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International Journal of General Systems
ISSN: 0308-1079 (Print) 1563-5104 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ggen20
Systems, uncertainty, and information: A legacy of
George J. Klir
Radim Belohlavek
To cite this article: Radim Belohlavek (2017) Systems, uncertainty, and information: A
legacy of George J. Klir, International Journal of General Systems, 46:8, 792-823, DOI:
10.1080/03081079.2017.1388801
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03081079.2017.1388801
Published online: 16 Oct 2017.
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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GENERAL SYSTEMS, 2017
VOL. 46, NO. 8, 792–823
https://doi.org/10.1080/03081079.2017.1388801
Systems, uncertainty, and information: A legacy of George J.
Klir
Radim Belohlavek
Downloaded by [UAE University] at 09:27 25 October 2017
Department of Computer Science, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
ABSTRACT
ARTICLE HISTORY
This paper tracks scientific work and contributions of George J. Klir
(1932–2016), one of the major figures in systems movement and the
founder of this journal.
Received 2 October 2017
Accepted 2 October 2017
KEYWORDS
System; systems science;
information; uncertainty;
fuzzy logic
1. Introduction
The aim of this paper is to pay tribute to George Klir by providing an overview of his
life as a scientist and a guide through his research contributions, as well as his complete
bibliography. The paper is based on a variety of sources. The three most important are
a complete curriculum vitae of George provided to me in 2011, information I obtained
through multiple interviews of George’s wife, Milena Klir, and my personal memories from
over 16 years of our close personal relationship of George’s recollections of various events.
In addition, the two papers (Klir 1988, 2010) present useful information about formation
of George’s views as systems scientist.
2. Life and professional career
2.1. Key moments
2.1.1. Life in Czechoslovakia
George Jiří Klir was born as Jiří Klír on 22 April 1932, in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He
was the only child of his mother Emílie (b. Přitasilová) and his father Jan. George’s father
played French horn in the National Theatre in Prague. After Jan Klir lost his job due to
health problems, he was able to earn money only occasionally. As a consequence, the family
was by no means rich. Nevertheless, since George’s mother was quite capable and worked
to help improve the family’s financial situation, the family managed fine. They lived in
their own apartment which George’s father had inherited at No. 15 Černomořská street in
the nice Prague district Vršovice. The family also had inherited a house in the village of
Hrusice.
Thanks to his father and his uncle Jaroslav, George developed interest in music. Music
became his life-long passion. George took piano lessons with his uncle, who had an indepth knowledge of music and even composed music. Later on, when George himself
CONTACT Radim Belohlavek
radim.belohlavek@acm.org
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
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tried to compose jazz music, his uncle provided him with valuable feedback. George even
intended to study music and become a professional musician, and although he did not do
so, he enjoyed music as a hobby throughout his life.
Another life-long passion of George which started to develop during George’s childhood
was sports and outdoor activities. In 1945, he became a member of Junák – český skaut –
a Czech Scout organization. During his summer visits to South Bohemia, he learned to
swim. Swimming, along with water polo, later became George’s favorite sport activities.
He played water polo during his university studies in Prague as well as after immigrating
to the United States. After retiring from active water polo, he took pleasure in playing
tennis into his early sixties, and in long-distance swimming, which he quite remarkably
continued into his eighties. George also enjoyed hiking, which after his retirement in 2007
was his main activity to stay in good physical shape.
After finishing his early schooling, George enrolled in Reálné gymnásium1 on Kodaňská
street in Prague. According to his own words, he was not a good student except for the three
subjects in which he took interest – mathematics, physics, and music. After his graduation
from the gymnásium, he applied for enrolment at the Czech Technical University in Prague
but was not admitted. He therefore took a job with a company Aritma where he worked
in the department of telephones. The next year he applied again but once again was not
admitted. He learned that part of the reason was the recommendation from the gymnásium
which described George as “politically lukewarm”. He therefore applied for enrolment at
a new university of mechanical and electrical engineering in Pilsen in Western Bohemia.
This time, he was admitted and became a good student. George spent about a year in
Pilsen after which period he was allowed to continue his studies at the Czech Technical
University in Prague due to his good results as a student.
While continuing his studies of electrical engineering in Prague, he worked part time as
a teacher in high school to make his living and thus became financially independent of his
parents. In his studies, he took a specialization in telephone technology. He, nevertheless,
learned that Dr. Antonín Svoboda from the Institute of Mathematical Machines of the
Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences was teaching a course on the emerging field of computers and decided to attend it. The encounter with Svoboda, in 1955, had a tremendous
influence on George’s life.2 George became involved in some of Svoboda’s projects for
Aritma and learned a lot from him. Under Svoboda’s guidance, he became interested in
computers and also in cybernetics. George graduated from the Czech Technical University
in June, 1957, after defending his master thesis on piezoelectric relays.3
After compulsory military service, George started to work as a researcher in VÚMS.4
VÚMS was established in 1958 as a successor of the Institute of Mathematical Machines,
as a result of political pressures. While the Institute of Mathematical Machines was part
of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, VÚMS was directly controlled by one of the
ministries of the Czechoslovak Government. Svoboda, who was director of the Institute
of Mathematical Machines, shortly continued as director of VÚMS but was suspended
shortly and continued in VÚMS as director of research. George submitted his candidate
of science dissertation in 1960 but was allowed to defend it only in April 1964 due to a
politically motivated campaign against Svoboda.5
In VÚMS, George met his futute wife, Milena Řeholová, who worked in the institute
as laboratory assistant. To advance her education, Milena decided to attend a technically
oriented middle school. Since she worried about mathematics, George offered her his help.
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The couple got married on 26 January 1962. Some two years after the marriage, their
daughter Jana was born.6
2.1.2. Emigration
While working at VÚMS, George eventually came to the decision to leave the country. One
reason was that George did not like the political developments in Czechoslovakia, which
was under the leadership of the Communist party. Secondly, access to recent literature in
the emerging field of computing and cybernetics was rather limited in Czechoslovakia, as
in all countries of the Eastern Bloc. These views were generally shared by researchers at
VÚMS and most of them intended to leave Czechoslovakia.
George applied for and was offered a two-year contract in 1964 to teach at a new branch
of the Baghdad University in Mosul, Iraq. He accepted this offer without hesitation. At
that time, Milena and George’s daughter Jana had just been born. George therefore left
for Mosul alone in 1964. Milena with Jana followed him in 1965. The Klir family had no
intention to return to Czechoslovakia after the two years in Mosul. While in Iraq, George
established a correspondence with Svoboda who in the meantime emigrated to the United
States. This was a dangerous undertaking because George and Milena had indications that
some of the other Czech teachers in Mosul were spies for the Czechoslovak Government.
To deceive Czechoslovak authorities, George wrote a habilitation thesis and applied for his
habilitation in Prague (his habilitation was not completed).7
To make a long story short, George and Milena decided to emigrate to the United States
and to escape via Vienna, Austria. Milena and Jana flew on Czechoslovak Airlines from
Iraq to Vienna, while George drove their Czech Škoda car which took him several weeks.
The family then had to stay for several months in Vienna before arrangements were made
for them finally to go to the United States. The family’s financial situation was difficult, but
fortunately they had the money George made in Iraq. In addition, George was able to sell
their car in Vienna.
In November 1966, the family finally got to the United States. They traveled to California
where Svoboda’s family lived and that family was able to help them with initial accommodation. Since George had published a couple of books by that time – his Cybernetic
Modelling co-authored by Valach and Synthesis of Switching Circuits co-authored by Seidl
were being prepared for American editions by Van Nostrand and Gordon and Breach,
respectively – he obtained the position of lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Department
at UCLA. When the Czechoslovak authorities learned that the Klir family escaped, George
was sentenced to one year in prison while Milena to two years because of taking their
daughter with her.
The first months in the United States were not easy for the Klir family because they
came with virtually no money. George and Milena were, nevertheless, happy to start their
new life in a free country.
2.1.3. Life in the United States
For the first two years, the Klir family lived in California. George was fully occupied by his
teaching and research. According to his words, he was amazed by the literature available
in the UCLA library and had to learn how to deal with the huge amount of available
information. He was eager to learn about new developments in the areas of his research
interests, among which the emerging field of systems science appealed to him most.
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At UCLA he was asked to teach mainly computer-oriented courses. The university
showed virtually no interest in developing a program of study in systems science, and
thus was not a good fit for George’s interests. After two years at UCLA, in 1968, George
was offered a position of associate professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck,
New Jersey, with a possibility of doing research in and teaching systems science. George
obtained a higher salary than at UCLA and the Klir family rented a house in Westwood,
New Jersey.
In 1969, George attended a conference where he met Don Gause of the State University
of New York at Binghamton (SUNY Binghamton). At that time, a new school – the School
of Advanced Technology – was being formed at SUNY Binghamton, and Gause recruited
George to help develop a strong program in systems science at the school. The dean of
the school, Walter Lowen, later offered George a position of associate professor. Lowen’s
sincere interest in systems science as a viable research and study program at the school
and the prospect of having the chance to conduct research in systems science in excellent
conditions made George accept Lowen’s proposition. The family therefore moved again,
this time to the Binghamton area. Binghamton turned out to be a very good choice –
George and Milena spent almost 50 years of their happy marriage there.
George worked hard in Binghamton. In addition to fulfilling his teaching duties as
associate professor, he worked part time as adjunct professor in the Department of
Mathematics and Computer Science at Fairleigh Dickinson University and as consultant
for the IBM Systems Research Institute in New York City in 1970–1974. During summer
breaks, he often taught summer courses at various institutions, such as the University of
Colorado at Boulder in 1967, Rutgers University in New Jersey in 1975, and the Portland
State University in Portland, Oregon, in 1972–1976, 1993, and 1998.
On 23 March 1972, George, Milena, and Jana became US citizens. George was not the
only Czech among the SUNY faculty in Binghamton. The other three were the sociologist
and former Czech politician Otakar Machotka, who died in 1970, the economist Jan Michal,
and the political scientist and writer Otto Ulč with whom George maintained regular
contacts throughout their tenure at Binghamton. George also maintained occasional
contacts with other Czech intellectuals living in the USA and Canada, for instance this
included the economist Milan Zelený and the well-known Czech writer Josef Škvorecký
who founded, with his wife Zdena, the publishing house ’68 Publishers producing works
of Czech and Slovak writers who were banned in Czechoslovakia.
In 1974, George founded a new journal, the International Journal of General Systems,
and served as its editor-in-chief until 2014 which represents an unmatched record. George
was deeply involved in developing the infrastructure for research in systems theory. He
organized conferences and other meetings and traveled extensively to these events as well
as to deliver lectures on various other occasions. As one of the leading figures in systems
science he was widely recognized for his work.
George served in various capacities in several professional organizations. For a long time,
he worked for the International Society for Systems Sciences (ISSS). He was its managing
director and vice president in 1977–1981 and its president in 1981–1982. He also served as
president of the International Federation of Systems Research in 1980–1984. Later on, when
his interest moved more into the area of uncertainty and fuzziness, he became a member
of the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society (NAFIPS), the first society
devoted to fuzzy logic, and served as its president in 1988–1991. George’s meticulous work
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was generally appreciated within the fuzzy logic community. He was later nominated and
elected president of the International Fuzzy Systems Association (IFSA) for 1993–1995 in
which period he implemented some convenient organizational changes.
It is clear that with a busy schedule and demanding activities, he had to be very efficient
in time management. He developed the habit of working in his home office, particularly
when he needed to concentrate on his research, and to go to the university only to teach,
work with students, and attend various meetings. This was easily possible because the Klir
family lived within walking distance from the SUNY campus. George knew that if needed,
he could easily be in his office in about five minutes. This was particularly convenient when
George served as chairman of the Department of Systems Science from 1978 to 1992.
George was not an early bird. He used to work in the evening, sometimes late in night.
As Milena describes it, George worked all the time, including weekends and holidays. He
was very lucky with Milena because she was able to take care of all practical things and run
their household. When George grew older, he changed his habit and used to get up around
6am. Other than that, little had changed, however: He never stopped trying to exploit
every minute of his life doing research work. His home office gradually became a library
with a very fine selection of books in mathematics, computer sciences, and philosophy.
His library helped him save time but he actually made it his hobby collecting good-quality
books covering the areas of his interest.
He also developed the habit to work with his doctoral students in his home office,
which offered several benefits in addition to saving time. For one, the meetings were
nicely informal and friendly, which was partly due to George’s spirit and to George
and Milena’s hospitality. Many students learned to drink coffee in what George called
the Czech-style. Upon graduation, George and Milena organized a celebration for every
doctoral student of George on which occasion the student got a large cake with the title
“doctor of uncertainty”, or the like, written on it. In several cases, George and the student
continued their collaboration after graduation, which resulted in jointly written books in
some cases.
Travel deserves to be mentioned separately as a particular activity of George which
occupied much of his time. George had to travel very frequently not only as a researcher
to conferences, but also as a well-recognized figure and president of several international
organizations. He was also often asked to deliver series of lectures in various universities
and institutions. This included many lecture tours all over the world. He also spent two of
his sabbaticals at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study where his main focus was
writing books.
George always tried to use his sabbaticals for book writing. He had carefully prepared the
materials he needed for writing a book before the sabbatical started, developed a plan and
followed it strictly. He was extremely disciplined and made the actual writing his absolute
priority. He was very well organized – the materials he gathered during preparation always
had a great value as a package themselves. This is why he was able to write so many books,
several of which became widely used.
George put a great deal of effort into every project he had chosen to pursue. This
applied to both his research and non-research projects. When he was older, he used to
pick a challenging non-research project, which he called a special project, and to prepare
himself thoroughly for such project. To name just two examples, at the age of 68 he climbed
Kala Patthar, a mountain of over 18000ft in Nepal, for which he trained in the university’s
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Nature Preserve. At the age of 69, he swam across Oneida Lake in the upper New York
State and completed this freestyle swim in about four hours.
Throughout his life in the United States, George closely observed the political developments in the Eastern Bloc and, in particular, in Czechoslovakia. He studied in detail
key moments in the history of Czechoslovakia and assembled a nice collection of books
about them. When the communist regime collapsed in Czechoslovakia in 1989, George
and Milena were very happy – they were able to visit their home country again. They
even considered the possibility of returning to Czechoslovakia but eventually decided to
remain in the United States. They nevertheless often visited Czechoslovakia and, after the
peaceful split in 1993, the Czech Republic. George maintained close contacts with several
institutions in the Czech Republic, e.g. the Palacký University in Olomouc, the Czech
Academy of Sciences, the Czech Technical University in Prague, the Brno University of
Technology, and the University of Ostrava.
George retired in 2007, on which occasion SUNY organized a well-attended minisymposium. After his retirement, George remained busy editing his International Journal
of General Systems, doing research, and to some extent also traveling to deliver invited
lectures. Until the end of his tenure as editor-in-chief of his journal, he maintained high
standards and active role as editor.
As far as research is concerned, George worked to complete a couple of projects
after his retirement. Among them was a long-planned demanding project of writing a
comprehensive book on the history of fuzzy logic. After almost five years, the project
was completed. Yet, George did not see the book published. He unexpectedly died on 27
May 2016 (Belohlavek 2016), some eight months before the book appeared (Bělohlávek,
Dauben, and Klir 2017).
2.2. George Klir as teacher and supervisor
2.2.1. George’s courses
George taught mainly courses for doctoral and masters students. Very often, these courses
were closely related to his research interests. This made it naturally possible to challenge
the students by presenting open problems to them, which George did. His lectures were
always carefully prepared and included good study materials for the students. George often
used his own textbooks to teach courses. Sometimes, the handouts were actually parts of a
book George was writing. The following is a list of courses taught by him during his career:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Advanced Calculus (Fairleigh Dickinson University)
Advanced Special Topics in System Sciences (SUNY Binghamton)
Analog Computers (Charles University, UCLA)
Applied Mathematics for Electrical Engineers (Baghdad University, Fairleigh Dickinson University)
Automata Theory (Fairleigh Dickinson University, SUNY-Binghamton)
Combinatorial Analysis (SUNY Binghamton)
Computer Programming (UCLA, Fairleigh Dickinson University)
Discrete Mathematics (SUNY Binghamton)
Discrete Systems (SUNY Binghamton)
Electric Circuit Theory (Baghdad University, University of Colorado, Fairleigh Dickinson University)
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• Fault-Tolerant Computing (SUNY Binghamton)
• Fuzzy Set Theory, Fuzzy Logic, and Fuzzy Systems (SUNY Binghamton, Portland
State University)
• General Systems Theory (University of Colorado, Fairleigh Dickinson University,
SUNY Binghamton, Portland State University, Rutgers University, IBM Systems
Research Institute)
• Generalized Information Theory (SUNY Binghamton)
• Introduction to Systems Science (SUNY Binghamton)
• Logic Design and Computer Architecture (UCLA, Fairleigh Dickinson University,
SUNY Binghamton)
• Switching Circuit Theory (SUNY Binghamton, Charles University, UCLA, Fairleigh
Dickinson University)
• Systems Problem Solving (SUNY Binghamton)
2.2.2. Doctoral students
The following is a list of doctoral students of whom George served as the principal adviser
along with the titles of their doctoral dissertations and dates of completion of their studies.
(1) Roger Cavallo, The Role of General Systems Methodology in Social Science Research
(December 1977, outstanding dissertation award in Science and Mathematics category)
(2) Hugo J. J. Uyttenhove, Computer-Aided Systems Modelling: An Assemblage of
Methodological Tools for Systems Problem Solving (June 1978)
(3) Robert Gerardy, Methods for the Identification of Probabilistic Finite State Systems
(July 1981)
(4) Lance Polya, Method for Investigating Relations Between Structure and Behavior
for Selected Nonlinear Systems (August 1981)
(5) Yu-I. Hsieh, Computer-Aided Design and Microprogramming Optimization for
Multivalued VLSI (August 1982)
(6) Masahiko Higashi, A Systems Modelling Methodology: Probabilistic and Possibilistic Approaches (August 1983, outstanding dissertation award in Science and
Mathematics category)
(7) Abdul Hai, An Empirical Investigation of Reconstructability Analysis (August 1984)
(8) Behzad Parviz, A General Empirical Study of the Reconstruction Problem (January
1986)
(9) Arthur Ramer, Information and Combinatorial Aspects of Reconstructability Analysis: A Mathematical Inquiry (March 1986)
(10) Iris Chang, A Numeral Recognition System with Multiple-Level Decision Scheme
(August 1986)
(11) Matthew Mariano, Aspects of Inconsistency in Reconstructability Analysis (December 1986)
(12) Terry Potter, Storing and Retrieving Data in a Parallel Distributed Memory System
(May 1987)
(13) Michael Pittarelli, Identification of Discrete Probability Distributions from Partial
Information (December 1987)
(14) Doug Elias, General Systems Problem Solver: A Framework for Integrating Systems
Methodologies (May 1988)
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(15) Zhenyuan Wang, Fuzzy Measure Theory (May 1991)
16) Kevin Hufford, Network Thermodynamic Modeling and Lindenmayer System Simulation of Osmotic Growth: A Study of the Artificial Life Aspects of the Spontaneous
Self-Assembly of Inorganic Matter into Life-Like Forms (1993)
(17) William Tastle, Reconstructability Analysis of Directed Systems (December 1993)
(18) Mark J. Wierman, Possibilistic Image Processing (May 1994)
(19) Myoungkwan Yoo, Information-Sensitive Fuzzy Database System for Decision
Making and Control Using Information Invariance Principle (May 1994)
(20) Cliff A. Joslyn, Possibilistic Processes for Complex System Modeling (May 1994)
(21) James C. Rhodes, Music and Information: Use of GSPS as an Analytic Tool (May
1995)
(22) Harold W. Lewis, III, A Comparative Investigation of the Utility of Dynamic
Compensation in Fuzzy Control (May 1995)
(23) Bo Yuan, Data-Driven Identification of Key Variables: A Fuzzy Set Approach (May
1996)
(24) David Harmanec, Uncertainty in Dempster-Shafer Theory (December 1996, outstanding dissertation award)
(25) Luis M. Rocha, Evidence Sets in Contextual Genetic Algorithms (May 1997)
(26) Yin Pan, Calculus of Fuzzy Probabilities and Its Applications (July 1997)
(27) Richard von Sternberg, Applicability of Fuzzy Set Theory in Biology: The Case of
Constructing a Pure Morphology (May 1998, outstanding dissertation award)
(28) Richard M. Smith, Generalized Information Theory: Resolving Some Old Questions
and Opening Some New Ones (May 2000, outstanding dissertation award)
(29) Jack Ryder, Expert Systems Models for Software Size and Effort Predictions (May
2004)
(30) Zoran Cvijanovich, A Computer Laboratory for Generalized Information Theory
(May 2007)
(31) Ronald L. Pryor, Principles of Nonspecificity (May 2007)
(32) Elvis Ljumic, Image Feature Extraction Using Fuzzy Morphology (May 2007)
(33) Olga Martin, Retranslation a Problem in Computing With Perceptions (2008)
(34) Kari Sentz, Methods of Probability and Imprecise Probability for Uncertainty Quantification in Applied Problems (2008)
2.3. Principal honors and awards
• Fellow, IBM Systems Research Institute, New York City (1969)
• Award from the Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies for “outstanding contributions to systems research and cybernetics” (1976)
• Award from the Netherlands Society for Systems Research for “advancing general
systems research” (1976)
• Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1980)
• Life Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Wassenaar, The Netherlands
(1993)
• Life Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electrical Engineers (1994)
• Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic
(1994)
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• Gold Medal of Bernard Bolzano in Mathematical Sciences from the Czech Academy
of Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic (1994)
• Distinguished Leadership Award from the International Society for the Systems
Sciences (1994)
• Life Fellow, International Fuzzy Systems Association (1997)
• Doctor Honoris Causa from the Technical University in Brno, Czech Republic (1997)
• Doctor Honoris Causa from the Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic (1998)
• Arnold Kaufmann’s Gold Medal Prize for “excellence in uncertainty research” (2000)
• Award for “outstanding scientific work on anticipatory and intelligent systems” from
the Society for Computing Anticipatory Systems (2001)
• Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Ostrava, Czech Republic (2003)
• Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic (2004)
• Doctor Honoris Causa from the International Institute for Advanced Studies in
Systems Research and Cybernetics in Baden-Baden, Germany (2006)
• IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Fuzzy Systems Pioneering Award for “pioneering research in fuzzy set theory, fuzzy systems, fuzzy measure theory, and
generalized information theory” (2007)
2.4. Service to profession
The following list contains a selection of capacities in which George served.
• President, International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR, 1980–1984)
• President, North-American Fuzzy Information Processing Society (NAFIPS, 1988–
1991)
• President, International Fuzzy Systems Association (IFSA, 1993–1995)
• Editor-in-chief, International Journal of General Systems (1974–2014)
• Editor-in-chief, IFSR International Book Series on Systems Science and Engineering,
Springer, New York (1985–2016)
• Editor-in-chief, Basic and Applied General Systems Research Book Series (NorthHolland/Elsevier, New York, 1978–1982)
• Editor-in-chief, International Book Series on Frontiers in Systems Science (Martinus
Nijhoff, Boston and the Hague, 1978–1985)
• Member of editorial boards of 19 journals
• Co-editor, The Systems Inquiry Book Series (Intersystems, San Francisco, 1980–1986)
3. Research work
George Klir’s research spans over six decades and covers several areas. The breadth of
George’s interests corresponds well to the fact that he had been perceived by colleagues as
a renaissance man. George liked foundational problems. He liked the systems approach
and systems thinking, not only as a research topic but also as a guide to solving practical
problems in everyday life. His delight in systems thinking reflects itself in one of the
two main areas of his research interests – systems science. The other area – uncertainty
and information theory – reflects his passion for general principles that govern the way
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information is processed and communicated by man and computer. In what follows, I
describe George Klir’s research interests and accomplishments in greater detail.
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3.1. Initial research interests
George started his research work under the guidance of Antonín Svoboda (see Section 2.1.1). In retrospect, George identified three key persons who influenced him as a
researcher. Svoboda was the first, the other two were W. Ross Ashby and Lotfi A. Zadeh
(Klir 2009, 2010). After George completed a course Svoboda was teaching at the Czech
Technical University, he offered Svoboda his help with the many projects Svoboda was
involved in. Svoboda accepted and George started to help him with a logic design of simple
digital machines for the company Aritma. George was fascinated by the unique approach
of Svoboda to logic design. Gradually, Svoboda gave George more and more autonomy in
his work.
When George completed his university studies, he continued under Svoboda’s guidance
as his doctoral student of computer engineering in Svoboda’s institute at the Czechoslovak
Academy of Sciences where he further worked on a logic design of digital machines. During
this period, Svoboda’s team began to develop a new digital computer named EPOS. When
George completed his doctoral studies, he continued to work in the institute and was
assigned to work on the control unit of EPOS. This work as well as many conversations
with Svoboda influenced him decisively, in particular Svoboda’s clean, systems-oriented
approach to problem-solving as well as his broad knowledge of engineering systems and
his ability to recognize structural similarities between them.
Svoboda’s interest in general principles applicable to various kinds of engineering
systems inspired in George a desire to study general systems theory. Even though Svoboda
did his research almost exclusively in the area of computer design, conversations with him
remained important for George in the formative years of George’s views about general
systems. These conversations continued after George and Svoboda’s reunion at UCLA
after George’s emigration to the United States.
3.2. Systems science
After Svoboda, W. Ross Ashby is the second person who influenced George Klir’s views
at an early stage. George became familiar with Ashby’s writings in the early 1960s. Unlike
Svoboda, Ashby was active in general systems research. His writings on cybernetics and
systems soon became classics. In particular, Ashby’s book (Ashby 1956) was a great
inspiration to George due to the richness of systems-theoretic concepts expounded in
this book.
George was fascinated by the generally applicable concepts of information, communication, control, and other concepts, as well as by the prospect of developing a science of
general systems, or systems science, which would make it possible to apply general methods
to various kinds of specific systems. In the early 1960s, George’s systems views were also
shaped within a small group of six young colleagues at Svoboda’s institute who published
under the acronym K. Vasspeg (“K. Vasspeg” stands for Klir, Valach, Sehnal, Spiro, Pelikán,
and Gecsei, the last names of the members of this group). The young researchers published
their views regarding the concepts of system, environment, information, control, structure,
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organization, change, and similar fundamental systems concepts. The group arrived at a
simple but fundamental discinction between an object, which they understood as a part of
the world that is of interest to an investigator, and a system defined on the object, which
reflects interactions between the investigator and the object. This view, in which a system is
understood as an abstraction based on the distinctions of the investigator, became crucial
for George’s further explorations.
George was primarily occupied by a design of a conceptual framework for general systems. Such a framework is the main content of the book Cybernetic Modelling coauthored
by George and his colleague Miroslav Valach. The conceptual framework later became a
kernel of the general systems problem solver (GSPS) mentioned below. Another early book
with a strong emphasis on systems approach was written by George and Lev Seidl and was
entitled Synthesis of Switching Circuits. Both books were quickly translated into English
and appeared in 1967 and 1968, respectively.
George then continued his quest for a theory of general systems. After he left for
Baghdad, he was practically alone in his endeavor. While in Svoboda’s computer institute,
he interacted with researchers and practitioners from many fields who wanted to use
computers in solving their problems. He thus became familiar with a variety of specific
systems and made it his hobby to explore them from a systems perspective. He gradually
became convinced that an important step in developing a theory of general systems is to
develop a taxonomy of systems that would categorize systems from relevant viewpoints.
He worked on such a taxonomy in Baghdad and also for several years after he came to
the United States. During this period, he was able to summarize his views and wrote a
new book, An Approach to General Systems Theory, which was published by Van Nostrand
in 1969. This book contained an initial version of George’s taxonomy of systems, which
he called an epistemological hierarchy. This version contained five categories of systems,
including the most primitive one, the one called experimental frame. This consists of a set
of variables, the sets of states of these variables along with observation channels, and a time
set in which the observations are made. Highest in this initial version is the category of
structure systems, which are defined as sets of interacting systems of lower categories in the
hierarchy, namely what he called behavior systems and state-transition systems. Several
extensions were later incorporated to the hierarchy. The final version of the hierarchy
appeared in the book Architecture for Systems Problem Solving, which was published by
the Plenum Press in 1985.
When working on his hierarchy of systems, George attempted to define basic categories
of systems problems and to provide a framework for solving systems problems. The result
of this attempt is an expert system called General systems problem solver (GSPS). The
last version of GSPS is available in the enlarged edition of the Architecture for Systems
Problem Solving, published in 2003, that George coauthored with his former doctoral
student Douglas Elias.
Another significant problem which George explored concerned the whole-part relationship in systems, i.e. the relationship between the whole system and its behavior, and
its various parts. One particular problem, examined already by Ashby, is represented by
the following question: to what extent is it possible to reconstruct the overall system from
the information contained in its parts, or generally, from partial information about the
overall system? For example, when a system is in the form of an n-ary relation R and
one only knows a collection of certain k-ary projections (k < n) of this relation, can one
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reconstruct the relation R from these projections? George studied this problem himself
as well as with his students and coined the term reconstructability analysis to denote it.
They developed various methods to solve it and obtained characterizations pertaining to
reconstruction hypotheses. They formalized the notion of reconstruction hypothesis and
produced theoretical results about it, including results on how to resolve a possible conflict
among competing hypotheses.
The fact that in many cases, information about the explored systems was available in the
form of partial data describing various aspects of the system implied the need for inductive
methods in systems modeling. He developed methods for identification of various kinds
of systems from data. In particular, he formulated a new principle for inductive modeling
which he called the principle of novelty production.
3.3. Uncertainty, fuzzy logic, and information
During his work on inductive modeling, George became increasingly aware of the omnipresent phenomenon of uncertainty and the need for methods to handle uncertainty.
The established tool for handling uncertainty was probability theory and George was
clearly familiar with it. In addition, he started to explore other tools, those addressing
other kinds of uncertainty. In the early 1980s, George became particularly interested
in exploring possibilistic (rather than probabilistic) uncertainty and to exploit the then
emerging possibility theory to handle this kind of uncertainty.
Two basic, complementary principles of inductive modeling of systems which George
formulated were the principle of maximum uncertainty and the principle of minimum
uncertainty. To make them operational, a suitable measure of uncertainty was needed for
the particular kind of uncertainty theory used to model a particular system. Such a measure
was available for the framework of probability theory, namely the well-known Shannon
entropy. For possibility theory and other uncertainty theories, such measures were not
available. After many unsuccessful attempts, a possibilistic counterpart of Shannon entropy
was eventually found by George and his student Masahiko Higashi in 1983 and termed
U-uncertainty. George made it his goal to study uncertainty measures thoroughly starting
about 1985. It turned out that the U-uncertainty could be extended to other measures,
namely the so-called belief and plausibility measures developed by Glenn Shafer within
his evidence theory. Together with his doctoral student Matthew Mariano they proved
uniqueness of the U-uncertainty and published their result in 1987. This same year,
uniqueness of the generalized U-uncertainty in evidence theory was proven by George’s
student Arthur Ramer.
Possibility theory is closely related to the concept of fuzzy sets introduced by Zadeh
(1965). George became familiar with this concept already in the late 1960s, when he visited
Zadeh in his office in Berkeley. Since Zadeh was widely known in the area of systems
and control, George came to him to discuss his views on general systems. At the end of
their discussion, Zadeh handed him a reprint of his paper (Zadeh 1965) and told him
that the concept of fuzzy sets was something he recently proposed and that George might
be interested in using this concept in systems science. George read Zadeh’s paper with
great interest but, as he later recalled, it took him some 10 years to fully comprehend the
significance of fuzzy sets and the relatively quickly developing area of fuzzy logic. In the
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1980s, he himself made contributions to fuzzy logic, which included the above-mentioned
explorations in possibility theory.
He was quick to recognize a need for a textbook on fuzzy logic and wrote, with Tina
Folger, a very successful book entitled Fuzzy Sets, Uncertainty, and Information, which
was published by Prentice Hall in 1988. In addition to fuzzy logic, this book contained
substantial parts on uncertainty modeling and the concept of information, and became a
standard textbook for several years to come. Later, he wrote other textbooks on fuzzy logic.
Notable among them is Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy Logic: Theory and Applications coauthored
by another doctoral student of George, Bo Yuan, which became a bestseller.
Over a period of over 30 years during which George was active in fuzzy logic, his
interests ranged over various kinds of problems. The first problem was solving fuzzy
relational equations. The problem is, in a sense, a kind of an identification problem from
general systems viewpoint. It consists in determining an unknown fuzzy relation X for
which R ◦ X ≈ S, where R and S are given fuzzy relations, ◦ is a given operation of
composition, and ≈ represents equality or approximate equality. George examined the
problem of computing minimal solutions of these equations and developed, with Higashi,
an algorithm for computing such solutions. Later on in his research, he returned to various
other aspects of fuzzy relational equations several times.
Measurement of uncertainty in various frameworks became the central topic of George’s
research starting in the mid 1980s. Since the concept of fuzzy sets interacts with the
concept of uncertainty measurement in various ways, and since George became involved
in fuzzy sets and their applications, a number of his publications explore these interactions.
However, most of George’s results in uncertainty measurement concerned problems that
did not directly involve fuzzy sets. The basic frameworks of these results remained the
theory of possibility, Dempster–Shafer theory of evidence, and classical probability theory.
Measurement of entropy, measurement of discord, measurement of conflict, transformations of various uncertainty measures, and construction of uncertainty measures represent
the key topics of George’s interest in this area.
In close cooperation with Zhenyuan Wang, George also worked on a closely related
topic, namely generalized measures. Unlike probability measures, these measures need
not be additive, i.e. need not satisfy P(A ∪ B) = P(A) + P(B) for disjoint sets A and B. Such
measures, which were called fuzzy measures and later simply and more appropriately just
generalized measures, naturally occur in practical situations. George and Wang wrote two
books on this topic: Fuzzy Measure Theory published by the Plenum Press in 1993, and its
substantially revised version, Generalized Measure Theory, published by Springer in 2008.
These books provide a comprehensive introduction as well as a number of original results
in the abstract theory of measures.
George’s explorations of uncertainty measures led him to pursue the idea of developing
information theory based on such measures. His initial ideas gradually developed into a
research program termed generalized information theory (GIT). This term was the title
of George’s paper published in 1991 in the journal Fuzzy Sets and Systems in which he
characterized GIT as an “information theory that is liberated from the boundaries of probability theory”. In GIT, information is conceived as reduction of uncertainty, hence also the
term “uncertainty-based information” which is used in GIT. Unlike classical information
theory which is based on probability theory, GIT employs the various uncertainty measures
mentioned above to measure the particular kind of uncertainty involved in a particular
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situation. Since these measures are developed for possibility theory, evidence theory, and
other uncertainty theories, GIT is not restricted to the probabilistic framework. The first
results in GIT were summarized by the book Uncertainty-Based Information, which George
wrote with Mark Wierman and which appeared by Springer in 1998. Some 10 years
later, George wrote a much more comprehensive book, Uncertainty and Information:
Foundations of Generalized Information Theory, which was published by Wiley in 2007.
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3.4. Other research interests
In addition to the above areas, which represent the key research directions, George’s
research included various other topics. He was genuinely interested in applications of
fuzzy logic in various fields. He not only closely observed these applications but was
himself involved in some of them. His joint research with his student, Rick von Sternberg, a
biologist who completed his doctoral degree in systems science under George’s supervision,
focused on applications of fuzzy sets to biological taxonomies. With Robert Demicco,
a professor of geology at SUNY Binghamton, he examined applications of rule-based
fuzzy systems to various problems in geology, such as stratigraphic simulations to model
sediment dispersal. This project resulted in the book Fuzzy Logic in Geology which was
coedited by George and Demicco and published by the Academic Press in 2004. Another
long-term project concerned the role of fuzzy logic in psychology, particularly in the
psychology of concepts. The result of this project was the book Concepts and Fuzzy Logic,
coedited by George and Radim Belohlavek and published by the MIT Press in 2011, which
contained several contributions, mainly by established psychologists, on the prospect of
fuzzy logic in the area of psychology of concepts.
The scope of this paper does not permit a more complete presentation of George’s
research interests and problems on which he worked. The presented overview, nevertheless,
demonstrates that George was a man of many research interests. One should also mention
his role of expositor of systems science, uncertainty theories, and fuzzy logic. He delivered
many tutorial-like presentations in many places all over the world and lectured not only to
the research communities directly involved in these areas but also to other communities.
He also wrote a number of expository articles and textbooks. His role as expositor was an
important part of his research work and he enjoyed it.
During our long joint work on the book Fuzzy Logic and Mathematics: A Historical
Perspective, George mentioned to me some topics and problems he planned to explore
after the completion of our book. These were mainly nontechnical problems he considered
conceptually important. One such topic was to examine the concept of a scientific paradigm
and paradigm shift in the sense of Thomas Kuhn as a fuzzy rather than bivalent concept.
Another was to look in detail at the interesting question of why applications of fuzzy logic
were accepted and succeeded in some areas, often those in which success was not expected,
but had not been accepted in certain areas in which applications of fuzzy logic methods
seem naturally suitable. Because George died before the publication of our book, these
topics are left to be explored.
3.5. Funded research projects
The following is a list of the main funded projects of George Klir.
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
1970, SUNY Research
1971, SUNY Research
1976–1977, NATO, International Conference Grant
1979–1982, NSF, Research Grant No. ENG-78 18954
1979–1982 NATO, International Research Grant No. 1837
1983–1985, NSF, Travel Grant for International Cooperation No. ECS8217103
1983–1987, NSF, Research Grant No. INT8219423
1985–1988, NSF, Research Grant No. IST85-44191
1990, NSF, Travel Grant
1991–1993, NSF, Research Grant No. IRI-90-15675
1992–94, NASA, Research Grant
1994–1996, Office of Naval Research, Grant No. N00014-94-1-0263
1994–1997, Air Force, Research Grant No. F30602-94-1-0011
2001-2002, NATO, International Research Grant
2000–2002, NSF, Research Grant No. EAR 9909336
2001–2002, NSF, Supplemental Grant for International Cooperation
4. Bibliography of George Klir
4.1. Books and edited books
Klír, J. 1961. Matematické stroje [Mathematical machines]. Prague: Práce.
Gecsei, J., J. Klír, and P. Pelikán. 1964. Matematické stroje [Mathematical machines].
Prague: Orbis.
Klír, J., and M. Valach. 1965. Kybernetické modelování [Cybernetic modeling]. Prague:
Státní nakladatelství technické literatury.
Klír, J., and L. K. Seidl. 1966. Syntéza logických obvodů [Synthesis of switching
circuits]. Prague: Státní nakladatelství technické literatury.
Klir, J., and M. Valach. 1967. Cybernetic Modelling. London: ILIFFE (British edition).
Klir, J., and M. Valach. 1967. Cybernetic Modelling. Princeton: Van Nostrand (American edition).
Klir, J., and L. K. Seidl. 1967. Synthesis of Switching Circuits. London: ILIFFE (British
edition).
Klir, J., and L. K. Seidl. 1968. Synthesis of Switching Circuits. New York: Gordon and
Breach (American edition).
Klir, G. J. 1969. An Approach to General Systems Theory. New York: Van Nostrand
Reinhold.
Klir, G. J. 1972a. Introduction to the Methodology of Switching Circuits. New York:
D. Van Nostrand.
Klir, G. J., ed. 1972b. Trends in General Systems Theory. New York: John Wiley.
Klir, G. J., ed. 1976. Ogólna teoria systemów : tendencje rozwojowe [General systems
theory: Trends in development]. Warsaw: Wydawnictwa naukovo- techniczne. Polish
transl. by Czesław Berman of Klir 1972b.
Klir, G. J., and G. Rogers. 1972a. Basic and Applied General Systems Research: A
Bibliography. Binghamton: State University of New York at Binghamton.
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Klir, G. J. 1978. Teoría general de sistemas: un enfoque metodológico [General systems
theory: A methodological approach]. Madrid: Edition Ice. Spanish transl. by Francisco
José Valero López of Klir 1969.
Klir, G. J., ed. 1978a. Tendencias en la teoría general de sistemas [Trends in general
systems theory]. Madrid: Alianza Editorial. Spanish transl. by Álvaro Delgado y
Andrés Ortega of Klir 1972b.
Klir, G. J., ed. 1978. Applied General Systems Research: Recent Developments and
Trends. New York: Plenum Press.
Trappl, R., G. J. Klir, and L. Ricciardi, eds. 1978. Progress in Cybernetics and Systems
Research, Vol. III. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.
Zeigler, B. P., M. S. Elzas, G. J. Klir, and T. I. Ören, eds. 1979. Methodology in Systems
Modelling and Simulation. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
Trappl, R., G. J. Klir, and F. R. Pichler, eds. 1982. Progress in Cybernetics and Systems
Research, Vol. VIII. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.
Klir, G. J. 1985. Architecture of Systems Problem Solving. New York: Plenum Press.
Trappl, R., W. Horn, and G. J. Klir, eds. 1985. Basic and Applied General Systems
Research: A Bibliography 1977–1984. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.
Klir, G. J., and T. A. Folger. 1988. Fuzzy Sets, Uncertainty, and Information. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Klir, G. J. 1990. Architecture of systems problem solving (Russian transl.). Moscow:
Radio i Sviaz.
Klir, G. J. 1991. Facets of Systems Science. New York: Plenum Press.
Klir, G. J., and T. A. Folger. 1993. Fuzzy Sets, Uncertainty, and Information (Japanese
transl.). Tokyo: UNI.
Wang, Z., and G. J. Klir. 1993. Fuzzy Measure Theory. New York: Plenum Press.
Klir, G. J., and B. Yuan. 1995. Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy Logic: Theory and Applications.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Klir, G. J., and B. Yuan, eds. 1996. Fuzzy Sets, Fuzzy Logic, and Fuzzy Systems: Selected
papers by Lotfi A. Zadeh. Singapore: World Scientific.
Ören, T. I., and G. J. Klir, eds. 1996. Computer Aided Systems Theory: CAST’94.
Berlin/New York: Springer.
Klir, G. J. 1996. Fuzzy Sets: Fundamentals and Applications. Paris: Diderot.
Klir, G. J., U. St. Clair, and B. Yuan. 1997. Fuzzy Set Theory: Foundations and
Applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Klir, G. J., and M. Wierman. 1998. Uncertainty-Based Information: Elements of
Generalized Information Theory. Heidelberg/ New York: Springer
Klir, G. J., and M. Wierman. 1999. Uncertainty-Based Information: Elements of Generalized Information Theory. Second enlarged ed. Heidelberg/ New York: Springer
Klir, G. J. 2000. Fuzzy Sets: An Overview of Fundamentals, Applications, and Personal
Views. Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.
Klir, G. J. 2001. Facets of Systems Science. Second enlarged ed. New York: Kluwer
Academic/Plenum Press.
Klir, G. J., and D. Elias. 2003. Architecture of Systems Problem Solving. Second enlarged
ed. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press.
Demicco, R. V., and G. J. Klir, eds. 2004. Fuzzy Logic in Geology. San Diego, CA:
Academic Press/Elsevier.
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Ayyub, B. M., and G. J. Klir. 2006. Uncertainty Modeling and Analysis in Engineering
and the Sciences. Boca Raton, FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC.
Klir, G. J. 2007. Uncertainty and Information: Foundations of Generalized Information
Theory. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience.
Wang, Z., and G. J. Klir. 2008. Generalized Measure Theory. New York: Springer.
Belohlavek, R., and G. J. Klir, eds. 2011. Concepts and Fuzzy Logic. Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press
Bělohlávek, R., J. W. Dauben, and G. J. Klir. 2017. Fuzzy Logic and Mathematics: A
Historical Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.
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4.2. Research papers
1957. A proof of universality of bridge networks. Proc. 1957 Symposium of the Czech
Institute of Technology SNTL, Prague, 161–163 (in Czech).
1958. Bi-directional counter. Czechoslovak Patent No. 94481, Prague, Aug. 1958 (with
L. Seidl).
1958. Methods of analysis and synthesis of switching circuits. Slaboproudý obzor 19
(7, 8, 9) (in Czech, with L. Seidl).
1958. Piezoelectric relay. Slaboproudý obzor 19 (5):303–307 (in Czech).
1959. Bi-directional relay chains. Slaboproudý obzor 20 (6):367–371 (in Czech).
1959. A model of the conditioned reflex. Slaboproudý obzor 20 (1):37–45 (in Czech,
with L. Seidl).
1960. Number systems. Rozhledy Mat.-fyz 39 (1):1–6 (in Czech).
1960. Codes for coincidence chains. Information Processing Machines Yearbook, 7,
Academia, Prague, 21–35 (in Russian, with L. Seidl).
1961. Remote control of a digital computer. Czechoslovak patent No. 105632, Prague,
Oct. 1961 (with I. Cech).
1962. Digital computers: an overview. Rozhledy mat.-fyz. 40 (6) (in Czech, with
E. Sýkorová).
1962. Implementation of a new machine algorithm for decimal division. Czechoslovak
patent No. 112012, Prague, Aug. 1962 (with A. Svoboda).
1962. Weight codes. Information Processing Machines Yearbook, 8, Academia, Prague,
155–162.
1963. Solution of systems of Boolean equations. Aplikace matematiky 7 (4):265–271
(in Czech).
1963. An invention that might have accelerated the development of mathematical
machines. Tech. Digest 5 (5):39–41.
1963. A note on Svoboda’s algorithm for division. Information Processing Machine
Yearbook, 9, Academia, Prague, 35–39.
1963. A study of equidistant and minimum-distance codes. Information Processing
Machines Yearbook, 9, Academia, Prague, 249–270 (with J. Mikuláš).
1964. A note on binary codes. Aplikace matematiky 9 (4): 306–309.
1965. The general system as a methodological tool. General Systems Yearbook, 10,
29–42.
1965. What is cybernetics?.Vesmir 43 (3) (in Czech, under group pseudonym
K. Vasspeg).
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1965. On organizing of systems. Information Processing Machines Yearbook, 11,
Academia, Prague, 167–176 (under group pseudonym K. Vasspeg).
1965. Logical design of sequential asynchronous switching circuits. Information Processing Machines Yearbook, 11, Academia, Prague, 135–166 (with J. Hlavička).
1965. Logical nets and self-organizing systems. Proc. First Conf. on Cybernetics,
Academia, Prague, 68–73 (in Czech).
1967. Processing of general systems activity. General Systems Yearbook, 12, 193–198.
1967. A note on the basic block diagrams of finite automata from engineering point
of view. IEEE Trans. on Electronic Computers EC-16 (2):223–224.
1968. A multimodel and computer oriented methodology for synthesis of sequential discrete systems. Proc. Second Hawaii Intern. Conf. on Systems Science (with
M. Marin).
1968. An approach to general systems theory. General Systems Yearbook 13, 13–20.
1969. On computer aspects of pseudo-Boolean integer programming. Proc. ORSA
Annual Meeting, Miami, FL (with M. Marin).
1969. New considerations in teaching switching circuits. IEEE Transactions on Education E-12 (3):257–261 (with M. Marin).
1969. The general system as a methodological tool (Russian translation of 1965
article). Izdatelstvo Progress, Moscow.
1970. A multimodel and computer oriented methodology for design of sequential
discrete systems. IEEE Trans. on Systems Science and Cybernetics SSC-6 (1):40–48
(with M. Marin).
1970. A study of organizations of self-organizing systems. Proc. Sixth Intern. Congress
on Cybernetics, Namur, Belgium, 165–186.
1970. On the relation between cybernetics and general systems theory. In: Progress in
Cybernetics, ed. by J. Rose, Gordon and Breach, London, 155–165.
1971. On universal logic primitives. IEEE Trans. on Computers C-20 (4):467–469.
1972. Logic design. In: Computer Science, ed. by A. E. Cardenas et al., John Wiley,
New York, 37–58 (with M. Marin).
1973. From general systems theory to general systems profession. In: United Through
Diversity, ed. by W. Gray and N. Rizzo, Gordon and Breach, New York, 513–535.
1973. Boolean and pseudo-Boolean relations: a unifying agent in logic design. Proc.
Sixth Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science.
1973. General systems research. In: OR’72, ed. by M. Ros, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 189–200.
1973. The general systems as a methodological tool. Hungarian translation of 1965
article: Kozgazdasagi es Jogi Konyhvakiado, Budapest.
1974. Taxonomy of systems. In: Interdisciplinary aspects of General Systems, ed. by
T.H. Murray, SGSR.
1974. On general systems education. Systems Engineering 4 (1):14–19.
1974. On the solution of Boolean and Pseudo-Boolean relations. EEEE Transactions
on Computers C-23 (10):1098–1100.
1975. Computer performance evaluation based on monitoring: A view from general
systems methodology and some recommendations. Bell Laboratories, TM-75-9151-1.
1975. Systems methodology in management. Proc. Joint OR Societies Meeting, Kyoto,
Japan.
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1975. On the representation of activity arrays. Intern. J. of General Systems 2 (3):149–
168.
1975. General Systems Theory. In Handbuch der dedrieblichen Informations systeme,
ed. by B.J. Jaggi and R. Gorlitz Veriag Franz Vahlen, Muchen (in German), 3–24.
1975. Processing of fuzzy activities of neutral systems. In: Progress of Cybernetics and
Systems Research, ed. by R. Trappl and F. Pichler, Hemisphere, Washington, D.C,
21–24.
1976. Computerized methodology for structure modelling. Annals of Systems Research 5, Martinus Nijhoff, Iziden, The Netherlands, 29–66 (with H. Uyttenhove).
1976. Procedure for generating hypothetical structures in the structure identification
problem. Proc. Third European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research, Vienna,
Austria, 19–29 (with H. Uyttenhove).
1976. Identification of generative structures in empirical data. Intern. J. of General
Systems 3 (2):89–104.
1976. Systems synthesis. In: Health Research: The Systems Approach, ed. by H. H.
Werley et. al, Springer, New York, 283–291.
1977. On the problem of computer-aided structure modelling: Some experimental
observations. Intern. J. of Man-Machine Systems 9 (5):593–628 (with H. Uyttenhove).
1977. Pattern discovery in activity arrays. In: Systems: Approaches, Theories, Applications, ed. by W.E. Hartnett, D. Reidel, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 121–158.
1978. Identification of generative structures in empirical data. Polish translation of
1976 article.
1978. Structural modelling of indigenous systems. Proc. 22nd Annual Meeting of the
SGSR, Washington, D.C., 151–155.
1978. The problem of choosing appropriate structure system in systems modelling
and its meaning to modelling in developing countries. Proc. Intern. Conf. on Systems
Modelling in Developing Countries, Bangkok, Thailand, 2–20.
1978. The general systems research movement. In: Systems Models for Decision
Making, ed. by N. Sharif and P. Adulbhan, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok,
25–70.
1978. The role of simulation as a laboratory tool of the systems scientist. Proc. Eleventh
Hawaii Intern. Confer. on Systems Science, Honolulu, Hawaii, Jan. 1978.
1978. A problem-solving basis for general systems research. In: Applied General
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Notes
1. Reálné gymnázium was a type of a high school, which provided a kind of education combining
science and classic orientations.
2. Antonín Svoboda was a greatly innovative designer of computers. We discuss his influence
on George later in this paper. See also (Klir 2007).
3. Parts of this thesis were published in the journal Slaboproudý obzor in 1958 (303–307).
4. Výzkumný ústav matematických strojů (Research institute of mathematical machines).
5. Klír, J. Analysa dvojhodnotových kódů se zřetelem k synthese kybernetických soustav [Analysis of binary codes with particular respect to the synthesis of cybernetic systems]. Candidate of
science thesis (roughly corresponds to PhD thesis), Prague: Výzkumný ústav matematických
strojů, 1964.
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6. At that time George already had a son, Jan, from his first marriage.
7. Klír, J. Úvod do problematiky teorie systémů. Habilitation thesis, Prague: Výzkumný ústav
matematických strojů, 1966.
Acknowledgements
I thank George Klir’s wife Milena for helpful information she kindly provided, and to Harold W.
Lewis III and Eduard Bartl for their remarks on this text.
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Notes on contributor
Radim Belohlavek received PhD degree in computer science from the
Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic, in 1998, PhD degree in
mathematics from Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, in 2001, and
DSc degree in informatics and cybernetics from the Academy of Sciences of
the Czech Republic in 2008. He is a professor of computer science at Palacky
University. Dr. Belohlavek’s academic interests are in discrete mathematics,
logic, uncertainty and information, and data analysis. He published four books
(Kluwer, Springer, MIT Press, Oxford University Press) and over 200 papers
in conference proceedings and journals. Dr. Belohlavek’s is a senior member
of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and a Member of
ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and AMS (American Mathematical Society), and is
a member of editorial boards of several international journals.
References
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