Diversity and Complexity

Diversity and Complexity

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by Scott E. Page
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691137676

ISBN-13: 9780691137674

Pub. Date: 11/23/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

This book provides an introduction to the role of diversity in complex adaptive systems. A complex system—such as an economy or a tropical ecosystem—consists of interacting adaptive entities that produce dynamic patterns and structures. Diversity plays a different role in a complex system than it does in an equilibrium system, where it often merely

Overview

This book provides an introduction to the role of diversity in complex adaptive systems. A complex system—such as an economy or a tropical ecosystem—consists of interacting adaptive entities that produce dynamic patterns and structures. Diversity plays a different role in a complex system than it does in an equilibrium system, where it often merely produces variation around the mean for performance measures. In complex adaptive systems, diversity makes fundamental contributions to system performance.

Scott Page gives a concise primer on how diversity happens, how it is maintained, and how it affects complex systems. He explains how diversity underpins system level robustness, allowing for multiple responses to external shocks and internal adaptations; how it provides the seeds for large events by creating outliers that fuel tipping points; and how it drives novelty and innovation. Page looks at the different kinds of diversity—variations within and across types, and distinct community compositions and interaction structures—and covers the evolution of diversity within complex systems and the factors that determine the amount of maintained diversity within a system.

  • Provides a concise and accessible introduction
  • Shows how diversity underpins robustness and fuels tipping points
  • Covers all types of diversity
  • The essential primer on diversity in complex adaptive systems

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691137674
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/23/2010
Series:
Primers in Complex Systems Series
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
1,022,794
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Prelude: The Meaning of Diversity 1

1 On Diversity and Complexity 16

2 Measuring Diversity 54

3 The Creation and Evolution of Diversity 79

4 Constraints on Diversity 127

5 Variation in Complex Systems 148

6 Diversity's Inescapable Benefits I: Averaging 167

7 Diversity's Inescapable Benefits II: Diminishing Returns to Types 183

8 Diversity's Impact in Complex Systems 196

9 Parting Thoughts 249

Bibliography 257

Notes 271

Index 281

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Diversity and Complexity 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice presentation of the basics of research on complex adaptive systems and emergent properties, along with some new (to me) observations on the role of diversity in such systems. Not too technical to be inaccessible for those who are new to this, but still meaty enough for those with some familiarity with the subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago