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Category : Information Theory

Authoritarian Theory

The Authoritarian theory was developed by Siebert Peterson and Schuman during the 16th century. The freedom of thoughts was ruled by the ruling class. The ruling class did not want their thoughts and ideas to be printed on to the media and so, they adopted few rules to the press. If anyone tries to disobey the rules, the government would punish them severely.  The theory follows few rules such as 1. The government should take control over the mass media, 2. The media should not broadcast or print any issues related to the authority, 3. Media should avoid complete offence over political values.

This theory is not only integrated to society or government, but is also included in history and geography. Even the places that abandoned the progress of this theory continue to follow it. The press is controlled in its function and organization by an organized society through another organization called the government. The introduction of this theory brought many changes in the society and man. Some of the basic assumptions are 1.nature of the man, 2. The nature of society, 3. The relation of man to the state, and 4. The nature of knowledge and truth. Under this assumption, as an individual, man’s rights were restricted, but as a member of the society, he had full rights to fulfill his purpose. Later, the state took over and favored in the development of an individual. The nature of state became an important factor for the assumption.

Machiavelli, a politician gave no importance to the state; his aim of attaining political power was more concerned. He never gave importance to the public welfare and individual rights; all he did was to take it for granted to fulfill his purpose. His concern about the government was less.

Thomas Hobbes, a well known English philosopher, formed a system of philosophy under two bases, freedom from pain and will to power. His aim was to check the individual’s interest in all categories and to ensure power, and peace in sovereign. Nature of the state and man’s relation to the state was his theories. His theory created changes over the seventeenth century authoritarian policies.

Many philosophers have contributed to this theory of individual’s freedom and rights over their relation to the state. The philosophies have changed many principles of other theories and considered that every individual has a power over his state. Today, this theory is continued to practice all over the world in different forms. The expression of one’s ideas is controlled over any group of the society. In some countries, this theory is followed either by threatening by means of financial act or by “Official Secret Act” or “National Secret Act“.

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Translation Theory

The study of proper principle of translation is termed as translation theory. This theory, based on a solid foundation on understanding of how languages work, translation theory recognizes that different languages encode meaning in differing forms, yet guides translators to find appropriate ways of preserving meaning, while using the most appropriate forms of each language. Translation theory includes principles for translating figurative language, dealing with lexical mismatches, rhetorical questions, inclusion of cohesion markers, and many other topics crucial to good translation.
Basically there are two competing theories of translation. In one, the predominant purpose is to express as exactly as possible the full force and meaning of every word and turn of phrase in the original, and in the other the predominant purpose is to produce a result that does not read like a translation at all, but rather moves in its new dress with the same ease as in its native rendering. In the hands of a good translator neither of these two approaches can ever be entirely ignored.
Conventionally, it is suggested that in order to perform their job successfully, translators should meet three important requirements; they should be familiar with:
the source language
the target language
the subject matter
Based on this premise, the translator discovers the meaning behind the forms in the source language and does his best to produce the same meaning in the target language – using the forms and structures of the target language. Consequently, what is supposed to change is the form and the code and what should remain unchanged is the meaning and the message. (Larson, 1984)
One of the earliest attempts to establish a set of major rules or principles to be referred to in literary translation was made by French translator and humanist tienne Dolet, who in 1540 formulated the following fundamental principles of translation (“La Manire de Bien Traduire dune Langue en Aultre”), usually regarded as providing rules of thumb for the practicing translator:
The translator should understand perfectly the content and intention of the author whom he is translating. The principal way to reach it is reading all the sentences or the text completely so that you can give the idea that you want to say in the target language because the most important characteristic of this technique is translating the message as clearly and natural as possible. If the translation is for different countries, the translator should use the cultural words of that country. It is really important the cultural words because if the translator does not use them correctly the translation will be misunderstood.
The translator should have a perfect knowledge of the language from which he is translating and an equally excellent knowledge of the language into which he is translating. At this point the translator must have a wide knowledge in both languages for getting the equivalence in the target language, because the deficiency of the knowledge of both languages will result in a translation without logic and sense.
The translator should avoid the tendency to translate word by word, because doing so is to destroy the meaning of the original and to ruin the beauty of the expression. This point is very important and one of which if it is translated literally it can transmit another meaning or understanding in the translation.
The translator should employ the forms of speech in common usage. The translator should bear in mind the people to whom the translation will be addressed and use words that can be easily understood.
After reading this article, I think you can understand more about the translation. And you also known what to do when you have some files to translate.

Aunes Oversettelser AS has been in the business for 26 years, and we are specialized in technical translations. We are specializing in the Nordic languages, and can offer services into Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Icelandic. The premier translation agency for Norway and the Nordic region! Technical translation services for businesses in the Nordic countries and translation agencies world wide.

Music Theory For Guitarists – How Key Signatures Work

All those mysterious little sharps and flats sitting in the key signature are way easier to understand than it looks like.  Let me give you the tricks to understand the system and make you a more informed guitar player.

First of all, remember that music notation in general is a just a set of instructions for playing the song.  Learning to read it is just like when you were learning to read books back in second grade.  It takes a little time, but quickly becomes very natural if you know a few tricks.

They key signature is there to tell us which notes in the scale are sharped for flatted.  From that you can tell what key the song is in, which gives you additional information before you even start playing.

The key signature can contain anywhere from 0 to 7 sharps or flats.  You’ll never see them mixed.  Just one or the other.  The sharps and flats are placed on the line or space of the note that they correspond with.  So if you see a sharp on the top line of the staff that tells you that you’re going to play F# every time you see an F in the music.  If you see a flat on the middle line of the staff, that tells you to play Bb wherever you see a B in the music.  

Why do they do this?  There’s two reasons.  First, some keys have a lot of sharps or flats in them.  Without a key signature we’d have to write that sharp or flat next to the note every time it comes up.  That would make the notation really messy and much more difficult to follow.  Second, when our current system of notation was invented (in the 17th century) ink and parchment were very expensive.  And the poor monks who were hand copying all this stuff looked for any shortcut they could to save time and ink.  Key signatures are a big help when your hand is cramping up from writing a zillion sharps.

The sharps and flats come in a particular order:
Sharps: F  C  G  D  A  E  B – sharps appear in an order of 5ths
Flat: B  E  A  D  G  C  F – flats appear in an order of 4ths.

If you have two sharps in the key signature they will be F# and C#.  Three flats will always be Bb, Eb, and Ab.  You’ll never see something like two sharps and they’re D and E.  Won’t happen.

Now you know how to read the individual sharps and flats in the key signature.  How do they tell you what key you’re playing in?  First let’s clarify the concept of “key”.  The “key” simply tells you what scale the composer used to write the piece of music with.  Think of a scale like an artist’s palate of colors.  He has blue, red, white, black, purple, etc.  And mixes those colors and throws them at a canvas to make a painting.  We take the seven notes in our scale and throw them at the page to make music.  

There’s a couple quick tricks to tell what key you’re in based on the key signature.  For sharp keys, take the last sharp and go up a half step (one fret) and that’s the name of your key.  So if you have four sharps (F#  C#  G#  D#), the you go a half step up from D# and find you’re in the key of E majaor.  Simple!

For flat keys you take the second to last flat and THAT is the name of your key.  If you have 3 flats (Bb, Eb, Ab) then you’re in the key of Eb.  The key of F major, which has just one flat – Bb – you unfortunately have to just memorize.

And the advantage of knowing what key you’re in?  You’ll be able to know some of the chords you’ll see before you start playing.  Primarily the I, IV, and V chords which you’ll see in nearly everything you play.  

Let’s say you have a key signature with 4 flats in in.  Look above to see what those are…. (Bb Eb  Ab  Db) – If we look at the 3rd flat you’ll find you’re in the key of Ab major.  In that key your I, IV, and V chords are Ab, Db, and Eb7.  Now you know you’ll be running across at least those chords.

So, the key signature gives you a lot of information right off the bat to help you get through the song.  And now you’ve got all the tricks to figure them out.  And you’re a better guitarist because of it!

Get your free Get Hot On Electric Guitar report for the best guitar practice techniques to make you the hottest six string slinger in town!

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Game Theory Bayesian Games At

In games of complete information, the players know not only their own preferences, but also the preferences of other players as well. In many situations of economic interest, however, there is likely to be considerable uncertainty on the part of each player regarding the preferences of his or her opponents.
To incorporate this possibility, we introduce Bayesian Games, or games of incomplete information. Complete games are characterized by three things: players, actions and payoffs. Bayesian Games build on the static games of complete information.
In Bayesian Games, each player can be one of a certain number of types. Each player knows his or her own type, but cannot observe the type of the other players directly. From the perspective of a given player the others types are random draws from some given prior distribution.
The type of a player influences that player in two ways. First, the players payoff in the game can depend on both the actions chosen, and on the types of all players. Thus, the combination of types influences each players payoff. Second, each type of each player has its own set of possible actions in the game, but we frequently assume that the set of possible actions does not depend on the type of player. Given his type, each player in the game selects an action from those available.
Similar to dynamic games, in Bayesian Games a strategy for each player is a plan which specifies an action for each possible type. Knowing another players strategy in a Bayesian Game does not yet allow a player to predict the others action for certain, because other players type is unknown.
However, given the other players strategy and the players prior distribution each player can figure out his or her expected payoff from the actions that are available to him or her.
Of the actions available, each player will choose some particular action. Therefore, given his or her type, the strategy of each player and the prior distribution, each player can figure out his or her expected payoff from the actions that are available to him or her. Of the actions available, each player can therefore figure out a best possible action or actions for each of his or her own types. The best possible action for each of his or her types is a players best responses to each other then the strategies constitute a Bayesian Nash Equilibrium.
An Example of Bayesian Game: Take It Or Leave It Offer
As in the standard Take it or leave it offer game, there are two players: a buyer and a seller. Each players type is his value for the good, vB; vS.

Both values are independent draws form a uniform distribution on [0; 1] ; so that Pr (vi x) = x. The buyer is given the opportunity to make a take it or leave it offer to the seller of a price p at which he or she will be willing to buy the good. If the price exceeds the sellers value, then the seller accepts, if it isnt the seller rejects the proposal. What price will the buyer choose? Given his or her value vB the buyer selects her price to maximize her expected payoff

Max Pr (vS > p) (vB – p) =

max p (vB – p)

p* = vB/2

Thus the buyer “shades” her bid by half in order to trade o the chance that her offer is
rejected with her payoff if it is accepted. This leads to a outcomes that can be bad socially.

If the sellers value were known, whenever the buyers value was larger the parties would transact; thus the party who values the good most would always receive it and the collective payoff is as large as possible.

When the sellers value is unknown, the buyer shades his bid, so in order for trade to occur, the buyers value has to be larger than twice the sellers value, which occurs less often. Thus, because a value is private, it is more difficult to trade and the collective good is harmed.

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An Insight Into the Path Goal Theory For Leading Your Workforce

In the past ten years or so, we have seen an abundance of new management theories/models being introduced. However, there’s no management theory that’s worth calling a perfect one, also it is practically impossible for all managers to try and apply each of them. Does that mean, a manager should pay no attention to these theories? Well, the answer is in negative, for most of these models are laid down by successful managers or erudite scholars. Therefore, you must go through all of them once in a while, for the sake of learning one thing or two, even if you are not looking to adapt.

One of these management theories is referred to as the “Path-Goal theory of leadership” that has been jotted down by Robert House. In simple words, the theory describes the role of managers in setting goals and then laying down a roadmap to reach there, more importantly it discusses four different types of approaches that a manager could use according to different circumstances. The theory is a good reminder of the fact that management is much more than hiring and firing employees, or maintaining discipline in the office. The job doesn’t end on stating the desired results and pointing towards the resources; it actually starts from that point and remains a manager’s duty to support, motivate and guide his/her workers all the way through.

Following are the four different styles of management (or leadership, for that matter) described in the theory. Remember, you don’t need to choose and then stick with only one of them; an efficient manager should be able to adapt any of the following styles, according to specific situations or workforce.

Supportive approach:

A manager is ought to be supportive to his/her subordinates, right? Still, managers like to carry that “bossy aura” around them, most of the times. As a result, subordinates feel reluctant to speak to their managers. Now, managers are supposed to be the most experienced and well-versed person in the workforce, how efficient do you think will be the workforce, where the most qualified person is reduced to sit in his/her office and look into various reports once in a while?

Directive Approach:

This is the standard approach now days; managers set the targets, assign tasks and resources and provide the subordinates with guidelines. This approach is not bad, given that the workers are qualified and experienced enough.

Achievement Oriented Approach:

This approach is recommended in challenging projects (for example when you need to motivate your sales staff to introduce a new product in the market). At such instances, you need to raise the bar, and then push them to rise above by offering sufficient rewards and appraisals.

Participative Approach:

In this style of management, the manager encourages the participation of each and every member in the team, especially when implementing a change or making some important decision regarding business.

William King is the director of Wholesale Trade UK Suppliers Directory and Dropshippers Manufacturers & Wholesale Distributors. He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.

Theory Of Information Ethics – How Do We Tend To Apprehend What Is Right And Wrong?

Solely four men survived the ship wrecked Mignonette in 1884, floating for 3 weeks in the Atlantic in a lifeboat. On the nineteenth day the captain Thomas Dudley suggested they drew lots to determine who would be killed and eaten, but one man objected. On the 20th day Dudley told the others to appear away, offered a prayer and cut the throat of the cabin boy, aged seventeen, who was sick from drinking seawater. They ate his body. Four days later they were rescued by another ship and the three survivors were charged with murder in the law case The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens.

It’s important that murder and cannibalism might be argued to be cheap in this case. On utilitarian grounds the actions of Dudley are justified as a result of they promote the best happiness of the best number. However, using deontological moral theories, murder is wrong in itself, irrespective of the results for others. If cannibalism is disgusting and our emotional response is that what happened is intuitively wrong, we may raise is our disgust cheap? Would we tend to have done otherwise? Or might the case be put that Dudley acted rationally?

In TOK ethics, it’s tempting to conclude that because there’s no agreement concerning standards of right and wrong, it follows that there is no data in ethics. Once all, individuals and cultures do not have the identical moral standards. But, our ethical judgements are simply that – judgements. We tend to can make better or worse judgements in ethics and our task in TOK is to grasp the difference. Paul Grobstein stated that: “there’s no such factor as ‘right’, the terribly concept needs to get replaced with ‘progressively less wrong.’ ” So although sure knowledge in ethics is hard to search out, we can make progress by arriving at moral judgements that are considered. Therefore in your response to the case above, ask yourself ‘why do I think that?’

In ethics we tend to are addressing a plurality of truths. It’s going to be value questioning the idea there would possibly be for ethical truth across cultures. What are good reasons for holding our ethical beliefs? Pay close attention to the words used to precise moral viewpoints; we have a tendency to recognize that within the language or war, ‘one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’, and within the on top of case, ‘one man’s cannibalistic murderer is another man’s hero with superior survival instincts.’

Maybe the challenge in TOK ethics is to look for what ethical information cultures may have in common. Even the notion of right and wrong is shared across cultures, whether or not the quality which that approximates to differs. The concept of shared values is embodied in the thought of universal declaration of human rights (1948).

Kitty Cooper been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in ethics ,you can also check out her latest website about:
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How Much Music Theory Should a Guitarist Know?

I personally believe that one should know the rules before they break them. Obviously it is not good to be overly analytical but it wouldn’t be an entirely bad thing to look at music from an analytical perspective. In order to look at things from an analytical perspective, you need information to analyze. That’s where music theory comes into play. So what I am about to present is not only a case for learning music theory but also what basic components of music theory you should, at a minimum, possess knowledge of.

It is important when you are playing along with a band that you have some idea as to what key you are playing in; especially if you are working on original material. You may be able to learn cover material from listening to a CD but it is also easier to pick up any song whether cover or original if you know music theory. Even more so if you know your way around the different keys.

There really isn’t much of an excuse for not taking the time to obtain some knowledge in music theory. There are free sources of information all over the Internet. Probably the most basic, yet essential, information would be knowledge of the keys, chords and scales.

You should be familiar with the 12 major keys and their relative minors. Having an adequate understanding of the different keys will allow you to be able to transpose a song from one key into another. There are a number of times where I’ve transposed a song from one key to another simply because it was a better key for me to sing in. You may find that to be the case with a number of singers.

You should have an adequate chord vocabulary. There are also a few scales that every guitarist should be familiar with, like the major or diatonic scale as well as the harmonic minor scale and the pentatonic scale in both the major and minor modes.

If you don’t want to spend the money on lessons or books, you should run an internet search for the information you want to obtain. I would first suggest you run a search for guitar chords listed by key. Check out a few sites to see which one offers the easiest approach for learning.

After you begin to learn the guitar chords by key, you should start learning scales. You should also run an internet search for guitar scales listed by key. You may be even more specific than that. For example: you can enter D harmonic minor and you will get a great number of results.

So, in conclusion, I hope that I have not only convinced you that learning music theory would be a valuable asset to your musicianship but that I have also set you off in the right direction towards doing so.

About the Author:
Bob Craypoe is a musician, writer, cartoonist, webmaster and entrepreneur who resides in Northern New Jersey. He is the creator of (a site that teaches the visually impaired how to play guitar), as well as numerous other sites. You can hear his music at:

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My “Nature” Theory

Alright well, here is a little something I noticed while reading up on a lot of “alpha” information, and have been field testing it to the point where its become who I am. It is one of my most important. I do not even want to say routine, because its more a way of life… let me explain.

Men are men. women are women. We know this. Men have testosterone, women have estrogen. Women are attracted to testosterone. Testosterone is most prevalent in in nature! All the alpha males are oozing it in the wild… the lions, the bears, the tigers (oh my). So many men in today’s society have become house cats. they do not work out, they don’t dominate, they are not, essentially, men. this is a problem.

Now, what I like to do is, think about ALL situations I encounter, and think of it in nature. How would I react if i were an alpha male in the wild. because that is all we are… humans are just a different species of animal on this earth.

Humans are just more evolved animals. We eat, shit, mate, fight, kill… Our purpose in life is the same as animals, only add consumerism and religion. I notice a lot of people on this board asking what to do about little things. She did this to me, what do i do? She asked me this, what do I say? How do i ask her about this? when do I call/text? how? when? WHY?

I was exactly like this, analyzing every move i made, and analyzing every move SHE made even more. I realize now almost ALL of these questions can be answered once you think of what would happen in nature, if you were the alpha male. did she say shes busy on friday? well, an alpha lion doesn’t care he has got other women. He will get back to her when he wants. did she say your shirt is ugly, in a very serious way? the lion would’nt laugh and say that shes right, its not even his favourite shirt, the good one is in the wash, but hey, your shirt is sort of cute no, the lion doesnt care, he will insult her right back and put her in her place. and you know what? shed LOVE him for it…

There is such a lack of MEN in this society that when women see this alpha male attitude, their PRIMAL instincts kick in that gut level attraction to the MAN figure… which in nature, is the top of the food chain. As MEN, we all instinctively know what to do. Be confident in your actions, and don’t second guess yourself. Workout out, get your testosterone flowing as nature intended, embrace the MAN inside of you (and let him out) and the answers will come naturally. If you are ever stuck in a situation, do not over analyze it. just be cool, relax, and think WWLD…what would the lion do.


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Driving theory test: Complete information

Theory test introduction:

The theory test is created with two parts; the multiple choice section and the hazard perception section. If you pass one section and fail the other you’ll fail the entire test, and you’ll require taking both sections again. Immediately after you have passed the theory test you can then apply to take your practical driving test.

The theory test consists of 50 questions in a multiple choice format and you need at least 43 correct answers to pass. All the questions will look on a computer screen which is touch sensible. The questions are designed to be very easy to read, only looking one at a time. It will be possible to skip forwards and backwards through the questions, and can take up to 57 minutes to complete the theory test.

Before you can apply for your practical driving test, you must pass your theory test.

The questions may cover the following topics


Safety and Your Vehicle
Vulnerable Road Users
Safety Margins
Hazard Awareness
Vehicle Loading
Vehicle Handling
Other Types of Vehicle (Motorcyclists, Lorries, Buses)
Rules of the Road
Motorway Rules
Road and Traffic Signs

If you have special needs then at the time of your theory test booking it is important that you state your needs so that the necessary arrangements can be made by DSA.

The theory test can be taken in 20 other languages through the use of a headset giving a voice-over. The available languages are- Spanish, Albanian, Arabic, Farsi, Cantonese, Hindi, Bengali, Turkish, Gujarati, Dari, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Kurdish, Polish, Mirpuri, Portuguese, Pushto, Tamil and Urdu.

You may be able to take a translator, if your language is not offered. The translator must be approved by the DSA and at present can only be accommodated at the following theory test centers- Aldershot, Birmingham, Derby, Birkenhead, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Ipswich, Preston, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Glasgow and Palmers Green.

If you fail your theory test, you may retake the theory test as many times. However, you must wait a minimum of three working days between each test attempt. You must prepare your test vary well before you attempt your theory test will save your time and money.

In most test centres you will get your result and, if you pass, your theory test pass certificate within about half an hour of completing the theory test.

In most test centres you get your test result within about half an hour of completing the theory test and if you pass, you get your theory test pass certificate as well.

You may be able to simply exchange it to a UK licence, If you hold a foreign license. You would need to ask to the Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency. You do not have to take a theory test if you are updating your current full UK licence.

John Graham is involved with in writing useful driving test tips, theory test books, driving theory test questions etc for years. you can get online Driving test preparation material.

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Information Systems Theory 101

“The first on-line, real-time, interactive, data base system was double-entry bookkeeping which was developed by the merchants of Venice in 1200 A.D.”
– Bryce’s Law


Systems work is not as hard as you might think. However, we have a tendency in this business to complicate things by changing the vocabulary of systems work and introducing convoluted concepts and techniques, all of which makes it difficult to produce systems in a consistent manner. Consequently, there is a tendency to reinvent the wheel with each systems development project. I believe I owe it to my predecessors and the industry overall to describe basic systems theory, so that people can find the common ground needed to communicate and work. Fortunately, there are only four easy, yet important, concepts to grasp which I will try to define as succinctly as possible.


Regardless of the type of system, be it an irrigation system, a communications relay system, an information system, or whatever, all systems have three basic properties:

A. A system has a purpose – such as to distribute water to plant life, bouncing a communications signal around the country to consumers, or producing information for people to use in conducting business.

B. A system is a grouping of two or more components which are held together through some common and cohesive bond. The bond may be water as in the irrigation system, a microwave signal as used in communications, or, as we will see, data in an information system.

C. A system operates routinely and, as such, it is predictable in terms of how it works and what it will produce.

All systems embrace these simple properties. Without any one of them, it is, by definition, not a system.

For our purposes, the remainder of this paper will focus on “information systems” as this is what we are normally trying to produce for business. In other words, the development of an orderly arrangement or grouping of components dedicated to producing information to support the actions and decisions of a particular business. Information Systems are used to pay employees, manage finances, manufacture products, monitor and control production, forecast trends, process customer orders, etc.

If the intent of the system is to produce information, we should have a good understanding of what it is…



Information is not synonymous with data. Data is the raw material needed to produce information. Data by itself is meaningless. It is simply a single element used to identify, describe or quantify an object used in a business, such as a product, an order, an employee, a purchase, a shipment, etc. A data element can also be generated based on a formula as used in a calculation; for example:

Net-Pay = Gross-Pay – FICA – Insurance – City-Tax – Union-Dues – (etc.)

Only when data is presented in a specific arrangement for use by the human being does it become information. If the human being cannot act on it or base a decision from it, it is nothing more than raw data. This implies data is stored, and information is produced. It is also dependent on the wants and needs of the human being (the consumer of information). Information, therefore, can be defined as “the intelligence or insight gained from the processing and/or analysis of data.”

The other variable in our formula is “processing” which specifies how data is to be collected, as well as its retrieval in order to produce information. This is ultimately driven by when the human being needs to make certain actions and decisions. Information is not always needed “upon request” (aka “on demand”); sometimes it is needed once daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. These timing nuances will ultimately dictate how data is collected, stored, and retrieved. To illustrate, assume we collect data once a week. No matter how many times during the week we make a query of the data base, the data will only be valid as of the last weekly update. In other words, we will see the same results every day for one week. However, if we were to collect the data more frequently, such as periodically throughout the day, our query will produce different results throughout the week.

Our formula of “I = D + P” makes an important point: if the data is changed, yet the processing remains the same, the information will change. Conversely, if the data remains the same, yet the processing changes, the information will also change. This leads to a compelling argument to manage data and processing as separate by equal resources which can be manipulated and reused to produce information as needed.


An information system is a collection of processes (aka, “sub-systems”) to either collect and store data, to retrieve data and produce information, or a combination of both. The cohesive bond between these components is the data which should be shared and reused throughout the system (as well as other systems). You will observe we have not yet discussed the most suitable way to physically implement the processes, such as through the use of manual processes, computer programs, or other office technology. In other words, at this stage, the sub-systems of the system simply define logically WHAT data must be processed, WHEN it must be processed, and who will consume the information (aka “end-users”), but it most definitely does not specify HOW the sub-system is to be implemented.

Following this, developers determine a suitable approach for physically implementing each sub-system. This decision should ultimately be based on practicality and cost effectiveness. Sub-systems can be implemented using manual procedures, computer procedures (software), office automation procedures, or combinations of all three. Depending on the complexity of the sub-system, several procedures may be involved. Regardless of the procedures selected, developers must establish the precedent relationships in the execution of the procedures, either sequentially, iteratively, of choice (thereby allowing divergent paths). By defining the procedures in this manner, from start to end, the developers are defining the “work flow” of the sub-system, which specifies HOW the data will be physically processed (including how it is to be created, updated, or referenced).

Defining information systems logically is beneficial for two reasons:

* It provides for the consideration of alternative physical implementations. How one developer designs it may very well be different than the next developer. It also provides the means to effectively determine how a purchased software package may satisfy the needs. Again, the decision to select a specific implementation should be based on practicality and cost justification.

* It provides independence from physical equipment, thereby simplifying the migration to a new computer platform. It also opens the door for system portability, for example; our consulting firm helped a large Fortune 500 conglomerate design a single logical payroll system which was implemented on at least three different computer platforms as used by their various operating units; although they physically worked differently, it was all the same basic system producing the same information.

These logical and physical considerations leads to our final concept…



An information system can be depicted as a four level hierarchy (aka, “standard system structure”):

LEVEL 1 – System

LEVEL 2 – Sub-systems (aka “business processes”) – 2 or more

LEVEL 3 – Procedures (manual, computer, office automation) – 1 or more for each sub-system

LEVEL 4 – Programs (for computer procedures), and Steps (for all others) – 1 or more for each procedure

Click for diagram:

Each level represents a different level of abstraction of the system, from general to specific (aka, “Stepwise Refinement” as found in blueprinting). This means design is a top-down effort. As designers move down the hierarchy, they finalize design decisions. So much so, by the time they finish designing Level 4 for a computer procedure, they should be ready to write program source code based on thorough specifications, thereby taking the guesswork out of programming.

The hierarchical structure of an information system is essentially no different than any other common product; to illustrate:

LEVEL 1 – Product

LEVEL 2 – Assembly – 2 or more

LEVEL 3 – Sub-assembly – 1 or more for each assembly

LEVEL 4 – Operation – 1 or more for each sub-assembly

Again, the product is designed top-down and assembled bottom-up (as found in assembly lines). This process is commonly referred to as design by “explosion” (top-down), and implementation by “implosion” (bottom-up). An information system is no different in that it is designed top-down, and tested and installed bottom-up. In engineering terms, this concept of a system/product is commonly referred to as a “four level bill of materials” where the various components of the system/product are defined and related to each other in various levels of abstraction (from general to specific).

This approach also suggests parallel development. After the system has been designed into sub-systems, separate teams of developers can independently design the sub-systems into procedures, programs, and steps. This is made possible by the fact that all of the data requirements were identified as the system was logically subdivided into sub-systems. Data is the cohesive bond that holds the system together. From an engineering/manufacturing perspective it is the “parts” used in the “product.” As such, management of the data should be relegated to a separate group of people to control in the same manner as a “materials management” function (inventory) in a manufacturing company. This is commonly referred to as “data resource management.”

This process allows parallel development, which is a more effective use of human resources on project work as opposed to the bottleneck of a sequential development process. Whole sections of the system (sub-systems) can be tested and delivered before others, and, because data is being managed separately, we have the assurance it will all fit together cohesively in the end.

The standard system structure is also useful from a Project Management perspective. First, it is used to determine the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for a project complete with precedent relationships. The project network is then used to estimate and schedule the project in part and in full. For example, each sub-system can be separately priced and scheduled, thereby giving the project sponsors the ability to pick and chose which parts of the system they want early in the project.

The standard system structure also simplifies implementing modification/improvements to the system. Instead of redesigning and reconstructing whole systems, sections of the system hierarchy can be identified and redesigned, thereby saving considerable time and money.

This analogy between a system and a product is highly credible and truly remarkable. Here we can take a time-proven concept derived from engineering and manufacturing and apply it to the design and development of something much less tangible, namely, information systems.


Well, that’s it, the four cardinal concepts of Information Systems theory. I have deliberately tried to keep this dissertation concise and to the point. I have also avoided the introduction of any cryptic vocabulary, thereby demonstrating that systems theory can be easily explained and taught so that anyone can understand and implement it.

Systems theory need not be any more complicated than it truly is.

If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail at

(For Milt and Les).

Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant located in Palm Harbor, Florida.

He can be contacted at:

Copyright © 2009 Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Lecture 1 of the Course on Information Theory, Pattern Recognition, and Neural Networks. Produced by: David MacKay (University of Cambridge) Author: David Ma…