Autonomy and closure

  • Nils Bertschinger (MPI MiS Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany)
G3 10 (Lecture hall)


Closure and Autonomy play a fundamental role in systems theory were they are used to define a system as distinct from its environment. From a more practical point of view, in robotic systems the question of how to obtain an agent with true behavioral autonomy is of great interest.

Here, an information theoretic formalization of informational closure and interactive autonomy is presented. Having well-defined, formal measures allows to quantify the degree of closure and autonomy that is found in natural as well as artificial systems. Furthermore, a close relation between the concepts of closure and autonomy is established.

Both concepts are illustrated using computer simulations of simple finite state automata. In the end, further applications especially addressing closure of the sensory-motor loop and self-organization of behavior are discussed.

Antje Vandenberg

Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften Contact via Mail

Nihat Ay

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig

Ralf Der

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig

Mikhail Prokopenko

CSIRO, Sydney