Alexander M. Petrovskii

Alexander M. Petrovskii


Tuesday, March 17, 1925

Passed away: 

Monday, February 1, 1993

Alexander Petrovskii, in full Alexander Mikhailovich Petrovskii, the founder of Laboratory No. 38, Dr. Sci. (Eng.), and Prof., was born on March 17, 1925.

Before the Revolution, his grandfather A.G. Petrovskii was Chief Sanitary Doctor of Moscow. Mikhail and Fedor A. Petrovskiis, his father and his uncle, respectively, were well-known philologists and translators of French and antique literature. M.A. Petrovskii’s translation of Manon Lescaut by Antoine François Prévost, first published by Academia, is still considered unsurpassed. In 1937, the Petrovskiis brothers were repressed. Mikhail died but Fedor survived; after the Great Patriotic War, he resumed scientific activities and became one of the creators of the Antique Literature translation cycle.

Alexander Petrovskii was brought up by his mother: she predetermined the engineering path.

After his graduation from Moscow Power Engineering Institute (1949), Petrovskii worked in the Institute of Automation and Remote Control (IARC), the USSR Academy of Sciences, until the last days of his life. His early R&D works were ingenious inventions. In particular, Petrovskii designed a “white” noise generator using a rotating metal cylinder with metal balls inside. A potential difference was applied to the axis and side surface of the cylinder. During rotation the balls randomly changed their position inside the cylinder, causing the resistance and current in the circuit between the axis and surface of the cylinder to vary. Another device was a “cybernetic turtle,” which moved around obstacles, imitated some conditioned reflexes, and learned simple commands.

In the late 1950s, Petrovskii began developing methods to improve the efficiency of guided projectiles. The corresponding R&D results constituted his candidate’s dissertation and then his doctoral dissertation, defended at IARC in 1966.

The second traditional research area of Laboratory No. 38 was control in complex medical and biological systems. The studies were initiated by Petrovskii in the mid-1960s. Two separate problems were examined: modeling and control of medical and biological objects at the individual level and public health (health care system) management at the population level. The latter problem was in demand for the Soviet government and the international scientific community: Laboratory’s employees considered several issues within the population project of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria).

For many years, Petrovskii was Deputy Head of the Department of Engineering Cybernetics (nowadays, the Department of Control Problems) at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Many of his undergraduate and postgraduate students became doctors and candidates of sciences. For example, note Nikolai A. Kuznetsov, RAS Academician and former Director of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems, the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Petrovskii was a man of rare decency. During his work at IARC, staff transfers between laboratories were stringently excluded. The Administration preferred to part with both sides of a conflict. Nevertheless, Petrovskii retained many gifted researchers in the Institute. For example, a group of Feldbaum’s collaborators who did not fit in after his death joined Laboratory No. 38. Petrovskii also retained the Vapnik—Chervonenkis group in IARC after the liquidation of Lerner’s Laboratory. Finally, he accepted the Lubinsky group into his Laboratory.

Petrovskii died on his way to the Institute on February 1, 1993. The Laboratory founded by him still operates, evolves, and successfully continues his research. This is probably the best monument to the Scientist.

Petrovskii’s main books and brochures are as follows:

  1. Primenenie sistemy EDIFAR dlya izucheniya zdorov’ya naseleniya pri massovykh profilakticheskikh obsledovaniyakh (Health Survey under Mass Preclinical Research: Application of the EDIFAR System), Moscow: Institute of Control Sciences, the USSR Academy of Sciences, 1990. — 44 p. (coauthors L.A. Dartau, R.R. Moshashvili, P.A. Telenev, E.M. Zhunusov, L.V. Chazova, E.V. Markova, V.F. Levshin, A.A. Churkin, V.A. Rayushkin, E.I. Lebed’, and L.I. Efremov);
  2. Inzhenernaya fiziologiya i modelirovanie sistem organizma (Engineering Physiology and Modeling of Body Systems), Moscow: Nauka, 1987. — 235 p. (coauthors V.M. Akhutin, V.P. Nefedov, M.P. Sakharov, F.T. Adylova, P.V. Alekseev, B.U. Allamiyarov, Yu.V. Anisimov, G.V. Bavro, A.F. Bobrov, Z.L. Brelidze, S.N. Butko, V.V. Verigo, V.A. Glazkova, Ya.I. Gondzhilashvili, S.V. Gus’kov, L.A. Dartau, A.A. Desova, G.A. Dorrer, N.G. Zheltov, S.N. Zaloguev, G.N. Il’yutkin, L.S. Iseev, G.P. Itkin, V.N. Kazakov, T.S. Kilina, V.V. Kilikovskii, V.G. Komarenko, V.V. Konovalov, I.N. Kotova, I. Kofranek, Z.A. Kuchkarov, A.N. Medelyanovskii, A.Yu. Meshcheryakov, A.A. Novak, V.N. Novosel’tsev, E.L. Orkina, G.V. Pirogova, Z. Pokorny, and V.R. Protasov);
  3. Organizatsiya ekspertizy i analiz ekspertnoi informatsii (Expertise Organization and Analysis of Expert Information), Moscow: Nauka, 1984. — 120 p. (coauthors L.A. Pankova and M.V. Shneiderman);
  4. Postroenie i identifikatsiya modelei neodnorodnykh populyatsii (Construction and Identification of Models of Inhomogeneous Populations), Moscow: Institute of Control Sciences, the USSR Academy of Sciences, 1982. — 59 p. (coauthor A.I. Yashin).

Many of them are presented in the Institute’s database:Петровский

The list of journal papers by Petrovskii is available at Math-Net.Ru:

1. A. G. Artem’ev, B. R. Loginov, A. M. Petrovskii, A Method for the Reconstruction of Functional Dependences in Demographic Models, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1986, 11,  63—70      Autom. Remote Control47:11 (1986), 1514—1520.
2. S. N. Butko, M. A. Kaganskii, A. Yu. Meshcheryakov, A. M. Petrovskii, V. V. Rodionov, M. V. Shneiderman, Choosing Drugs in a Matrix Treatment Model, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1985, 3,  81—88    Autom. Remote Control46:3 (1985), 349—355.
3. L. M. Zakharova, L. A. Pankova, A. M. Petrovskii, M. V. Shneiderman, Methods of Collective Evaluation in Analysis of Characteristics of Complex Objects with Special References to Medicines, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1980, 2,  135—142.  
4. L. I. Borodkin, A. A. Klement’ev, A. M. Petrovskii, A. I. Yashin, Management Problems in Public Health, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1979, 6,  145—153.  
5. V. K. Olshanskiy, A. M. Petrovskii, A. I. Yashin, An Approach tо Simulating a Health Service System, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1978, 3,  79—87    Autom. Remote Control39:3 (1978), 375—382.
6. L. M. Zakharova, N. E. Kiseleva, I. B. Muchnik, A. M. Petrovskii, R. B. Sverchinskaya, Analyzing the Course of the Hypertonic Desease from Empirical Data, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1977, 9,  114—122.  
7. D. D. Venediktov, D. G. Zaridze, A. A. Klimenkov, I. B. Muchnik, V. K. Olshanskiy, A. M. Petrovskii, On International Scientific Project Implementation with Special Reference to Cancer Research, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1976, 1,  157—163.  
8. A. M. Petrovskii, Systems Analysis of Some Medico-Biological Problems in Treatment Control, Avtomat. i Telemekh., 1974, 2,  54—62.

Articles about A.M. Petrovskii

1. E. P. Maslov, Alexander Mikhailovich Petrovskii (on the 80th Anniversary of Birth)Probl. Upr., 2005, no. 4, 82—83.

Also, see the Wikipedia page devoted to Petrovskii:Петровский,_Александр_Михайлович

Scopus Author ID: 7004592077