Toward a generic alerting real time database

A commercial white paper on escalating alerts.

Under Development and for discussion.... Suggestions please!

VSM animationAbout

Application Note

A Safety Button for Hospitals

Design Theory

The Cybernetics of Upper Ontology:
A Protolanguage for a risk driven Metalanguage stack


"If a phone can do the job, who needs a PC?" (New Scientist 1 August 2007): Jessica Marshall on microloans, e-money, teaching, camera-phones and WiFi/WiMax in poorer countries.


Vodaphone on Mobile financial services for the 3rd world Kenya Pilot


"The Capability Reviews paint a bleak picture of Civil Service performance." from third BGI Conference 19th. -20th. October 2007 "Reforming the British System of Government".

From Wikipedia United Kingdom budget. See Criticism.

Context: Thesis Total System

In his book "Platform for Change" Stafford Beer argued for a new world order using cybernetic techniques. In summary he produced this extraordinary diagram which says it all.


In their report "Global Capital Markets and the Global Economy" to the Global Public Policy Symposium in Paris (7-8 November 2006) CEOs and Chairs of PwC, KPMG, Grant Thornton, BDO, Deloitte and Ernst & Young advocated real-time reporting of accounts and performance on the web.

This creates a major commercial opportunity for suppliers of real-time reporting web software. We intend to enhance this opportunity further. The participants are expert in the Viable System Model (VSM) of Stafford Beer's management cybernetics. In real-time this produces features for application to the day-to-day risk-oriented management, regulation and development of small, medium and large enterprises of all kinds.

An Open Source project is proposed using the web, SQL and XML that will support accounting and management in a wide range of sectors including Health. Applications are foreseen in the developing world supported on mobile phones including e-Money and e.g. OLPC hardware: MIT's "$100 Micro".

Sleepycat free and commercial licensing seems likely. Additionally there are commercial opportunities for:

  • Consulting services
  • Web hosting services
  • Value added distributors
  • Resellers

Value is added by configuring the software for applications, training users and installing for personal, industrial, commercial and public service applications.

There are two main components: The personal viable system client and the server alerting database engine comprising client records and data mine.

Leonid Ototsky has recommended we look at ISO 15926 for the data model. Preliminary reaction from our group is favourable.

Technical note: The VSM produces a risk minimisation approach for protoprocesses."The Cybernetics of Upper Ontology: a Protolanguage for a risk driven Metalanguage stack"

Contents to come

  • Market Drivers
  • Problem Development
  • Historical Overviews
  • A Generic Introduction to the Solution
  • Benefits
  • What to Look for in an Ideal Solution

Developing the enterprise

A good manager repeatedly asks "Do I do what I always do or do I innovate?". A data mine supporting modelling helps decide this. Alerting when the routine is upset keeps focus on the here and now problems in an information overload environment. A Workflow approach is adopted.

Controlling Waste, Error and Corruption

  • Definition
  • Manifestations
  • Value for money
  • Keynesian policies but performance can improve. Pathology of the Law, Health, tax collection, government contracts


transient, step change and trendsThe red line graph shows 120 days of sales activity. 10 days in a transient increase is noted. The five day moving average notices a slight bump (black line). Alert to level 1. Level 1 has five days to fix but doesn't need it- this is only a one day transient. No alert to level 2 is sent

30 days in a downward step change is noted due perhaps to something like adverse publicity. After 5 days and no change (despite the best efforts of level 1) level 2 is alerted however after a further 30 days a little repositioning in the market produces an increase in sales. After 5 days Level 2 is alerted and we see a new higher level of demand.Level 1 stays alerted until this time. Alerting rules are agreed and set for each employee task.

The spike transient might be due to a higher than normal level of sales activity. Examination of calls made suggests an innovation by a new employee and adoption of the innovation led to the increase in demand. Subsequent analysis of customer account demographics shows a change in market segment.

Change of Market share A time scale of days is chosen for illustrative purposes. The management relaxation time of a given level and a given task can be anything from seconds to months. The moving average suppresses transient changes and alerting is done when a performance parameter deviates from capability by say 10 or 15%. The existing local variance of performance determines this initial alerting "algedonic" threshold. There is an option to submit a given time series to a short term forecasting algorithm to estimate the probability that a current level of performance (actuality) will go out from capability sufficiently far to require an alert. (Box-Jenkins methods, Harrison and Stevens, Kalman filtering and recently Jones' Gamma test have all been applied to this problem.) To improve on monitoring by quarterly report relaxation times of less than six weeks are indicated. Auditing, here, is seen as reporting on the analysis and authentication of raw transaction data.

Beer's Management Cybernetics

The Viable System Model (VSM)

The Viable System

Beer called alerts "algedonic signals" from the Greek αλγος, pain and ηδος, pleasure. An alert can be sent for good or bad performance.

Pask- an appendix on Identity and the implications for authorization

Pask's work in Management Cybernetics is less well known. In the later years of his life he worked with several large and small enterprises including Norsk Hyrdo (Norway's largest company) on a theme of "Organisations as Living Organisms and Ecologically Sustainable Innovation".

In his last seminar on Interactions of Actors and Conversation Theory he reflected on the Actors that produce products. Actors support production in their conversations and have the following properties:

  1. Context
  2. Perspective
  3. Similarity
  4. Difference
  5. Respectability
  6. Responsibility
  7. Amity
  8. Faith
  1. Agreement
  2. Agreement to disagree
  3. Purpose
  4. Unity- not uniformity
  5. Eternal support
  6. Beginnings and ends
  7. Adaptation
  8. Generation
  1. Evolution
  2. Kinetic support
  3. Kinematic description
  4. Imperative acts
  5. Permissive acts
  6. Informational Openness
  7. Organisational closure
  8. Void and not void

These properties are axiomatic in status. Faith, for example, is the time taken for a process to produce a product. Amity is the availability for interaction. The comparison of similarities produces differences which may be agreements or dependencies. Respectable means can be seen or observed and responsible means a stimulus is needed before visibility is apparent or respectability can be confirmed. Recent work by Uribe suggests a paradox maybe respectable but requires stimulation to be resolved: the hidden concepts must be unfolded for resolution.

Coherence and decoherence produces Differentiation and presumably the above axioms (proof under way, perhaps) and oh yes distinctions must exert a repulsive force. A distinction is a description. A concept is a procedure for producing a relation not a set of things!

Consideration of these properties enable a full formal specification of the identity of a process and its product. Hence we establish a development route for enhanced authentication and thence authorisation.

A note on the resolution of disputes

In dispute resolution a breach of some implied or explicit contract or agreement is noted. In general an innovation or change to the procedures supporting the agreement is required to resolve the dispute. Applying the cybernetics involved implies Viability can only persist when a Just balance or equilibrium is maintained in the Actor environment.

This is coherent with the implicit VSM management heuristic: if it's broken, fix it from the developing repertoire of solutions in System Four. Beer saw System one-two-three as the autonomic nervous system with System Four as the seat of conscious thought and conversational interaction. System Five selects the solution from Four to apply to System one-two-three by considering the evolving identity of the viable entity.


Do you have the skills in programming, design, marketing or finance needed for this project? Get in touch outlining how you might assist us. We expect to form a Trust and support company in due course.