Category Archives: Self-organization

Requisite Variety, Autopoiesis, and Self-organization

Ashby’s law of requisite variety states that a controller must have at least as much variety (complexity) as the controlled. Maturana and Varela proposed autopoiesis (self-production) to define living systems. Living systems also require to fulfill the law of requisite … Continue reading

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Re-reading Dewey through the lens of complexity science

This paper rereads John Dewey’s works in the light of complexity theory and self-organizing systems. Dewey’s pragmatic inquiry is posited as inspirational for developing a logic of education and learning that would incorporate novelty and creativity, these artistic elements being part and parcel … Continue reading

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Human Research and Complexity Theory

The disavowal of positivist science by many educational researchers has resulted in a deepening polarization of research agendas and an epistemological divide that appears increasingly difficult to span. Despite a turning away from science altogether by some, and thus toward various forms of … Continue reading

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Information Measures of Complexity, Emergence, Self-organization, Homeostasis, and Autopoiesis

In this chapter review measures of emergence, self-organization, complexity, homeostasis, and autopoiesis based on information theory. These measures are derived from proposed axioms and tested in two case studies: random Boolean networks and an Arctic lake ecosystem. Emergence is defined as the information produced … Continue reading

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Growth, Collapse, and Self-organized Criticality in Complex Networks

Network growth is ubiquitous in nature (e.g., biological networks) and technological systems (e.g., modern infrastructures). To understand how certain dynamical behaviors can or cannot persist as the underlying network grows is a problem of increasing importance in complex dynamical systems … Continue reading

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Emergence in Stigmergic and Complex Adaptive Systems

Complex systems have been studied by researchers from every discipline: biology, chemistry, physics, sociology, mathematics and economics and more. Depending upon the discipline, complex systems theory has accrued many flavors. We are after a formal representation, a model that can … Continue reading

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Stigmergy as a Universal Coordination Mechanism

The concept of stigmergy has been used to analyze self-organizing activities in an ever-widening range of domains, including social insects, robotics, web communities and human society. Yet, it is still poorly understood and as such its full power remains underappreciated. … Continue reading

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Self-organization and the Emergence of Complexity in Ecological Systems

What explains the remarkable regularities in distribution and abundance of species, in size distributions of organisms, or in patterns of nutrient use? How does the biosphere maintain exactly the right conditions necessary for life as we know it? Gaia theory … Continue reading

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Designing Evolvable and Self-Organizing Systems

As technology continues to integrate with business systems the complexity of internal systemic interactions as well as those with the environment become harder to model with the extant techniques. This can largely be attributed to “emergent” qualities that become more … Continue reading

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A General Methodology for Designing Self-Organizing Systems

Our technologies complexify our environments. Thus, new technologies need to deal with more and more complexity. Several efforts have been made to deal with this complexity using the concept of self-organization. However, in order to promote its use and understanding, … Continue reading

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