Friday, April 29, 2011

Complex Systems and Emergence

The thesis for this post is that "Emergence" is fragile and everything that prevents this phenomenon from occurring is robust and more predictable and deterministic.

So what is emergence, to understand this phenomenon I will post a video on fractals:

The video shows how simple rules generate complexity. The emergence property is also visible which emerges after a few iteration. The complex pattern visible at the end cannot not be explained apriori and comes as a complete surprise.

Now the problem with the complex pattern is that it is extremely fragile and dependent on the simple rules which is followed at the bottom. The pattern is constructed bottom-up and if this simple rules changes then something completely different emerges. The following video shows how a simple change of angle in the tree branches changes the emergent pattern.

Hence, the simple rules are robust, and emergence occurs really late or higher up in the hierarchy. So if we break down things into smaller blocks, then these would be more robust.

Evolution leads to emergence based on these simple rules. But complexity is always fragile. Simple insects etc have survived on this planet from the start, where as more emergent species have gone instinct.

Democracy or dictatorships are therefore both emergent properties and both are fractals.

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