Stanislav Ya. Yankovsky
The word "information" is presently well known to everybody. Meanwhile, it has come into common use since not very long ago, i.e. in the middle of the twenties century by initiative of Claude Shannon. He has introduced this term in a limited technical sense as applied to the theory of communication or code transmission (called Information Theory). About simultaneously with him, Norbert Wiener substantiated a necessity of approaching to information as a common phenomenon significant for existence of nature, human being and society.
Eventually, the term has been getting an ever broadening and deepening sense. This was in parallel with that a need for processes of moving and processing of what was given a common name Information to be organized in a conscious manner was growing up.
Meanwhile, the notion of information as such still remains to a high extent intuitive and gets a variety of meanings in different areas of human activities.
The time seems to have come to get back to the Wieners approach and consider the exchange of Information as a global phenomenon on the whole. This is the only possible way to reveal its common properties and conformity with the laws of nature of which the knowledge may happen to be useful in studying and construction of every particular realization of this phenomenon.
To draw a most general definition of the information notion we shall single out one of its properties so that it is, on the one hand, inherent to any of its specific manifestation and, one the other hand, allows distinguishing the latter from manifestations of other notions. In other words, our intent is to single out one necessary and sufficient characteristic by which we shall find whether this or another phenomenon refers to manifestation of the information notion.
Let us start with construction of a most simple scheme with the following three notions: Object, Medium and Interaction. Object is something stable in time and limited in space interesting to us as a whole. Medium is a set of all other potential Objects interesting to us only from the viewpoint of their influence on condition of the Object singled out and a reverse influence of the Object on their condition. Interaction is an extended-in-time process of interdependent changes in condition parameters of Object and Medium. This scheme is closed in the sense that Medium incorporates all potential Objects being able to affect condition of an Object singled out.
In the nature, there exist two fundamental types of interaction: exchange by matter and by energy. Fundamental character of these types of interaction consists in that all other interactions occur thanks to them. These types of interaction follow the law of conservation. The amount of matter and energy that one object transmitted to another is as much as the other received and vice versa. The losses during transmission are not considered for losses of matter and energy are impossible in a closed medium, and what is called losses are individual acts of interaction with other objects of the same medium. Medium is closed in the sense that only inside it all interactions occur.
Interactions energy and matter between objects is symmetrical, i.e. one object transmitted as much as the other received. Transitions between matter and energy do not affect the total balance due to the laws of preservation of their ratio constant. Object destruction resulting from such interactions does not affect the total balance either for the sum of constants of the relation between matter and energy resulted from fragment destruction (new objects) is also preserved.
Let us assume as an axiom that interaction of a higher order based on combination of fundamental interactions may take place between objects, in this case some substance gets over from one object to another and losses of one object are not consistent with gain of the other. Such an interaction is non-symmetrical. In an extreme case of non-symmetrical interaction, as substance is transmitted between objects one of the objects gains it whereas the other does not lose. The amount of energy and matter will naturally be changed in this case since the given interaction act is based on a combination of fundamental types interaction ensuring substance transfer.
Now we shall formulate a most general definition of the Information notion we shall depart from in the future.
Any interaction between objects during which one object gains some substance and the other does not lose it, is called Information Interaction. In this case, the substance under transmission is referred to as Information.
Two most general properties of information follow from the above definition.
First: Information cannot exist outside of object interaction. Second: In the course of this interaction information is not lost by any of them.
Let us consider now possible development of information interaction of an object with medium depending on development level of the object proper.
All objects in the nature consist of elementary particles combined into more or less complex structures. That is why all interactions among objects are reduced to interaction of elementary particles and follow microcosm physics laws. These elementary interactions are completely symmetrical. Strictly speaking, it is these elementary interactions that lead to formation of various more or less stable structures based on elementary particles. Starting from a certain stability level, it is already possible for these structures to be considered as self-dependent objects.
Interaction of these objects among themselves is formed of a great number of interactions among the particles constituting them. Properties of these summary interactions are determined by a totality of properties of the particles constituting them and the structure they are combined into.
It is possible to say that the portion of particle interactions that serves maintaining stability of an object as a structure determines it as "the thing in itself". The other portion that manifests itself in interactions of an object, as a whole with other objects determines it as "the thing for others". Thus, the laws of interactions among objects result from the laws of their particle interactions. However, the larger the number of particles, the more they diverse and the more complex their interaction in object structure, the more difficult the derivation of general interaction laws from particular ones. In this case, an ever-increasing role is played by statistical laws of large numbers that ensure increasing stability of object interaction laws as a whole. Starting from a certain stability level these laws can already be considered independent which do not take into account the laws of every individual particle interaction. This is how laws of interactions among atoms, molecules etc. up to laws of macrocosm and social laws, well known to us, result from elementary particle interaction laws. Interaction laws of higher level objects are based on statistical integration of interaction laws of lower level objects constituting them. By the way, social interaction laws are not so stable because the number of components constituting interacting sociums is not large enough for stable work of the large number laws.
The idea of universe laws formulated neither proves, nor disproves the existence of God for it answers the question "how" rather than "way".
Let us get back to non-symmetrical interactions among objects and, in particular, information interactions. It should be reminded once again that these, as such, are possible only as a complex of symmetrical interactions of which the combination results in extraction of a certain substance as a self-dependent unit that we call information. We shall be considering the substance properties going from information interactions of simpler types to more complex.
Primitive types of information interactions can already be singled out in lifeless nature. For instance, catalytic interaction is just the case. It consists in that one object called catalyst changes chemical reaction rate inside a group of other objects called reagents; after that the catalyst itself remains unchanged in terms of all its properties. This process can be conceived as a primitive information interaction between a catalyst and reagents when the latter ones receive from the former one some information which they realize in the form of changing their own interaction.
This primitive type of information interaction is interesting because, on the one hand, it is a complex of symmetrical interactions not too much complicated and can be derived from them in a comparatively easy manner. For example, this interaction may consist of a simple succession of symmetrical interactions between a catalyst and individual reagents during which the catalyst redistributes matter and energy among them and thus organizes interactions among them although it finally remains in its former state. On the other hand, basic factors inherent to information interaction manifest themselves in a primitive form already in this interaction.
First. Information interaction based incorporates as a component of its basis a complex of symmetrical interactions and thus information is transmitted between objects via matter or energy exchange.
Forms of matter or energy that information is transmitted by will be called Information Codes or, in short, Codes.
Second. Information interaction may occur provided there is a certain mutual agreement in properties of objects. Thus, in every catalytic interaction, these are the only objects with a set of properties required for a given interaction that are able to participate in it. Perception of information based on the codes received is determined through ability to realize it in conformity with properties of a receiving object. In the long run, what information it can accept depends on its properties while receiving a concrete set of codes.
A set of object properties allowing it to perceive the codes received as a certain information will be called Apparatus for Information Code Interpretation or, in short, Interpretation Apparatus.
Third. Information is realized in a receiving object through certain change in the object condition (internal and external properties) related to the information. In so doing, this change is also possible without receiving information but, in this case, it will be less probable. Information facilitates transition of the object receiving it to one of the conditions potentially inherent to it; i.e. it is conformable to its properties. In the simplest case considered, conformity of information to a receiving object is governed to a substantial extent by the availability proper of an interpretation apparatus with the receiving object since both of them are based on the same properties of the object. Nevertheless, we shall run here the risk of developing a statement on conformity and to formulate its strengthening.
In the broad sense, it is possible to say that the information received by an object is necessarily expedient to it.
So, by means of a simplest example of information interaction we have shown three principle factors necessary for its running. These are availability of codes transferring information, availability with a receiving object of a code interpretation apparatus and, finally, mandatory expediency of information for an object receiving it. One can say that information interaction is one of the types of interactions related to passing over from objective to subjective. It is interactions with phenomena existing independently of an object wherein it participates as "a thing for others" but the result of which is perceived by it as "a thing in itself". Now we shall try to run down the development of these factors and information exchange properties as objects participating in it and types of their interaction are getting more complicated.
The first condition distinguishing live form from lifeless is its potentiality to reproduce other forms similar to its own form in terms of inner structure and types of interaction with environment. For the purpose of realizing this potentiality, an alive form gets matter and energy from environment and converts them inside itself producing replicas of its components and organizing them into a structure wherein they will interact among themselves the way they interacted while in initial form. These actions mean continuous change in internal condition of a live form while properties of its interaction with environment are preserved. By the way, continuous internal changes is the main cause of that an alive form existing at every next moment differs from itself existed at a previous moment and finally its properties change to such an extent that it proper stops being existent and disintegrates. Alive forms are not as long-lived as lifeless in which internal changes are directly conditioned by symmetrical interactions with environment.
Let us consider a simplest form of life, i.e. a virus, as an object. Its interaction with habitat is reduced to nutrition (consumption of matter), consumption of energy, secretion of waste (in the form of matter and energy), reproduction (construction of its replica) and dying (disintegration to individual chemical molecules).
A virus consists of a nucleic acid molecule and albumen capsule preventing each other from disintegration. This is a basic purpose of their internal interaction. Nucleic acid plays a principle role in reproduction of another similar virus provided consistent environment conditions are available.
We are aware of viruses able to reproduce in medium of live cells alone. But it does not mean they cannot exist in other media. More than that a virus being a form simpler than a live cell had come into existence as a species yet before unicellular live forms did.
The virus reproduction mechanism is reduced to that on getting to a certain medium it changes a complex of chemical interactions occurring among its objects in such a way that they result in synthesis of mature virus particles, i.e. virions wherefrom other similar viruses are formed under certain conditions. This type of the virus-to-environment interaction is similar to catalytic interaction but at a much higher level of complexity. Reagents of this interaction are no more simple chemical molecules but more complex high-molecular compounds. The codes transferring information are no more simple physical objects and elementary acts of energy influence but their complexes much more complicated in composition and structure. The code interpretation apparatus functioning is based here on complexes of chemical law actions so complicated that very often it does not already seem possible to derive a strict dependence from one another. In this interaction, biological laws already start revealing as being higher than chemical from the standpoint of complexity level.
The information expediency principle exists as before in the sense that all the totality of reactions resulting in appearance of a new virus may as well occur without participation of such a virus. However, a coincidence of complex circumstances required for this event is much less probable than for reagents of catalytic interaction, i.e. it may occur very seldom. Still, this seems likely to happen. From time to time, a high-molecular compound medium produces its new viruses by itself.
The virus-to-environment information interaction has one more principal qualitative distinction in terms of catalytic interaction. In the latter case, the reaction result has nothing to do with a catalyst. As to the result of a virus information influence on medium it is significant to the virus because it ensures keeping its existence as a species. Here, the fourth factor of information exchange already manifests itself although in a most primitive manner. It may be called Information Transmission Orientation or, in a broader sense, Purposefulness.
Purposefulness of information interaction is a factor of its significance for existence of a concrete object transmitting information or for existence of its species.
A principal distinction of a cellular form of life from virus is that all the components of which interaction ensures reproduction of another similar form are combined in it as in a single structure. It goes without saying that to ensure such internal interaction of cell components there should be a possibility for a cell as a whole to interact with environment. The only what a cell directly needs to exist and reproduce is symmetrical interactions in the course of which it receives from environment the matter and energy maintaining interaction of its components..
The internal mechanism of cell reproduction is development of the virus reproduction mechanism. Inside a cell, there is a basic component of which purposeful information influence on other components leads to construction of another similar component. However, this does not exhaust its functions yet. A component enters into such information interactions with the rest of cell components that direct their interactions to creating a whole complex of cell components. Thus, one can say that this basic cell component acting like a virus in the direction of self-reproduction, organizes reproduction of an environment wherein its own reproduction becomes possible as well.
This basic component of a cell represents a nucleic acid molecule variety, namely, the deoxyribonucleic acid molecule (DNA). Investigation into DNA structure and mechanisms of its interaction with the rest of cell components is a subject for Genetics. It should be merely pointed out that DNA consists of components called nucleotides of which individual groups organize certain stages of the cell reproduction process through participation in various information interactions and, in total, organize the whole process.
The primary coming of a cell into being as a live form happened because it could take place under certain, although hardly probable, situations of virus-to-environment interaction. At some moment, functioning of a certain virus lead to that a molecule of its DNA and objects which it entered into interaction with happened to be inside one capsule. At this, any of them was able to come into being as realization of virus information interaction with other objects. Coincidence of all these circumstances might occur so seldom during the whole history of life development on our planet that only very few cases have probably happened to form cells stable enough to exist and reproduce themselves as a species. In so doing, the stability did not turn out to be complete enough (the law of large numbers was not realized to a sufficient extent) so that in every case, cell reproduction should lead to forming a complete replica of a parent cell. At this point, new cells started appearing; the most stable of them were preserved as a species. This has just served as a basis for a large variety of currently existing live forms to come into being.
An interesting point about a live cell is that it is about a closed environment from the viewpoint of internal information interactions occurring in it. Their number is sufficiently limited that allows studying everyone of them individually and their complete interrelated structure as a whole. This is certainly a separate task, we shall consider but some properties of these interactions important from the viewpoint of their importance development in more complex information processes.
Information interaction of DNA with a cell component goes through intermediate interactions with some other components rather than through direct symmetrical interactions among them. These are several types of ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules in a cell. While interacting with DNA they acquire properties that in the course of their further interaction with other cell components result in transmitting them some information to be realized directly in the processes of life maintaining and cell reproduction. Thus, the codes through which information is transmitted from DNA do not coincide with the codes used for receiving information. The intermediate step of information interaction may be extended in time and the moment the information is transmitted does not coincide with the time the information is received. Availability of this time interval and information re-encoding create preconditions for information distortions (among those a possibility of its loss too) in the course of its passing over from one object to another. For an object, distortion of information results in decreased expediency of information changes occurring in it in the course of the information realization. As to a cell, this is fraught with failure in general stability of its vital functions and destruction.
With the aim of preserving a cell as a species during a long period of time there should exist a mechanism for protecting information owing to distortions occurring from time to time. Such a mechanism may be of different nature but the most important is that it should be inherent to properties of the information proper to be transmitted.
Information redundancy is such a property. (This is not its single role useful in the course of information interaction.) Redundancy may realize through simple repetition of codes or in a more complicated manner, i.e. through self-restoring codes. Code self-restoration is based on that it is not only codes directly transferring information that participate in its transmission but also supplementary codes by which correctness of basic codes is checked while it is received. If necessary and possible, information is realized in the same way as if the codes were not distorted. Strictly speaking, it is not the codes proper that undergo restoration but the information carried by them is preserved within permissible limits of distortions and losses. Differentiation of codes into basic and supplementary is rather conventional. Genetic studies demonstrate that the same information can be transmitted by different portions of one DNA and should any of them be excluded this will not lead to distortion of DNA functions. A possibility of using the information redundancy property naturally requires that object receiving information should have consistent properties.
The number of nucleotide groups in DNA molecules is larger than that necessary for normal functioning of a cell. At the same time, the share of excess groups grows against the share of basic groups as functions of a self-dependent cell or an organism of which the cell is a component get more complicated. Respectively, the number of codes involved in transmitting information from DNA is larger than actually needed. This seems to be just what provides primary protection of information from distortions and losses during its exchange inside a cell.
One more factor manifests itself in intracellular exchange of information, which should be taken into account for considering this process. It is present in the process of virus interaction with cell components. The cell that a virus gets in is an environment for it. On starting information exchange with cell components the virus changes their interaction in a purposeful manner and by that makes them to create another similar virus. Such interaction results in distortion of internal information interactions in the cell. If information distortions occurring in this case become significant the cell loses its ability to maintain its own existence and disintegrates. A cell is able to fight against some information distortions, it cannot do this against others whereas the third ones may happen to be neutral or even able to facilitate its existence.
Judging by a virus structure based on either DNA or RNA molecule, viruses have several possibilities to interfere in intracellular information exchange. These are either to distort information in the course of its transmission by changing condition of a cellular RNA or to transmit information by entering into direct interaction with certain cell components instead of a corresponding RNA. Another possible option is when a virus DNA molecule interferes in structure a cell DNA molecule and starts sending information primarily distorted.
The factor of purposeful information transmission from one object to another in situation when its realization is found to be expedient for the former and inexpedient for the latter we shall call misinformation.
In general, notions of Information and Misinformation define the same substance but refer to different ethical categories. They correlate with each other just like notions of spy and intelligent agent do. These notions, considered in terms of their conformity to different purposes, transform from one to the other.
Using a live cell as an example, it is possible to analyze one more type of information interactions. In a cell, DNA not only sends information to other cell components but also receives information from them. If the above information as transmitted is called control information, the latter can be defined monitoring information. This information is transmitted by RNAs (the same ones or others participating in transmission of monitoring information). The information received by DNA is realized in it via changing its condition and thus governs formation of control information. As a result, changes in controlling the processes occurring in a cell are realized in accordance with variations in conditions of its existence. In particular, realization of monitoring information may go through a complex of control information interactions of DNA with other cell components realized by them via the process of its self-reproduction just at the moment that a cell as a whole is ready for it.
Monitoring information plays one more important role in ensuring cell existence stability. Interaction of a cell, as an object, with environment results in changing condition of its individual components, and corresponding information comes to DNA. Realization of such information via changing effects of control information interactions makes the cell as a whole to pass to a condition most adequate for its preservation under given conditions of interaction with environment. Every live cell has such abilities within certain limits simply because those that did not have them terminated their existence as a species. Here is realized the well-known Hegels thesis saying, "Everything existing is reasonable".
Adequate response of a cell to environment condition represents realization of information received from environment. Mechanism of this realization is based on changes in component interactions inside a cell including information interactions. The cell-to-environment information interaction significance consists in purposeful changing of such an exchange running in a direction most advantageous for existence of a cell as a unit or a species as a whole rather than in results of matter-with- energy exchanges.
Every individual component of a cell is extremely unstable. Its existence consists in regular renovation of a major portion of its sub-components involved by it and energy make-up of their interactions. A relative stability is attained through a complex of interactions of all the cell components for matter and energy exchange of which the primary source is interaction of a cell with environment. Coordination of internal interactions related to exchange of matter and energy is attained through a complex of monitoring and control information interactions of which the central component is DNA molecule. It is interesting that among the processes controlled by these information interactions there is a complex of catalytic processes realized by a certain group of cell components, i.e. biocatalysts. As has already been shown above, catalytic process is a process of most primitive information interaction. Thus, we can see that information interaction may have a hierarchic structure which combines together different interactions levels in a coordinated manner.
Even under most ideal conditions of cell-with-environment external interaction (which, in general, does not exist) instability of separate cell components results in instability of their internal interactions, including information ones. Distortion of the latter is especially important because it affects coordination of all other processes due to losing their significance for each other. This, in its turn, affects internal information interactions and starting from a certain moment the process of their distortion becomes irreversible, cell is getting older, loses its ability to ensure existence of its components and dies.
Unicellular organisms as objects of information interaction with environment differ from viruses, first of all, in that the latter are, mainly, a transmitting side whereas unicellular organisms, on the contrary, are a receiving side. In conformity with the above, the apparatus with unicellular organisms intended for interpretation of information codes through which they receive information and realize it in their actions is developed better. (Truly, we, in general, know nothing like that with viruses). The apparatus of information code interpretation available with cells is of unconditioned and direct character. Its unconditioned character means that the identical code combinations are always perceived by a concrete cell as one and the same information realized by the same actions. Direct character of the apparatus action means that the information is realized about immediately. A cell is not able to store an information received for whatever time, no matter how short it is, and to realize it in a while. The steps of information code interpretation and realizing the information received are not practically divided inside a cell.
By way of a simplest example it is possible to cite reception and interpretation of information received from environment by unicellular organisms such as bacteria in the course of their search for nutrition.
For bacteria, the event of receiving nutrition as such is simultaneously an event of receiving information on nutrition availability. This information is realized via changing the length of their single movements (direction is always casual). The more frequent nutrition, the shorter run. Thus, the probability that bacteria will stay in a rich nutrient medium for a time longer than the time they will stay in a poor nutrient medium is getting higher. This is the most primitive manner in which a live form realizes information during its interaction with environment by way of controlling its own actions (control as a choice of actions out of alternative possibilities available).
The apparatus for interpretation of information received by a cell from environment is completely and unambiguously governed by DNA molecule structure (since it is this structure that controls the apparatus construction) and is transmitted from a parent cell to a daughter one through DNA replica. It does not change during the whole life of a cell and is identical with all cells of one species.
Colonial unicellular organisms became a precondition for multicellular live forms to come into existence. On reproducing, their daughter cells do not separate from a mother cell and exist in immediate contact. Like all unicellular organisms, daughter cells being mainly a receiving side in information interactions are the only ones being able to come into mutual information exchanges of most primitive types related, for instance, to information on their physical contact. External information is received from environment and realized by each member of colony in a self-dependent manner. Their joint activity is limited by the factor as such of creating a single body, which have vitality higher, in terms of its physical parameters, than vitality of the components constituting it.
In this respect, it is interesting to cite an example of behavior of amebas, which although not being colonial organisms are still able to create temporary colonies. While in hungry state, they release some substance (one of DNA components), this is perceived by others as information making them to get closer and create groups. A kind of integer mucus (something similar to a colonial organism) is created. Under influence of environment, this mucus is able to move in space for distances much longer than individual amebas. At that, amebas proper do not spend their energy for movement and, therefore, they live for longer time under energy deficit. On achieving nutrient medium, mucus disintegrates into individual amebas and they act as self-dependent objects again.
Multicellular organisms differ from colonial by, first of all, differentiation of functions of certain groups of cells in the course of their interaction with environment. Their common feature is that a multicellular organism like a unicellular colony grows up from one mother cell. Differentiation of cell functions during their mutual activities as a whole requires their actions to be coordinated with each other. This coordination is attained through a complex of control and monitoring information interactions occurring. In a multicellular organism appear cells capable of entering into information interactions with other cells as a transmitting side.
In all other respect, a cell in a multicellular organism interacts with other cells in a manner that, in principle, is the same as a unicellular organism interacts with components of its environment. The only principle distinction manifests itself in the course of cell self-reproduction. It is not a usual case that a cell becomes a complete replica of its mother cell. The process of cell self-reproduction is affected by its information interaction with surrounding cells and environment of an organism. A daughter cell DNA is a complete replica of its mother cell DNA whereas a complex of other components may differ substantially.
Thus, the central element in information control of cell component interactions is the same in every cell; however, it performs but the portion of its functions that corresponds to interaction with other components available in a cell.
In an organism, cells different in their structure perform different functions. As a complex, they ensure interaction of an organism with its environment that should finally maintain existence of every individual cell. To do that, it is necessary for different cell actions to be coordinated via their information interactions (monitoring and control). Such information interactions with simplest multicellular organisms are put into effect by the same cells that maintain matter and energy exchange with environment. However, at a rather early stage of multicellular form development accompanied by a growing complexity of environment interaction complex necessary for their existence (Coelenterata organisms), there already come into being the cells specialized in organizing information interaction among the rest of cells. Such cells are called neurons.
Neuron structure of all multicellular organisms has common specific features, i.e. it has several short appendages (dendrites) and a long one (axon or nerve fiber, or, in popular language, nerve). Dendrites serve the purpose of information interaction with neighboring cells whereas axons serve information interactions with cells located at a substantial distance (their length may reach more than a meter). From about the very beginning, functional differentiation of neurons comes into being as well with regard to participation in monitoring and control internal information interactions (in biology, corresponding functions are called sensory and motor).
In a simplest case, organism-to-environment information interaction based on neuron participation is organized through nerve (reflex) arcs. A nerve arc begins with cells-receptors that come into symmetrical interactions with environment and change their internal conditions. Changing their conditions results in changing their interaction with a sensory neuron. This interaction is already an information interaction. A neuron receives information codes from a receptor, interprets them absolutely and directly through changing its own condition and realizes them by transmitting its own codes to another neuron. This, in its turn, transmits its own information codes to motor cells that change their condition already in a direct manner and by that organize a responding-to-environment interaction expedient to an organism as a whole under current circumstances.
The sequence of information interactions among different cells occurring in a nerve arc constitutes an information interaction act of a higher level where a receiving side is already an organism proper. Such an act is, to a high extent, of the same character as an information interaction act between a unicellular organism and environment. The information code interpretation apparatus (based on strict sequence of neuron actions) used in it is unambiguous and direct like in the case of unicellular organism. The difference is present in terms of growing complexity and diversity of information codes received as yet and in more complex and diverse actions realizing the information as it is received, respectively.
Higher complexity of multicellular organisms resulting from their evolution is accompanied by processes with growing complexity in their interaction with environment in conformity with the need to maintain a large spectrum of their symmetrical interactions with environment. This ensures the existence of an organism as a whole rather than existence of every cell.
The growing complexity of information exchange with environment is ensured inside organism by increasing complexity of the apparatus intended for interpretation of information codes received. Its functioning is still based on actions of neurons but already interacting among themselves in more complicated structures: nerve-knots, nerve centers and, finally, in cerebrum and medulla. A complex act of an organism information interaction with environment occurs on the basis of hierarchic structure of simple acts. Monitoring information comes from different points to knots, from them to centers and then to cerebrum. From cerebrum, control information is distributed over different hierarchic lines, through appropriate centers and knots to organs realizing it via corresponding actions.
Hierarchic structure of individual simple steps of information interactions ensures qualitative transformation of monitoring information from the type it was received from environment to the type on the basis of which its realization is initiated. This means transformation to the type that leads to generation of control information in the centers directly organizing organisms response expedient under current environment conditions.
Qualitative conversion of information as it passes from lower hierarchic levels of its processing to upper ones consists in its generalization.
Information generalization is transformation of information on availability of a set of simple specific events into information on availability of some higher-level event incorporating the above specific events as its individual components.
A need for generalization is, first of all, related to that at any individual step of information exchange there is a principle limit for number and diversity of information codes possible for interpretation apparatus of an object receiving information at a given step to work with. Information generalization consists in replacing information on concrete particular events with information on an event, which consists in their mutual manifestation. This information is transmitted by a number of codes smaller than a summary number of codes required for transmitting information on all particular events.
It goes without saying, that, in this case, losses of details in reflection of a situation are inevitable, however, this allows its coordinated realization via transmission of a command information adequate to a given situation as a whole. Generalization enables getting at least some expediency in realization of information interactions different in details but similar as a whole under conditions of limited possibilities for accounting specific features of every one of them. Realization of generalized information consists in generation by an object of such actions that must be expedient under conditions of a whole complex of particular events available rather than every one of them in separate.
For the purpose of final realization, command information passes through corresponding centers and knots in inverse direction wherein it is worked out in detail via embranchments leading to concrete organs that perform elementary actions constituting adequate behavior of an organism as a whole with regard to external situation. A lot of different concrete situations is reflected in the same generalized information and realized via the same actions of an organism, respectively. If these actions lead to nearly the same result useful to an organism then generalization of information is lawful.
Generalization of information received by a multicellular organism is realized through its passing from different points to nerve-knots that change their condition parameters corresponding to each particular portion of the information. At a certain combination of these parameter values nerve-knots initiate sending information to a higher level nerve center informing it about the event of this combination availability.
A simplest mechanism of generalization may be of an unconditional character. In other words, identical combinations of information codes coming from different points to a nerve-knot, center or cerebrum are interpreted in it in a deterministic manner according to its abilities remaining constant during the whole period of its existence. Correspondingly, the same generalized information based on these codes comes into existence.
An apparatus of information conventional interpretation appeared with multicellular organisms and started developing as their evolution proceeded. This apparatus was able to realize but at a level of a sufficiently developed cerebrum in which millions and billions of neurons are interacting. This interpretation apparatus functioning seems to consist in that on receiving and realization of information, neurons do not immediately return to a condition completely equivalent to that existed prior to their participation in the information interaction but keep its traces in themselves for a while. Besides, there should exist other neurons receiving generalized information on condition of the former and maintaining the condition of their own components dependent on this information. Such neurons do not take direct part in the basic information interaction chains although they are able to interfere in them by simulating conditions of certain neurons in the presence of combinations of conditions of other neurons found together with the them sufficiently often. In consequence, it turns out that a complex of information interactions is going on as if some information was taking part in it although the information has not yet come by a given moment.
In result, organism implements the action consistent with the situation that was to take place but it has not yet manifested itself for the organism in its information interaction with environment. Such actions Pavlov called conditioned reflexes. Successive development of an ability for conventional interpretation of information codes which is running during the whole life of a concrete organism means adjustment of its inherent interpretation apparatus for concrete conditions of existence.
In order to get a possibility for conventional interpretation of information codes it is necessary for several important factors to be available simultaneously. The first of them is memory.
Memory of an object is changes, which occur in its information code interpretation apparatus as a result of the object individual information interaction acts and which are kept for a while on completion of these acts.
Memory proper is useless for an object if it cannot be used by the object in the course of changing its information interaction with environment on the lines ensuring increased expediency of interactions with environment organized by it. An interpretation apparatus having the property of memory is able to realize it by simulating information on an event not yet received by the apparatus but should possibly be received proceeding from partial information received heretofore and its interrelation with admission of other portions of the information in the past. Such action of the interpretation apparatus represents a forecast.
Forecast is simulation of receiving new information on the basis of information being received at a current moment and its comparison with the scope of information received previously.
The memory of what was in the past is used in the course of forecasting what will be in the future. For the purpose of providing this opportunity an object must enter into such information interactions with environment from which it receives not only the information to be directly realized at the present moment but also the information which is presently useless for it. The higher internal organization of an object and the more complicated the complex of its interactions with environment, the more information presently useless should be received to accumulate in its memory. A need for it follows from the uncertainty of what specific interactions may take place later on and what current information will be realized in them.
Memory, ability to generalize and forecast available in total represent a precondition for developing what is called abstract thinking. It consists in that information related to phenomena that may have never existed and will never exist is simulated and processed.
An object memory is always limited and the major portion of the information being received remains unclaimed. At that, its total body (in terms of information codes transmitting it) undoubtedly exceeds the abilities to remember it completely. In order to prevent memory from overfilling and, consequently, from losing ability of normal functioning there should necessarily exist a mechanism to clear it up (to forget) thereby enabling the same memory components to remember new information.
The memory clearing mechanism can be realized, first, on the basis of instability in preserving memory component active condition by which information is fixed. They are gradually self-restored while in passive state, and the more rare the information bringing them to a corresponding active state, the higher rate of their self-restoration.
In a more complicated case, an active state restoration may be conditioned in the course of application of the information remembered that proves its usefulness rather than in the course of its reception.
One more possibility of clearing memory out is transformation of a set of individual but interrelated parameters relevant to condition of memory component groups into a generalized form and storing the information already generalized by changing condition of other component parameters rather than a complete erasing of information traces. This requires less memory resources although involves losses of details.
As mentioned above, a multicellular organism grows up from one embryo cell formed by mother organism. The main part of this cell is DNA molecule of which control information is realized in the cell development, its subsequent multiple fission and then in development and fission of its daughter cells. Daughter cell component composition and properties and, consequently, functions as well are affected by what cells were formed earlier. Invariable with all cells remains but composition and structure of DNA molecule.
A DNA structure represents two linear chains of nucleotides. Nucleotides of one chain and nucleotides of the other chain are connected by pairs. Both chains form a double spiral. Out of four possible nucleotide types but one can be located at every position of a chain. Self-reproduction of a cell begins with separation of these two chains and formation for each of them of a similar forming-a-pair chain the same as the one existed before. For unicellular organisms this process is terminated with coming into being of a second cell identical to the first one, for multicellular organisms this, as mentioned above, is not a usual case. Every cell has a limited number of functions governed by information influence of individual portions of its DNA on other components. This influence is unambiguously determined by combination of nucleotide pair types involved into a given portion.
In unicellular organisms, one DNA involves from 1 up to 10 millions of such pairs. So long as in multicellular organisms identical DNA molecules control quite different cells, the number of nucleotide pairs required for it gets even higher. This number already makes from 100 millions with animalcules and up to 3.3 billions with a human being (this number is even higher with amphibia although not clear why). At that, the share of redundancy of these pairs mentioned above increases together with increase in their number. The share of control sections with a human being comes up to 3% out of the total number of pairs. The redundancy provides protection for the inherent information code interpretation apparatus being transmitted from cell to cell via DNA and protection for control information generated by DNA. The more complicated information interactions, the more protection is required for DNA proper and the information transmitted by it.
Variability of cells is conditioned by that DNA structure distortion still happens during its reproduction. Small distortions lead to insignificant individual changes in cell properties, substantial changes occurring extremely rarely lead to coming into being of their new species if they turn out to be viable. Occurrence of new species produces material for natural selection and, thus, results in evolution of live forms. Individual changes are important for preservation of a species because they ensure a possibility of coming into being for groups of its individual organisms adapted to current changes in environment. Individual variability is even stimulated by many species of multicellular organisms via the process of sexual reproduction during which a DNA embryo molecule is formed from molecules of two parent organisms and without coinciding with either of them has its own potential for information interactions.
In the course of evolution, processes of information processing get more complicated and acquire new qualities in multicellular organisms. However, in this case, the presence of all former simpler processes (up to catalytic) acting either in individual information interactions in a self-dependent manner or involved into more complicated processes as their components, are still preserved as well. Everything complex is built of simple and by acquiring new qualities maintains previous ones to a high extent. New qualities while developing condition the coming into existing of even more complicated new qualities.
The ability to enter into information interactions with environment not only as an object receiving information but also as an object transmitting it in a purposeful manner emerged with multicellular organisms as a new quality. This created preconditions for development of information interaction among organisms with the purpose of coordinating their actions leading to increasing stability in existence of any of them. Social formations able to act as self-dependent with respect to environment started emerging. They realize their interaction with environment via a complex of specific actions of its individual members related via internal information interactions.
The principle distinction of social formations from evolution of live forms consists in that it ensues from gradual development of potentialities of information interactions among members of these formations rather than casual factors related to changes in DNA. Natural selection of most viable options is a common factor for evolutions of both types. Properly speaking, the second type of evolution does not substitute the first; it is running against background of the first but within the framework defined by it.
Existence of any socium implies coordinated actions of its members, firstly, on the lines of ensuring existence of a socium proper and, secondly, on the lines of ensuring existence of its individual members.
Coordination of actions is achieved by means of information exchange processes inside a socium. Nothing new occurs in the structure of these processes as compared to similar ones in multicellular organisms. There are recipients of initial information. Flows of monitoring information begin with them, then join together in intermediate knots and reach the main center. The center generates control information channeling off via knots to the implements that eventually realize the initial information through summation of their actions in a direction expedient to the socium. Some chains of information flows may not pass through the center but move aside in intermediate knots. Such chains are also present with multicellular organisms. The principle body of monitoring and control information flows with organisms and in sociums is related to the need of mutual ensuring vital functions of the components constituting them.
This means that the major portion of information processes run so that the "thing in itself" is able to exist. Both sociums and organisms may manifest themselves as the "thing for others" in interactions with external objects, including interactions with different sociums. Lastly, sociums may be involved into more complicated sociums as components.
Crowd represents a most primitive socium. Objects integrate into a crowd to achieve some single purpose. A crowd is characterized by an extremely low interaction level of its members that determines a primitive level of actions of a crowd as a whole although everyone of its members may, in separate, posses a strong potential for diverse actions. A crowd is not long-lived, it disintegrates on achieving the purpose it was based on or if a purpose disappeared due to other reasons.
Basic distinctions of a socium from an organism is that socium comes into being in a way different from multiple successive fission of one component and each component of a socium is, to a certain extent, able to exist separately out of it. These distinctions, like others less valuable, are not significant at all with regard to consideration of information interaction mechanisms occurring in them. There is a principle distinction but in composition, properties and possibility of changing the means applied to organize information interactions. With most developed sociums such a means is represented by language as a sign system determining rules for constructing information codes and a set of these code carriers that ensure their durable existence in time and transmission over large distances in space.
Evolution of sociums is related with the development of information interaction means of its members, namely, and, especially, of the means used for construction and use of their cumulative memory. The rate of this evolution is much higher than that of organism evolution. This is related to that information interaction means used by socium may incorporate not only the means organically inherent to its members but also the means introduced to it from outside. Highly developed sociums are able to develop, in a purposeful manner, external information interaction means used by them. The means that a socium is not able to live without can already be considered as components organically inherent to it.
The previous portions of the present paper showed a common character of principles of information interactions occurring among objects at different levels of natural phenomena organization. The common character enables us to fill the gaps in studying information processes of one level with the use of knowledge on analogous processes of another level.
Eventually, knowledge of general principles allows approaching organization of such internal and external information interactions of an object that will support purposes of its existence to the best advantage.
A single act of object information interaction with environment has three successive stages. The first stage is reception of information codes. The second stage consists in interpretation of these codes. The third stage consists in realization of the information received as a result of the first two stages. Realization of information may consist in a combination of symmetrical and asymmetrical (informative and non-informative) interactions with environment and changes in an object internal condition.
All the three staged have some concrete contents conditioned by object properties covering its physical abilities and purposes of its existence. The notion "object purposes" is introduced as a general directivity of object actions for satisfying its needs. Object needs are understood in a most general sense. They can be defined as what prevents object existence. A long-term dissatisfaction of needs (more often they say "discontent") leads to terminating existence of an object as such. Complete absence of needs results in termination of any actions of an object. Something that manifests itself in nothing seems as if it does not exist or at least it cannot be an object (the "thing for others") any more.
Thus, object needs change permanently and object purposes that its actions are aimed at change, respectively. The range of their change is limited by object physical abilities in terms of construction of its actions.
Structure of object purposes depends on its own structure and may be very simple or very complicated. Complicated structures represent a hierarchy wherein achieving purposes of lower level (sub-purposes) results in achieving purposes of higher levels. These, in their turn, can be sub-purposes of even much higher levels. The existing purposes determine internal need for object actions that are realized as the object receives information interpreted by it as an available possibility for achieving an expedient result. We do not consider the notion of a final purpose (or sense of life).
This is not already related to studying information processes and, therefore, is not our subject. To us, it is important to take into account only that the information is perceived and realized by an object proceeding from a set of its current purposes. Causes of their existence are not a significant factor to us.
The body of information to be received is related to purposes for which it is received and potentialities to realize them for achieving these purposes. At that, one of the results of this information realization may be a change in the interpretation apparatus. This determines the effect of information body received earlier on the information body to be received later on.
The body of information received by an object is defined as an uncertainty elimination measure for choosing actions leading to achievement of its purposes.
If energy determines a possibility to perform actions them information determines a possibility for expedient choice of these actions. The body of information can be related but to the totality of object purposes of which the achievement degree changes as a result of the information realization.
In so doing, the object may approach achievement of a corresponding purpose or may retire from it (e.g. in case a misinformation received is realized). So, the body of information received may be both a positive value and a negative value.
To continue, we shall be considering the process of an object information interaction with environment at each of the three stages. At that, we shall always keep in mind their inter-correlation via purposes available with an object.
Information codes are received by an object through its symmetrical interactions with environment, i.e. through exchanging matter and energy on the basis of which information codes are, strictly speaking, transmitted. Origination, as such, of information codes sent by external objects may be purposeful or of a background character. The purposeful generation of information codes originates from actions of an object sending them. It is related to its purposes; approaching them is provided by how the codes sent by it will be interpreted, and how information had been received will be realized by other objects. The background generation runs as a side consequence of an object functioning during which it enters into symmetrical interactions with other objects.
Reception of some information codes causes changing of object condition consistent with those symmetrical interactions (exchange by matter and energy) that conditioned the process of information code transmission.
New object condition parameters occurring in this case can be abstracted from the cause by which they were induced and called the data received. It is these data that will participate later on in information processes initiated in the object via reception of this group of information codes from outside.
Data are a functional worth of information codes for actions of the apparatus of their interpretation abstracted from the nature of symmetrical interactions being the basis for transmitting these codes.
There are one more important point distinguishing the notions of information codes and information data. Symmetrical interactions are the code the carriers, in which an object receiving them participates as the "thing for others". Their origination does not depend on the receiving object. In this respect, they are of objective nature. Data, on the contrary, participate in processes inside an object and their properties refer to those of its properties that define it as the "thing in itself". In other words, the nature of data completely dependents but on the properties of the object itself. In this sense, data have a subjective nature. Thus, the transition from external information codes to internal data is a transition from objective into subjective. To explain the above in more detail one can adduce an example as follows.
Pete gave an apple to Mary. In this case, he made such action aiming at displaying his good attitude to her. He has used the apple as a carrier of an information code that, as he had accounted for, would be interpreted by Mary in a manner favorable to him. Objectively, that was the case.
Now the matter depends on Mary. But Mary has a strong allergy to apples and some unpleasant filling occurs with her. This is how objective information codes were changed into subjective data. On the basis of these data, the information that Mary has perceived was quite different from what Pete had tried to transmit to her. Such was termination of their good relations.
Symmetrical interactions which an object takes part in are not always perceived by it as information codes. If object used an immediate result of such interaction for subsequent control of its condition change it means that a stage of information interpretation and its realization has taken place. At that, one can say that an object received information codes. As to complex objects, very often it is not so easy to define which event is carrying information codes to them and which one does not.
Many complex objects are able to control selection of information codes from symmetrical interactions at the level of receptors already. Here, an object installs primary information filters working at the stage of converting information codes into data. From the whole complex of symmetrical interactions, these filters select but those significantly informative for an object. A simplest example of a dynamical structure of primary information filters is observed with people living close to a railway. The trains passing by produce strong sound waves causing eardrum oscillations. At first, people pay attention to it perceiving information on a train movement. Later on, this information is saved in their memory in a generalized form on that trains move permanently but it concerns them very little. Eardrums keep oscillating due to sound waves produced by trains but no data on information reception is generated. The people simply do not hear trains when in their houses although they do not lose ability to perceive sound waves of different origin or to hear the same trains under different conditions. Everybody can find out a lot of similar examples in his everyday practice and also opposite examples of generating abilities with receptors to receive information codes they were unable to receive in the past.
It is worth noting here that information filters act in a complex manner at all stages of information processing. Their designation is related not only with selection of information facilitating achievement of object purposes but also with the lack of receptivity with respect to the information that the object is simply unable to process and realize.
Data received from information codes are interpreted by object. What does it mean? First of all, their significance to a given object is estimated. The data values are defined by comparing them with the complex of object purposes and by separating those of them that the object can approach by realizing the information eventually obtained. To do that, an object should have a structure of current purposes to be formed by the beginning of data processing.
This structure can be represented by a multi-level complex of components of which everyone is consistent with a need for an object to achieve any single purpose. Relations among components are determined by that achievement of some purposes is dependent upon achieving others. Every component is associated with a set of object possible actions that affects achievement of a corresponding purpose and with character of the data capable to provide it with information facilitating selection of expedient actions. The purpose structure may have a character partially static and partially dynamic depending on properties of the object proper. This concerns composition of components, their internal contents and relations among them. This structure can be called memory of object purposes.
Data not corresponding with any of object purposes do not bring information to it and are, therefore, lost. They bring the object back to the state it was in prior to receiving these data. Purposeless use of data means a distortion in purposefulness of object functioning and if such distortions become significant it leads to termination of its existence.
The second step after estimation of data significance for an object is either a direct perception of the data as some information and their unconditioned realization (reflex arc), or they are saved in memory components related to object purposes had been determined at a previous step. A set of the data saved previously and newly coming data related to the purpose of their saving is estimated for sufficiency of their totality to make choice of object actions bringing it closer to a corresponding purpose. The estimation process may be of different nature depending on object properties but it is based on comparing of an available complex of data with information patterns of actions constructed previously for a given purpose. Information patterns of object actions may be inherent (static) or constructed as a result of previous acts of information interactions (dynamic).
Information patterns of actions ensure comparing characteristics of data sets, actions and results of approaching a purpose. In other words, they are used for estimating a possible result of actions aimed at achieving a corresponding purpose if certain data are available. Ability to construct dynamic patterns is determined by availability with an object of a possibility to change some components of its memory according to which of its actions led to what results in the presence of what information.
Here we come close to that at a certain development level of objects, the properties of information simulation of their interactions with environment used for making choice of behavior most expedient for them becomes inherent to the objects. Thus, it is lawful to speak of an information model of external environment available inside an object and its interaction with environment.
Information model of object environment is a structured totality of three components:
1. Information perceived by an object and remembered in the form of data,
2. Information patterns of object actions,
3. Methods of comparing the first two components in accordance with a set of object purposes.
Concrete ways to realize this model with different objects may have different component basis but from the conceptual standpoint they are constructed and act in accordance with general principles resulting from their common designation and generality of information process properties in the nature. Let us try now to describe a conceptual logic system of the model operation.
The environment information model (EIM) has a complex structure determined, first of all, by the structure of object purposes.
Fig.1 shows, in a simplified form, a fragment of EIM. Ovals highlight its components (nodes) of which everyone consists of three components. Of these: Cij - a purpose on the basis of which the component is formed; Aij - a set of information patterns for actions relevant to this purpose; Dij - data on which the choice of actions for achieving this purpose is based. The straight double arrows stand for admission of primary data generated by receptors from information codes. The straight single arrows stand for influence of achieving some purposes upon achieving others. In addition to that, they denote data transmission between nodes. Among these data are also present those that represent current degree of purpose achievement.
Every EIM mode memorizes but the data possible to compare with action patterns (i.e. can be used for choosing purposeful actions). Deflected double arrows stand for generation of control information, initiating object actions to achieve a corresponding purpose. Their choice is based on comparing data and action patterns associated with this purpose. Choice of actions may have different character. This may be a choice of actions leading directly to achieving purpose or actions aimed at receiving missing data, without them no acceptable result of approaching a purpose can be achieved.
In this case, we consider activation of actions aimed at achieving a sub-purpose for receiving information necessary to achieve a higher purpose. Besides, initialization of actions leading to changing EIM structure proper is possible. Undoubtedly, the structure changes with complex objects and these changes may follow from nothing else but results of its own functioning. The changes may concern composition of EIM components, their relations and structure of components constituting them. It is necessary for the kind of these structures to be considered in more detail.
No interactions wherein an object takes part can be considered separately from one another. These interactions represent a portion of phenomena occurring in this medium. The medium is closed and every phenomenon occurring in it exerts different influence on other phenomena. Everything in our world is interrelated, however, in order to reflect all relations existing in it one would need to create, by whatever means, another system as complicated as this world. From objective point of view, it becomes necessary to use simplifications for describing these interactions. Such simplifications are made, first of all, by introducing the notions of cause-effect and integrant-integer relations.
Cause-effect relations among phenomena stand for that one of them takes place when and but when a certain set of other phenomena takes place. ("Takes" place proper rather than "had taken" place because the past produces influence on the future through the present alone). At that, one phenomenon may be involved in a set of causes of different phenomena without having cause-effect relations. Integrant-integer relations are introduced to denote fractionation of one phenomenon into a complex of phenomena of which everyone, as such, may be considered as self-dependent. In this case, every separate phenomenon may be an integrant of different complexes without having integrant-integer relations. Separate phenomena involved as integrants into an integral phenomenon may have mutual coordination relations (in particular, control-subordination) among themselves. It is these relations that allow considering their complex as an integral phenomenon.
The notions of cause-effect and integrant-integer relations actually represent notions of real relations between phenomena. When the former are used it implies availability of a sequence in occurring of a consequent event in some time interval after causal events. Nevertheless, both types of events can be considered jointly as integrants of a common phenomenon extended in time.
As the notion of integrant-integer relation is used it usually implies space distribution of particular phenomena constituting an entire event singled out in the same space. Meanwhile, availability of particular phenomena and their interactions among themselves may be considered as causes resulting in existence of an entire phenomenon as a consequence. Thus, the use of different types of integrant-integer and cause-effect relations is determined by what factor dominates in the tasks they are used for: space or time.
An object, wile perceiving information from environment through its interaction with it, should arrange its responding actions with regard to the environment so that they should be consistent, in an objective manner (independently from the object), with a structure of events existing in the environment. Otherwise, these interactions will be chaotic and, therefore, will not lead to achieving object purposes. Choosing purposeful actions requires that a data structure through which an environment condition is reflected in its EIM should be consistent, to an extent sufficient to its purposes, with a stricture of events available in the environment. In this case alone, it can get an adequate estimate of consequences of its possible actions necessary for choosing the most expedient of them.
Phenomenon relations (of both integrant-integer and cause-effect types) should be reflected in its EIM through relations among data groups corresponding to fragments of information on these phenomena. For the object, the data groups, proper, is a reflection of current condition of an event constructed on the basis of reception of information codes from it. If one event, as such, being a component of another one also incorporates a complex of phenomena then the data on its condition may, in their turn, incorporate connected groups of data on individual events. Thus, data may have different level of generality. A minimal level of generality is determined by object sensitivity, i.e. its ability to distinguish information codes received by it with regard to their relevance to different events.
Sensitivity of an object depends on properties of its receptors or, more exactly, their ability to generate essentially different data while receiving different information codes. A maximal level of generality depends already on properties of EIM components, possibilities of transmitting data between them and possibilities of changing composition of components as well as their relations. Both minimal and maximal levels of data generality are constructed by an object proceeding from the principle of expediency for their use as generating objects actions under conditions of the phenomena running.
If one phenomenon is perceived by an object as a portion of other phenomena not consisting with each other, it then means that the data group consistent with this phenomenon is simultaneously involved into different groups of data corresponding to more general phenomena. Relations of EIM components fix such involvement. Position of individual phenomenon in integral phenomenon is reflected in its data group by a separate sub-group, which can be called relation coloration. Data of relation coloration are relatively independent from data relevant to individual phenomenon and are determined by how an object perceives an integral phenomenon as a whole.
Data on individual phenomena are indirectly related among themselves via their relations with integral phenomenon. Besides, particular phenomena may have coordinating relations between each other. In this case, establishment of associative (non-hierarchic) relations among groups of data relevant to these phenomena can be used in EIM. It is natural that this may occur provided reflection of such relations is expedient for an object. Associative relations may have their own coloration as well.
Data are involved into EIM so that they are used by it for choosing purposeful actions rather than to simply fill it. Expediency of deferent actions can be estimated as preliminary but on the basis of data on cause-effect relations of phenomena. Expediency of object actions is directly related with what consequences of these actions will be. From here on, one can assert that the component structure of action patterns of an object in its EIM should be consistent with the structure of phenomenon cause-effect relations in the object environment. The degree of this consistency should be such as that necessary for an object to organize actions for achieving its purposes. It is quite natural that no complete consistency can exist but a process of increasing the degree of consistency that allows ensuring expediency of object behavior may occur.
For the purpose of determining whether a consequence is available or is coming, it is necessary to estimate if a complex of its causes is available. These estimates can be expressed in a qualitative way such as "little", "sufficient", "possible", "unknown" etc. Complex of causes may also cover actions of an object, proper, which it has already implemented or is going to implement for achieving its purposes. Just these actions in combination with external phenomena either lead or do not lead to manifesting a consequence of which availability exerts influence on achieving object purposes.
Action patterns related to any elementary purpose can be presented in the form of flat matrixes. Rows of these matrixes are consistent with object possible actions. Columns correspond to estimates of a current situation by the data available on it. At intersection points of columns and rows there are expediency estimates of every possible action under conditions of possible estimates of a concrete situation. Situation estimate is made simultaneously with admission of data on it. Situation estimate is made for the purposes of which the achievement may be affected by this situation.
Data-to-purposes references, although not final, should be available from the very beginning. It is purpose references that data processing begins with. In accordance with every purpose, which the data are referenced to, they are given an estimate to be used for choosing most expedient actions (based on application of these estimates in appropriate patterns), including actions related to further application of these data.
The data estimation function may be fixed or may change depending on action results actually obtained and also to what extent the actions chosen facilitate an object to approach its purposes. Adjustment of estimate function is based on reception of new data related to an actual result of object actions and its comparing with an expected one.
The primary reference and estimation of data groups are made simultaneously with their admission. This is where from the process of their movement and processing begins in EIM. As new data come to EIM node, all data are subjected to integral estimation for this node. It is this estimate superimposed over action information patterns that determines the choice of the most expedient of them. If an EIM node is subordinated to other nodes, a generalized estimate of its data new condition should then come to higher nodes. At that, a generalized estimate for every higher node depends on coloration of relation with this node and represents a new data portion referenced to this node. In every higher node, an integral estimate of all its data and choice of actions for its patterns are performed, respectively. Thus, reception of information codes induces a flow of data to EIM of an object and their distribution over its nodes. Processing of this flow against action patterns of the nodes participating in it results in a complex realization of the received information together with the information fixed in these nodes earlier.
Reception and interpretation of information codes by an object bring it to a need of performing some complex of actions expedient for it in current situation. This complex consists of changes in parameters of object inner condition (interactions of its components) and changes in its external manifestations (interactions with environment objects). The principle of expediency of action organization incorporates the principle of timely implementation of every action in separate and coordination of them for time in a complex manner. To this end, it is necessary for an object to monitor the results of its actions or, in other words, to receive information occurring as a result of implementing every stage of these action, and to realize it at subsequent stages. Termination of every stage of information realization brings an object to the beginning of a new act of information interaction.
Object activities consist of continuous succession of informative and non-informative interactions with environment. This chain begins with coming into being of an object and terminates with termination of its existence. Each action in this chain should necessarily run in real time scale, i.e. from the instance of information reception up to its realization there should pass some period of time during which situation will not change to the extent that actions undertaken turn out inadequate to it. The time scale during which information is processed may be different for its different types and corresponds to the expediency principle of its realization. Ensuring of information processing rate depends, to a high extent, on organization of data distribution in its EIM and organization of access to their groups needed for them and used for choosing actions expedient at a given moment.
Flow of data in EIM and their distribution over its nodes are, first of all, oriented in the direction of preparing their use in organization of a choice to be made by an object for taking actions leading to achievement of its purposes. Every new portion of data should get such a position in EIM wherein its processing for a corresponding purpose will lead to expedient realization of the information received. Distribution of data in conformity with their designation implies defining for them signs of their references to some object purposes or others and references to concrete EIM nodes, respectively.
Determination of data references already begins with receptors by which their flow is generated on receiving information codes. Receptors may be specialized in terms of sending data related to but a single purpose of their use and the matter of data reference is then already solved completely at their level. Such receptors, namely, dominate with simplest organisms. As objects and, respectively, their information interactions with environment become more complicated, the share of universal receptors receiving information codes and generating data of multi-purpose designation gets higher. Specification of data references coming from universal receptors is already realized in EIM, proper, although, a preliminary range of references may be established by receptors. For the purpose of establishing data references at a lower level of EIM there should exist filters which specify their references to purposes of their use on the basis of certain characteristics of data.
The same filters sift out the data of which designation cannot be defined or is estimated as useless. Filters may be static (inherent) or dynamic (adjusted in the course of object functioning). Filters represent nodes of EIM for they have all the three components inherent to its nodes. They have purposeful designation, data under temporary storing and action patterns with the help of which further flow of data is generated and directed.
Adjustment of nodes-filters is related to determination of such data characteristics, which enable to establish their relevance to different groups of environment phenomena and, respectively, relevance to object purposes of which the above groups affect achievement. At the initial stage of functioning of an object, adjustment of its EIM filters may have a chaotic character based on casual changes in algorithms. Those of casual algorithms of which the use becomes most useful for achieving object purposes are gradually fixed. Something like a process of algorithm evolution in the course of which new more expedient algorithms come into being on the basis of previous ones is going on little by little. Disappearance of inadequate algorithms of data references is provided by ability of memory to clear up or, in other words, to forget.
The EIM structure may have a polyhierarchic appearance determined by dividing object purposes into sub-purposes and by multiple meaning of subordination of sub-purposes to purposes of higher level. Structure of EIM data components also has a polyhierarchic appearance owing to involvement of data on individual phenomena into groups of data on more common phenomena. Both these structures are consistent with each other because higher purposes of an object are related to interaction with more common phenomena and decomposition of these purposes leads to purposes related to interactions with individual phenomena.
In the course of evolution development of objects and parallel development of their sociums, specialized means for their information interactions, i.e. languages, became available and started developing. A language starts manifesting itself when objects get a possibility to generate successions of information codes corresponding to various phenomena and transmit these codes to other objects being able to interpret them as information related to corresponding phenomena. Every component of a language is visualized as a combination of certain codes and correlate with a certain single phenomenon.
Succession of such combinations generated according to certain rules already correlates with relations between phenomena. Thus, structure of a language used by socium members for their information interactions is consistent with a structure of phenomena, which individual members and their socium as a whole interact with. Language is structured as much as the coordinated interaction of socium members is structured with phenomena of their environment. From objective standpoint, different sociums consisting of objects of similar types and dealing with monotypic phenomena of environment have similar structures of their languages and vice versa.
EIM filter-nodes of the objects involved into one socium are given the same adjustment of algorithms for determining consistency of the data obtained from language information codes, with different phenomena and their purposes, respectively. This enables socium members to acquire, in a mediate way, the information they need via interaction with other members of socium rather than from direct interaction with environment phenomena. In principle, such mediate reception of information simplifies and extends possibilities for objects to achieve their purposes under conditions when direct reception of information is hampered or impossible. The EIM adjustment related to interpretation of language information codes may be static like with ants or dynamic like with higher animals. Abilities for dynamic adjustment of language interpretation with animals are determined by degree of neuron reticula development with their organisms.
Language is even more prominent with the objects being able to implement EIM dynamic adjustment. Language exerts influence by its structure on structure formation of EIM, proper. Thus, language affects the structure of object information processing and forms the structure of what is, while in a developed form, called thinking.
In every language component or their combinations there is already their reference to complexes of phenomena denoted by them and, consequently, to purposes of the objects related to interaction with these phenomena as well. Such initial reference of information codes simplifies navigation of a data flow in EIM occurring in the course of their reception. This, in its turn, simplifies the stage of information realization as objects achieve their purposes.
Relevance of data groups to different object purposes and to different nodes of its EIM, respectively, may have different degree of consistency depending on their potential usefulness for achieving a corresponding purpose. Fixation a data-to-node consistency degree estimate and its possible further re-estimation related to their use enables, on the one hand, to avoid immediate loss of data of which designation is not yet determined. On the other hand, it enables to single out the data possible for clearing out from memory, if overloaded, with least losses for an object.
The degree of data-with-EIM node consistency determines the degree of need for fixing them in this node. Estimation of a consistency degree provides operation a data filter, already functional rather than primary, operating on the basis of checking data usefulness as the information they stand for is realized. It should be pointed out that estimate of the data group-with-EIM node consistency degree does not coincide with estimates of their completeness and accuracy. These data already pertain to all data on a node and depend on to what extent their complete set is sufficient for correct choice of purposeful actions. Estimate of a degree of consistency with a node is determined from to what extent a data group under consideration can be used at all while actions providing achievement of purposes related to this node are chosen against information patterns.
Data enter into EIM node in a successive order whereas for choosing actions they are used jointly. In the course of processing there may occur a situation when according to information patterns it is necessary to make a simultaneous choice of actions incompatible with each other. Such a situation may mean either availability of contradictions among separate data groups or availability of potentialities equally worth for choosing different actions. Contradiction in data may occur as a consequence of insufficient adequacy of action patterns available for a corresponding purpose. In this case, the contradiction can be eliminated through adjustment of these patterns.
Misinformation received by an object or malfunction of receptors may be another cause of contradiction. Elimination of such contradictions may occur in the course of admission of new data proving certainty of some data groups and uncertainty of others. More complicated algorithms of eliminating data contradictions related to their complex comparing for all EIM nodes are also possible. Maintenance of EIM logic integrity determined as absence of contradictions in its data is a mandatory condition for object purposeful functioning.
The objects combined into a socium interact with environment phenomena of which a substantial portion takes place inside socium. Partly, every object interacts with phenomena being external with respect to socium. In a similar manner, sociums also interact with environment phenomena basically belonging to higher level sociums they are involved in. A socium exists provided the purposes of its members are compatible and if it has a possibility to organize mutual support for achieving purposes of its members.
Socium should have a complex of its own purposes to ensure a possibility for its existence. At that, their achievement can be supported but through actions of objects involved into it. To this end, some portion of object own purposes should constitute sub-purposes of different socium purposes. One can note that totality of those object purposes, which support achievement of one socium purpose, is related to it in a cause-effect ratio. Achievement of this object purpose totality results in achievement of a socium purpose. At the same time, objects, proper, are related to a socium purpose as integrant-integer ratio whereas their interaction between each other represent correlating relations in this socium.
In this case, the same objects may be involved in different sociums simultaneously. Every object has its own EIM and a similar one is also available with their socium as a self-dependent object. Every node of its EIM is constructed on the basis of distributed-in-space carriers. These are its objects and information processing means used by them. In accordance with the above, information models of object environment represent a basis that a socium EIM is constructed on. The latter does not coincide with a simple association of the former ones and has its own components belonging to no one of socium members. In exactly the same way, every member of a socium has its own EIM components irrelevant to socium proper.
It is possible to say that in contrast to the object EIM structure that we described with 2D flat diagram, the EIM structure of their socium needs to be described with 3D volumetric model. However, the number of dimensions of an EIM model is a conventional thing, the only absolute thing is increase in the number of dimensions required to go from one to another. Should one start describing EIM of a socium with description of EIM of the cells constituting its organism, the number of dimensions of a constructed diagram will get a great deal higher.
Socium is created through interaction of objects involved into it and these namely are the only its builders. Until recently (to a scale of life existence on Earth), the process of socium construction was of a character very much similar to the character of the organism natural selection process. By way of casual variations and extinction of false variants there were found the forms of object interaction organization so that, one the hand, they should be of mutual advantage and, on the other hand, provide stable existence of their association in the form of a socium. Information interaction of socium members is a basis of any socium existence. Without this, organization of their joint activities would simply be impossible.
Prior to occurrence of human being and his sociums, potentialities of information interaction inside a socium were always limited by organic abilities of its members. In the course of nature evolution there appeared far more complicated organisms with more powerful potentialities of information interactions. Evolution of their sociums was going on strictly parallel to it. On human being coming into existing, there has occurred a great qualitative advance in leisurely evolution of nature. This is related to speaking abilities of a human being organism. Developed ability for generating and selective perception of a large spectrum of sound waves and their modulations provided human being with a powerful means for receiving and transmission of information codes. Gradual learning to master this means expressed in development of languages for communication has taken about 150 thousand years.
For about the same time, functional abilities of a human being organism have not been changing substantially but, in turn, have inevitably been getting more complicated and functions of human being social formations have been developing as well. Language as a basis for information interaction of people not merely provided their sociums with a possibility of simple existence but its development has created a basis for evolution of human sociums. For the first time in the history of life, evolution of social formations was no more dependent on evolution of organisms constituting them and development of information interaction means became its pivot.
We shall not be considering here in detail the history of means used by people for information transmission and processing that have arisen on the basis of language intercourse forms. These means were developing from petroglyphs to computers and space communication. We shall merely note that up till now the process of their development was of a natural selection character and it was not before very recently that it has started acquiring a purposeful character. However, until now there is a shortage in a general theory determining trends in developing means for work with information as well as their position in organization of a common complex of information interactions in social formations constituted by people.
It was desirable that this paper shows, first of all, the need and potentiality for developing a general theory of information that would be able to become a methodological foundation for purposeful creation of new information technologies. Our hope is that general principles of information movement that the EIM description is based on may turn out to be a principle basis for developing such a theory.
 Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, MIT Press 1948, 1961.
 V.M. Lachinov, A.O. Polyakov, Informodynamics, or Way to World of Open Systems, 2nd ed., SPb., 1999. (Russian)
 V.I. Korogodin, Information and Phenomenon of Life, Pouschino, 1991. (Russian)
 V.G. Redko, Lectures on Evolution Cybernetics (Russian)
 V.S. Repin, Molecular Information: Myth or Reality (Russian)
 V.S. Repin, Life Begins from 350 Genes
 V.F. Tourchin, The Phenomenon of Science, Columbia University Press New York, 1977