The Functionalist Design of Adaptive Environments


The adaptability of an adaptive system or environment is fully dependent on the functionality of its processes. The adaptiveness of an entity is defined by the concepts and fundamentals of its functions while the consequent operational processes ensure the results.

The functionality of processes defines their potential energy while the effective energy is defined by the operationality of the processes. The effective energy cannot exceed the available potential energy of an entity.

Therefore, the functional design of an adaptive system or environment is essential to define its possibilities. It defines the value a system can generate.

The expansion of the possibilities of an adaptive system requires, necessarily, increasing its potential energy, which is based on the upgrade of its functionality.

This requires making its functional design that allows organizing based on its nature, which is defined by the underlying concepts and fundamentals.

As it was mentioned, the functionality of these fundamentals defines the potential energy of any adaptive system.

The use of functional design differs structurally from operational design. While the functional design emulates processes, the operational design simulates processes.

Therefore, there is a need to have sound knowledge to be able to emulate processes first and simulate these processes afterward.

The emulation of processes requires managing the root causes of their functionality. The simulation of processes only requires having knowledge of their operational aspects.

The Design Process

The gravitational force that allows the functional design of adaptive systems is the need to increase the value of processes or their adaptability. This naturally drives towards seeking their root causes, which requires managing the unicist ontology to deal with the concepts and fundamentals that define them.

The purpose of the functional design of an adaptive system is the design of its operational process based on the knowledge of its functionality.

This begins to be achieved by developing a unicist conceptual engineering process that allows transforming universal ontogenetic maps into specific ontogenetic maps that describe the functionality of their specific functions. This description includes the indicators of the functionality or dysfunctionality of the fundamentals of processes.

The final stage to develop the operational process of an adaptive system is having the knowledge of the “know-how” and the “know-why” of the processes included in the system.

When this knowledge is functional, the functionality, dynamics, and evolution of the system are ensured.

The Ontogenetic Structure of Functional Design

The purpose of a functional design is the development of the conceptual design of an adaptive system that is the input to develop the solution.

The conceptual design can only be apprehended if it is transformed into actions that generate the results that have been emulated in the functional process.

These actions occur at an operational level and require making the necessary destructive tests that allow defining the scope of the application of the solution.

Maximal Strategy

The maximal strategy is based on the use of the unicist conceptual engineering approach that allows the designing of the specific functional structure of an adaptive system.

The specific ontogenetic map defines the concepts and indicators of an adaptive system and requires experiencing it to confirm its functionality.

The experience of the emulation of a conceptual solution requires making real applications of solutions in the real environment or in homologous fields. This experience transforms conceptual knowledge into functional knowledge that includes the “know-how” and the “know-why”.

The knowledge of the confirmed structure of universal concepts ensures the quality of this process. Universal concepts are concepts that underlie a specific function and explain its functionality, dynamics, and evolution. They are cross-cultural and timeless and exist as long as the function exists.

These universal concepts are the catalysts of the minimum strategy of the design process and ensure the accuracy of the functional structure that is being defined in the conceptual engineering process.

The Minimum Strategy

The objective of the minimum strategy is the design of the functional process, which includes the binary actions that are defined as needed and their synchronicity.

This requires having the fundamental knowledge that allows establishing the fundamentals structure of the concepts of each aspect of the adaptive system that is being designed. That is why the design of adaptive systems requires the participation of people who really understand the functionality of processes and their consequences.

The minimum strategy requires developing pilot tests to confirm the validity of the functional processes that are being designed. These pilot tests need to be done until the full functionality of the solution has been confirmed.

The pilot testing is done by using prototypes. Concept cars are examples of prototypes that are used to define a new functional design. When this stage has been achieved the functional design can be completed.

The Design Process

The design process includes 4 steps:

  1. The Use of Ontogenetic Maps
  2. The Design of Actions
  3. The Design of Solutions
  4. The Destructive Testing of Solutions

1) The Use of Ontogenetic Maps

The functional design is based on the universal ontogenetic maps of the functions involved. These ontogenetic maps need to be transformed into specific maps that describe and define the functionality of the specific system that is being designed.

It requires having sound knowledge of the fundamentals that are involved in the business functions. This also requires working with people who have sound experience in the field of design.

Ontogenetic maps describe the functionality of processes, which implies that they are an emulation of objects and processes that are materialized in binary actions. The use of ontogenetic maps is confirmed by their application in the definition of these actions.

2) The Design of Actions

The design of actions is driven by the development of pilot tests. Pilot testing requires defining the context where the solution has to work. The design of actions implies designing different actions that allow testing the possibilities for developing a functional prototype.

The hypothetical process of an adaptive system needs to be defined in sub-systems or objects that require being tested to confirm the functionality of the solution that is being built.

As the functionality of adaptive systems varies according to the changes in the environment, it is necessary to test this process in different contexts that prove the adaptiveness of the actions.

3) The Design of Solutions

The design of solutions is based on developing the structural design and experiencing it until it manages the possibilities of the environment. The design of a solution requires developing a prototype and applying it.

It requires designing the system based on installing automated functions and adaptive functions. This requires defining a learning algorithm that needs to generate reliable knowledge, which implies integrating data-based learning with fundamentals-based learning.

The design of adaptive solutions is based on the use of universal concepts that provide secure knowledge of the fundamentals and allow integration of them with the input of data to build reliable adaptive solutions.

4) The Destructive Testing of Solutions

The destructive testing of solutions requires extending the boundaries of the solutions until the system begins to lose adaptiveness and finally loses its functionality.

The development of destructive tests implies, on the one hand, measuring its functionality and, on the other hand, measuring it based on its comparison with substitutes and succedanea.

The destructive test implies applying it in all the possible segments of the environment where it might be applied.

The destructive testing process includes the use of a unicist reflection process to evaluate the results.

The destructive testing process is led by the fallacy-shooter of the design process and includes the participation of the coordinator and the ombudsman to ensure the functionality of the solution.

Business Application Fields

Unicist functional design is needed to approach adaptive environments. The approach of adaptive environments requires using a strategic approach to be able to manage their functionality, dynamics, and evolution. The following business functions allow the use of unicist functional designers:

The development of strategies in adaptive environments requires that the managers involved in this process have a notorious learning capacity and a superior level of efficacy in their field of action.

The learning capacity is needed to apprehend adaptive systems and environments that have open boundaries and are evolving.

Efficacy is required to allow the development of functional solutions and operational processes.

To empower the learning capacity and efficacy, the strategy-building process requires the participation of a strategic staff integrated by at least three participants who assume the role of coordinator, ombudsman, and fallacy-shooter.