Three types of Flows originate directly from the nature of physics and information theory, one from the General System Theory and a fifth one – Actions – is added for easier communication in certain use cases of the DA method.
Each type of Flow is subject to constraints, which stem from its very nature.
The DA Flow types are:
- Any kind of data interchanged between systems. Information flows are subject to information theory, e.g. to channel capacity, encoding/decoding, …
- A physical property which can be transformed, but not created or destroyed. It is subject to the law of conservation of energy.
- Any substance that has mass and volume. In environments sufficiently close to classical mechanics, matter is conserved and cannot be created or destroyed.
- By allowing systems to be consumed or produced by systems it becomes possible to create self-referential models.
- Are an abstraction of Information. They are useful for systems where interaction with humans is a relevant Aspect.
The type system of Flows in the DA method helps creating simple but powerful model of real world systems by disentangling different concerns of system interaction.
In real world systems, Flows are not separated from each other, nature has developed rather astonishing synergistic effects for maximizing system efficiency by blending different physical phenomena for system interactions.