Paper: Complexity and Self Organization

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Marcia J. Bates and Mary Niles Maak have written a very accessible paper called Complexity and Self Organization.

Quoting from the abstract of the paper:

“Abstract: this article introduces some of the main concepts and methods of the science studying complex, self-organizing systems and networks, in a non-technical manner. Complexity cannot be strictly defined, only situated in between order and disorder. A complex system is typically modeled as a collection of interacting agents, representing components as diverse as people, cells or molecules. Because of the non-linearity of the interactions, the overall system evolution is generally unpredictable and uncontrollable. However, the system tends to self-organize, in the sense that local interactions eventually produce global coordination and synergy. The resulting structure can in many cases be modeled as a network, with stabilized interactions functioning as links connecting the agents. Such complex, self-organized networks typically exhibit the properties of clustering, being scale-free, and forming a small-world. These ideas have obvious applications in information science when studying networks of authors and their publications.”

Source:
Download the paper here (PDF format) >>
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Daniel Montano
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Keyword: Daniel Montano, Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect

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