Int. J. of System of Systems Engineering   »   2014 Vol.5, No.2



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Title: The control systems engineering foundation of traditional Indian medicine: the Rosetta Stone for Siddha and Ayurveda


Author: V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai


Address: Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, Engineering Systems Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA; Systems Biology Group, International Center for Integrative Systems, 701 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA


Abstract: This paper uncovers the scientific foundation of traditional systems of Indian medicine: Siddha and Ayurveda, from core principles shared in modern control systems engineering. Grand challenges of modern healthcare are motivating a paradigm shift towards systems of systems (SoS) approaches. The recent emergence of modern systems biology and the concomitant growth of evidence-based research in ancient systems of holistic medicine such as Siddha and Ayurveda, practiced in India for over 5,000 years, exemplify this shift. This paper reveals a Rosetta Stone, inscribed from principles of control systems engineering, to comprehend the scientific foundations of the ancient lingua franca of Siddha and Ayurveda. This discovery provides a much-needed integrative framework, across east and west, ancient and modern, to develop a systems medicine that overcomes the reductionism of modern healthcare.


Keywords: traditional medicine; siddha; ayurveda; complementary medicine; alternative medicine; CAM; systems biology; systems theory; whole cell modelling; Dosha; Prakriti; multiscale modelling; healthcare systems; control systems engineering; systems of systems engineering; SoSE.


DOI: 10.1504/IJSSE.2014.064836


Int. J. of System of Systems Engineering, 2014 Vol.5, No.2, pp.125 - 149


Submission date: 03 Jul 2014
Date of acceptance: 04 Jul 2014
Available online: 17 Sep 2014