Systems, Autopoietic

In Dubitzsky, Wolkenhauer, Cho & Yokota (eds.), Encyclopedia of Systems Biology. New York: Springer. pp. 2110-2113 (2013)
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Definition The authors’ definition of the autopoietic system has evolved through the years. One of them states that an autopoietic system is organized (defined as a unity) as a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components that produces the components which: (1) through their interactions and transformations regenerate and realize the network of processes (relations) that produced them; and (2) constitute it (the machine) as a concrete unity in the space in which they exist by specifying the topological domain of its realization as such a network (Varela 1979, p. 13). Nearly the same formula was earlier used to define an autopoietic machine (Maturana and Varela 1973/1980, 1984/1987, p. 135)
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