## System Identification, Approximation and Complexity (1977)

Venue: | International Journal of General Systems |

Citations: | 34 - 23 self |

### BibTeX

@ARTICLE{Gaines77systemidentification,,

author = {Brian R. Gaines},

title = {System Identification, Approximation and Complexity},

journal = {International Journal of General Systems},

year = {1977},

volume = {3},

pages = {145--174}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

This paper is concerned with establishing broadly-based system-theoretic foundations and practical techniques for the problem of system identification that are rigorous, intuitively clear and conceptually powerful. A general formulation is first given in which two order relations are postulated on a class of models: a constant one of complexity; and a variable one of approximation induced by an observed behaviour. An admissible model is such that any less complex model is a worse approximation. The general problem of identification is that of finding the admissible subspace of models induced by a given behaviour. It is proved under very general assumptions that, if deterministic models are required then nearly all behaviours require models of nearly maximum complexity. A general theory of approximation between models and behaviour is then developed based on subjective probability concepts and semantic information theory The role of structural constraints such as causality, locality, finite memory, etc., are then discussed as rules of the game. These concepts and results are applied to the specific problem or stochastic automaton, or grammar, inference. Computational results are given to demonstrate that the theory is complete and fully operational. Finally the formulation of identification proposed in this paper is analysed in terms of Klir’s epistemological hierarchy and both are discussed in terms of the rich philosophical literature on the acquisition of knowledge. 1