In Wilby, J. Allen, K.A. (Eds), The 47th Annual Conf. of the Int. Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), 3(103), 2003.

Towards a Framework that Models the Emergence of Meaning Structures in Purposeful Communication Environments

Argyris Arnellos, Thomas Spyrou , John Darzentas

Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean, 84100, Syros, Greece


So far, meaning constitution and processing in artificial information systems has been supported either by merely rule-based local and distributed algorithmic processes, or by purely dynamic processes of self-organization. These approaches differ due the fact that the former accepts the need of representations which are viewed as sequences of symbols being manipulated by externally given apriori rules, while the latter tries to understand natural cognitive systems from the perspective of dynamics, and keep at the same time, a non-computational and non-representational stance. Both these cases are characterized by the inadequacy to handle the emergent phenomena that characterize complex information systems, since they either process information based on static meaning structures, or their internal variety and discrimination ability cannot exhibit open-ended evolution. On the other hand, meaning structures may emerge in a communicative/cognitive framework that supports interaction. In this paper, an inclusive systems theoretic framework which supports the emergence of meaning structures from the semiotic interaction of self-organized cognitive systems is investigated, in terms of its main components and their relations. It is argued that representations are a necessary element in meaning-based interaction, but they should be defined with respect to, and in the context of, the semiotic behaviour of a system within an environment. It is believed that the richness of the discussed framework can offer fresh impetus to the design and implementation of meaning-based evolving information systems.  

Keywords: meaning, intention, semiosis, interaction, information-systems.

(C34.doc, C34.pdf)

Thomas Spyrou (Spyrou T.)