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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited
This journal has always been at the forefront of introducing new ideas and innovative studies to the fields of systems and cybernetics. Not only are our contributors encouraged to "set out their wares", but readers are positively invited to discuss the published work, and also to participate in the evolution of new theories and concepts. Indeed our sections concerned with short papers, communications and forum, were designed to ensure "the right to reply", whether in support of the published contribution or to present an alternative viewpoint.
The Editorial Advisory Board, therefore, accepted with great pleasure the initiative of Dr Yi Lin, a systems theorist and applied mathematician from the USA, to be Guest Editor of a special double issue that is devoted to one of the most fascinating concepts that is currently being debated worldwide. He has worked closely with Professor Ou Yang, of the People's Republic of China to produce this work on what has been internationally recognised by the title "blown-ups". Both an explanation and introduction to the theory and methodology of this concept is published here for the benefit of the international world of learning.
This special issue is a collection of papers on an interesting and increasingly important work presented as a theoretical study and with practical applications. Many of these applications lie in the area of meteorology, but there is a considerable transfer to many other far-reaching areas of application. Some of the results of these papers have been presented to conferences worldwide, and in particular, recently in Germany, when these new concepts were well-received at a special topic session organised by our guest editor, Dr Yi Lin.
Many readers, as they consider this preface, will already be intrigued by the title given to this issue, and also to its theme. It would appear that most cyberneticians and systemists who wish to further the aims of these multi- and trans-disciplinary studies already know of the need to have a sound marketing strategy for their endeavours: a vague title is not an asset when a new concept has to be presented. Dr Yi Lin originally suggested: "Blown-ups of nonlinear systems and a revisit to Lorenz's 'chaos", with the subtitles: "The resolution of nonlinear mystery and the Tao of general systems transforms". The title, however, which he finally selected is, perhaps, more illuminating because it emphasises the "mystery of nonlinearity" and considers "Lorenz's chaos", both of which present challenges to scientists and mathematicians throughout the world.
This issue's theme is tackled, first, by introducing and explaining its nature, and then in the three parts: theory; application; and some general aspects. The first papers are of a theoretical nature and take a tutorial form, while the latter ones are real application studies. Throughout, the reader's "input" is sought and comments are encouraged, with interaction with the writers or through the pages of this journal. Many of the papers are sourced in the People's Republic of China, and consequently provide a refreshing and stimulating approach to these studies.
There is no doubt that the cybernetics of Wiener encourages this form of investigation, however seemingly unorthodox it might appear to those who express little regard for modern thinking, particularly in relation to nonlinearity.
The Editorial Advisory Board of this journal is particularly indebted to Dr Yi Lin and his colleagues who have contributed such fascinating and thought-provoking studies. Already the themes taken up here are being enthusiastically discussed internationally and we are confident that this issue has a specially important contribution to make.