Edge of Chaos


Edge of Chaos The term edge of chaos describes a phase transition space between order and randomness that can create complex evolutionary dynamics The term edge of chaos is used to denote a transition space between order and disorder that is hypothesized to exist within a wide variety of systems. This transition zone [...]

Emergent Process


Emergent Process The metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly is a good example of a macro-level emergent transformation as the whole system's behavior and function changes An emergent process is a process of change that involves non-linear, abrupt phase transitions as a system's overall structure and function is transformed into a new [...]

Micro-Macro Dynamics


Micro-Macro Dynamics Wherever there is interdependency between elements there is a complex interplay between the parts and whole that is captured in the term micro-macro dynamic The micro-macro dynamic describes a complex interaction between the micro and macro levels to a system. In every system there will be a degree of interdependence between [...]

Hierarchy & Heterarchy


Hierarchy & Heterarchy Hierarchical organization, where smaller subunits are nested within larger suprasystems, is a pervasive design pattern seen throughout our world The terms hierarchy and heterarchy describe two distinct and basic organizational principles. A hierarchy is a structured arrangement of systems forming a perceived vertical pattern where smaller, more specific parts are [...]

Integrative Levels


Integrative Levels Ecosystems are classical examples of hierarchical systems with many integrative levels from a single cell to the whole biosphere An integrative level is a pattern of organization emerging on pre-existing phenomena of a lower level. Typical examples include life emerging out of non-living substances, and consciousness emerging out of the nervous [...]



Autopoiesis Mammalian reproduction whereby the community creates new members of itself to enable its persistence over time is a classical example of autopoiesis The term autopoiesis derives from the word auto- meaning "self" and poiesis, meaning "creation or production". The term is used to describe a system's capacity to regenerate or recreate itself. [...]

Emergent Types


Strong & Weak Emergence The question of strong and weak emergence is important in that it asks the question whether a complete account of the world is ultimately reducible to an account of its parts - as weak emergence would hold - or whether new organizational patterns emerge at different levels which are truly [...]

Pattern Formation


Pattern Formation The flocking of birds and the schooling of fish in one of the most dynamic forms of pattern formation generated by the local interactions between the members A pattern is any set of correlations between the states of elements within a system. Pattern formation refers to the process through which a [...]



Patterns A pattern is a set of correlations between elements of any kind it is a very abstract concept that can be equated to organization and order as it defines some recurring structure or symmetry A pattern defines some form of correlation between the states of elements within a system. All systems show [...]

Synergy Types


Positive & Negative Synergies The term synergy refers to things working together in some fashion, like the bonds between atoms as they work together to form larger molecules A synergy is a nonlinear relationship between two or more elements whereby they generate a combined outcome that is more or less than the sum [...]