic systems 3.5
  • Subdivisions of the field 4
    • Basic cybernetics 4.1
    • In biology 4.2
    • In computer science 4.3
    • In engineering 4.4
    • In management 4.5
    • In mathematics 4.6
    • In psychology 4.7
    • In sociology 4.8
    • In education 4.9
    • In art 4.10
    • In Earth system science 4.11
  • Related fields 5
    • Complexity science 5.1
    • Biomechatronics 5.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

[5]

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