Complex Systems: Network Thinking

Straight from the Santa Fe Institute…

I am convinced that the nations and people who master the new sciences of complexity will become the economic, cultural, and political superpowers of the next century. |Heinz Pagels [50]

When I hear the word complexity,” I don’t exactly reach for my hammer, but I suspect my eyes narrow. It has the dangerous allure of an incantation, threatening to acquire the same blithe explanatory role that adaptation” once did in biology. |Philip Ball [1]


In this article, I discuss some recent ideas in complex systems on the topic of networks, contained in or inspired by three recent complex systems books that seem particularly relevant for people in AI. The general science of networks is the subject of Albert Linked [2] and Duncan Watts’ Six Degrees [63]. Commonalities among complex biological networks|e.g., immune systems, social insects, and cellular metabolism|and their relation to intelligence in computational systems are explored in the proceedings of a interdisciplinary conference on Distributed Autonomous Systems” [57].
The ideas discussed in the third book have led to me to propose four general principles of adaptive information processing in decentralized systems. These principles, and the relevance of network thinking” for AI (and vice versa), are the subject of the last two sections of the article.

Click Here To Read: Complex Systems: Network Thinking

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21. April 2010 by Miguel Barbosa
Categories: Curated Readings, Risk & Uncertainty | Leave a comment

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