Regulation (nature and technology)

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The control is a process in systems in which the interaction takes place (in nature , control systems and Company ), and wherein a principle variable (dynamic) size usually automatically is kept constant or approximately constant. The term used in science for this process is cybernetics , an interdisciplinary branch that became established in the 1940s. Norbert Wiener was the founder of cybernetics .

An essential property of the regulation process, which is widely encountered , is that the value of the variable to be kept constant is determined as the actual value (measurement) and, if it deviates from the desired setpoint, is changed in such a way that it approaches it again. Because the drift from the setpoint is counteracted, the feedback is a negative feedback (reversal of sign).

Examples of regulations

Controlling a variable does not mean that the effects of disturbances are fundamentally eliminated completely and in the shortest possible time. Particularly in the case of a major disruption, there is often a noticeable change in the variable to be regulated, which only gradually fades and sometimes also with a fluctuating value (example: increased body temperature during illness). Often there is also a minor interference (so-called permanent control deviation).

DIN definition (technology)

The standard DIN IEC 60050-351: 2009-06 defines the concept of regulation as follows:

“The regulation , the regulation , is a process in which a variable variable, the controlled variable, is continuously recorded, compared with another variable, the reference variable, and influenced in the sense of an adjustment to the reference variable.

Note: The control is characterized by the closed action sequence, in which the controlled variable continuously influences itself in the action path of the control loop. "

Related terms (technology)

Differentiation between control and regulation

Regulation is often confused with control or viewed as identical. In the control, however, there is no feedback and consequently no closed action sequence.

In the English language the word control is used for both control and regulation. To differentiate, closed-loop control is used for regulation and open-loop control for control .

See also

Portal: Measurement, control and regulation technology  - overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of measurement, control and regulation technology


  1. Social regulatory processes usually do not take place automatically, but are conscious processes. Due to the high complexity of the interactions, a single measure ( control ) is usually not sufficient , but the effect must be continuously determined and action must be taken again.