Sources of complexity in human systems [Lucio Biggiero, ISSS 1998 Paper Session, July 23/98]

[Paper session, July 22/98, 1:35 p.m.]

Lucio Biggiero

Sustainability creates issues in predictability of behaviour.

What is complexity? 1. Is there a difference between complexity and difficulty? 2. What kinds of distinctions?

3. What kinds of sources

4. How do they effect distinctions between artificial, natural and social sciences?

Complexity in the traditional / popular sense as difficulty. Can distinguish complexity "strictu sensu" through 3 criteria of inclusion:
  1. Trans-computational number (i.e. 10 to 100) of solutions.
  2. Infinite number of solutions: complex problem.
  3. Logical impossibility of solutions (which are predictions).
Interpretation: Two types of classification:
  1. Based on quantitative or qualitative nature of information
  2. Based on criteria of inclusion
First group related with quantitative nature of information: Second group, on qualitative aspects of information Conclusion: What are the consequences of this category of complexity? Human systems show all types of complexity.

Only weak prediction can be done (i.e. local, short-term, aggregated)


Why divide the two isomorphic classes? Evolution and emergence as different? Is emergence different from self-organization? Why doesn't chess fit?

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