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1. Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction
2. Complex and Adaptive Dynamical
3. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking
4. Coherent Dynamics of Complex Quantum
5. Complex Systems & Archaeology
6. Chaos: From Simple Models to Complex
7. Complexity and Postmodernism:
8. Investigating Human Error: Incidents,
9. Two-Phase Flow in Complex Systems
10. Complex Systems: Operational Approaches
11. Science Matters: Humanities As
12. Human Factors in Simple and Complex
13. Managing Complex Governance Systems
14. Social Emergence: Societies As
15. Applications of Complex Adaptive
16. Complex Systems and Evolutionary
17. Modeling Complex Systems (Graduate
18. Democracy and Economic Openness
19. Structuring Biological Systems:
20. Foundations of Complex-system

1. Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life (Princeton Studies in Complexity)
by John H. Miller, Scott E. Page
Paperback: 284 Pages (2007-03-05)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$21.13
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Asin: 0691127026
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book provides the first clear, comprehensive, and accessible account of complex adaptive social systems, by two of the field's leading authorities. Such systems--whether political parties, stock markets, or ant colonies--present some of the most intriguing theoretical and practical challenges confronting the social sciences. Engagingly written, and balancing technical detail with intuitive explanations, Complex Adaptive Systems focuses on the key tools and ideas that have emerged in the field since the mid-1990s, as well as the techniques needed to investigate such systems. It provides a detailed introduction to concepts such as emergence, self-organized criticality, automata, networks, diversity, adaptation, and feedback. It also demonstrates how complex adaptive systems can be explored using methods ranging from mathematics to computational models of adaptive agents.

John Miller and Scott Page show how to combine ideas from economics, political science, biology, physics, and computer science to illuminate topics in organization, adaptation, decentralization, and robustness. They also demonstrate how the usual extremes used in modeling can be fruitfully transcended.

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Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars The relevance of complexity theory
The book starts with a traditional approach to the game theory, in particular about the work of Morgenstern-von Neumann. This model must be related to the chaos theory for the possibility of an application to the social dynamics. The simulation of a structure based by agent can be seen also in an informatic context. The auctors adfirm that it exists different parts of human thinking able to influence the behaviour of people.

5-0 out of 5 stars A much needed book
This is an excellent book that introduces the reader to the concept of computational models of complex adaptive systems. The language used is both simple and engaging. The authors discuss why modeling is used, and more importantly, what are its limitations. This book will not teach you to model complex adaptive systems. Instead, it will give you the knowledge necessary to appreciate the intuition behind modeling complex systems. Many of the ideas introduced are complex but the authors' writing style makes them easy to understand. The best thing about the book was the choice of examples. Although simple, each example was able to convey certain ideas that greatly enhance the reader's understanding. Anyone interested in modeling complex systems should read this book before any other.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a great way to be introduced to the field
This textbook aims at introducing a relatively new and emerging scientific approach, complex adaptive systems. Simply stated, we're talking about complex systems in the sense that their dynamic is far too complex or chaotic to be modeled using analytical equations. Examples of such systems are social phenomena including immigration patterns and segregation, biological patterns such as bees behavior and others.The underlying assumption is that the system under review is too complex to be modeled using mathematical tools, and/or are too complex to conduct laboratory experiments with. The new method introduced in this book talks about modeling a very simple system of interacting entities (agents), with very simple micro behavior rules, letting the system run and observing the emerging macro-behavior of the system as a whole.

The book is a great textbook. Its flow of topics is in the correct order to taking the reader from the problem of why this approach is needed, through talking openly about the widespread criticism of this approach and tries answering it in a logical and intelligent way. It then continues to explaining what is a model and how to construct one and off to some examples that show other important corner stones of the field. I couldn't ask for a better arrangement of such book. The book is relatively easy to follow and can be used as an undergraduate textbook or for researchers who look for a good introduction to the field.

Some minor problems that I stumbled upon while reading are as follow: (1) chapter 5 is extremely important as it tries to discuss the approach's criticism, however the arguments wasn't always convincing. Specifically, I would like to see some examples of problems X that are given to the neoclassical theorists, and see some discussions on their inability to deal with them and how this approach can cope with them. (2) The research problems that are introduced are very simple (as also stated by the authors themselves), I think that another chapter with two or three examples of real problems would make this book more valuable for the more knowledgeable readers (e.g. some of Epstein works). (3) After doing a lot of reading on that topic I am still amazed to find new terminology to similar ideas I think the field will mature and be more comprehensive to newcomers if the terminology will be standardize.

Overall, this book provides a great introduction to the field, easy to follow, great arrangement of topics. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well written but could be better organized
This book is about computational models of adaptive complex systems that primarily emerge through social organization, for example voter dynamics, population clustering, bank runs...It starts with more elementary less adaptive models and builds on them to show how emergent properties can be seen and adaptive behaviour can be superior to deducible deterministic optimal points.The book is quite dense and cant be rushed through, but is readible andessentially an invitation to people not currently using the techniques of recursive system techniques in multi-agent based models.

I found this book very readable and the writing style very engaging.The authors ability to keep the subject both intuitive as well as rigorous is quite unique and I rarely read book that are as well balanced.The approach is generally to force people to look at repurcussions and then think about the dynamics that brings them about, which is a lot more sensible than working through from initial conditions the evolution of nonlinear dynamical systems.This approach is contained to examples where one builds the examples and interactive dynamics of the agents themselves rather than for arbitrary chaotic systems.

This book though is not 5 stars to me as I dont like the way it was organized.The beginning of the book was hard for me to figure out what they were talking about or who they were trying to convince.The writing was good, but I was unable to gain insight into the systems they eventually were leading the reader to consider.I finally understood what they were talking about when they mentioned sugarworld which I was familiar with.At that point, in hindsight the beginning of the book made more sense.All in all my only criticism is the conclusion type arguments about the utility of the methods before discussing an elementary example was probably unecessary.I think it would have been better start to finish by starting with examples, building up the difficulty (which they did, but just a fair way into the book) and really reinforcing the merit of the approach (which i found self revealing) at the end rather than the beginning.

3-0 out of 5 stars Conceptually rich but unnecessarily complicated
Complexity is a hot subject. Unfortunately, the language of dynamical systems theory is advanced mathematics, which means that most of the available literature is not readily accessible to lay readers. Educated nonspecialists are left with few options aside from the occasional overview which, typically, does not delve too deeply into the subject matter. Given this state of affairs, Miller and Page's book would seem to be a godsend.

A stated aim of the book is that of providing a "clear, comprehensive, and accessible account of complex adaptive social systems" for "both academics and the sophisticated lay reader." Insofar as comprehensiveness, the authors deliver. Readers are first offered preliminary discussions on complexity in social worlds, modeling, and emergence, followed by a more detailed treatment of computational modeling as a tool for theory development and of agent-based objects as the recommended means to explore complex adaptive social systems. Then a basic framework of agent-based systems is presented, followed by discussions of unidimensional complexity models and the edge of chaos, social dynamics, evolving automata, and organizational decision making. These topics are largely illustrated with the authors' previously published models. Finally, conclusions are derived regarding the book's central theme: the "interest in between" as it pertains to complex social systems (which tend to fall in between the usual scientific boundaries). Two appendices bring up the rear: an agenda for future research in complex systems and an outline of best practices for computational modeling. The thematic coverage is ample and varied, excellent for a general introductory work on social complexity.

Insofar as clarity and accessibility are concerned, however, I find myself in disagreement with the book's blurbs. Much of the mathematical formalism has been expunged from the discussions, yes, but that by itself does not guarantee enhanced communicability. The logic of the arguments, which in this field is considerable, must now be conveyed by other means, either verbal or visual. The authors do make an effort to explain in words the basic concepts when they begin a new topic. But when they proceed to discuss an actual model, they shift gears. Instead of explaining or illustrating in detail the model's functional intricacies, they switch to summarizing their findings and present a table or figure that encapsulates the model's results. Repeated readings of the text are almost always required, but understanding does not necessarily ensue. This approach does not appear to contribute to the goal of making the models "as simple and accessible as possible."

This situation is not due to writer's oversight but to a deliberate choice. Prior to discussing their first example model (a computational version of Tiebout's model), the authors state: "Rather than fully pursuing the detailed version of the model we just outlined ... here we provide just an overview." Fateful words which amount to an announcement of their modus operandi, as the subsequent instances demonstrate. Caveat lector. The reader is also assumed to possess a working knowledge of such things as game theory, elementary combinatorics, and statistics, among others. So brush up on the basics and stay close to a search engine.

Reading this book takes time and some effort; it is not a breezy read. One never gets to see an actual piece of code or even pseudocode, which one would normally expect in an introductory book on computational modeling. The reader is left in a vacuum as to the mechanics of implementation. Still, it is a good book in terms of its conceptual content. However, the inconsistency between the stated aim of providing clarity of exposition at an introductory level and the actual product the reader interacts with detracts from the book's overall quality. It seems like we are still waiting for the canonical text on complex adaptive social systems.

Note: If you are looking for a general overview of complexity theory intended for a lay audience, I would suggest Melanie Mitchell's Complexity: A Guided Tour. It is excellent. At the other end of the spectrum, if you're heavily into power math, consider Complex and Adaptive Dynamical Systems: A Primer (Springer Complexity) by Claudius Gros. It is rigorous. ... Read more

2. Complex and Adaptive Dynamical Systems: A Primer (Springer: Complexity)
by Claudius Gros
Paperback: 325 Pages (2010-09-27)
list price: US$79.95 -- used & new: US$64.09
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Asin: 364204705X
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Discover a wide range of findings in quantitative complex system science that help us make sense of our complex world. Written at an introductory level, the book provides an accessible entry into this fascinating and vitally important subject.

... Read more

3. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World
by John D. Sterman
Hardcover: 993 Pages (2000-12-01)
list price: US$68.69 -- used & new: US$65.88
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Asin: 0071179895
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Today's leading authority on the subject of this text is the author, MIT Standish Professor of Management and Director of the System Dynamics Group, John D. Sterman. Sterman's objective is to explain, in a true textbook format, what system dynamics is, and how it can be successfully applied to solve business and organizational problems. System dynamics is both a currently utilized approach to organizational problem solving at the professional level, and a field of study in business, engineering, and social and physical sciences. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for Complex World
I am an 80 year old Columbia Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering. A member of National Academy of Engineering and retired head of Pleastics Research, Bell Labs, specializing in Thermodynamic and Dynamic Behavior of Complex Fluids and Solids. The subject of this book has started with an MIT Professor Sterman, but I noticed his chair title bears the name of Forrester whose name was that of the inventor of the RAM, invented from theoretical analysis and persuasion. So I purchased Sterman's and later this book. I have not finished reading the whole books because I'm taking time and repeating sections from both books, as I read them ideas come up at any time of the day or night. This book, as I suspected, can be useful with all areas, a book of general interest, as for the General Theory of Relativity. By comparing digital Nonlinear paradigm with analog Linear paradigm, the reader may be lucky enough to experience a limbic excitement that two paradigms are equivalent. I can apply this principle (I pick up throughout the book) to apply to my nonlinear viscoelasticity theory for the nonequilibrium glassy state with cooperative molecular relaxation, for an economist at Princeton University (a double Novel Laureate) to apply the nonlinear Keynes "constant" to advocate that, to save world from the replay of the global depression, a deficit to avoid the global bankruptcy is a necessary evil. For the authors for the origin of the modern men and women, including the creative authoress of the Aquatic Ape, to introduce the nonliear parameter for the floods the repetitive events of Freezing and Warming (Flooding) over twenty times, rather than a one-time event, and the fact that the numbers the neurons are not the best measure of the intelligence but the plasticity is; probablility of synaptic network, i.e., the anatomic volume of the memories, is a measure of memory and desire (T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land).

5-0 out of 5 stars Modeling to understand dynamic complex systems
Complex systems are not intuitive.Sometimes they are even counter-intuitive.Dynamic system modeling can help our understanding of this challenging class (including the economy, government policies and human behavior, business management).This readable book makes a complex subject and a specific tool understandable (with a lot of work...).

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book to work with, specially if you're starting off on your own
I am in the middle of using this book for work which I am doing as a part- time doctoral student. It's a clearly written, accessible and still scholarly introduction to System Dynamics. It's very comprehensive as well. I was surprised to find a good deal of content on one narrow area (the Bass Diffusion Model) which am working on. It's definitely a good book to get started and keep you going up to at least intermediate level. From a usability point of view, though, I really would have liked a lighter (=lesser weight) paperback edition which I could carry around.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best reference books for Systems Thinking & modeling
One of the best reference books I've come across, for System Dynamics. The topics are covered with minimum of mathematical formalism (complemented by very intuitive explanation). Being foreign to this discipline, Parts 2 & 3 of this book help you get the gist of what this discipline is all about (causal loop diagrams, stocks & flows, positive and negative feedback loops). Part 3 is the most interesting/engaging part of the book for beginners to this subject area: dynamics of growth. You can jump to topics of interest without discontinuity: For those with technology management responsibility, Chapter 10.4 (Positive feedback and how it impacts corporate growth) is a must read.

I wish our high schools cover this discipline. I definitely go back to this book from time to time whenever I'm spending time thinking about process improvements, internal policy or strategy design. Glad I came across this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars great work
Este libro contiene información de vanguardia y vital en el desarrollo de las prácticas avanzadas de dirección por procesos.Cualquier ejecutivo que se considere experto en operaciones, deberá incluir este documento como base para sus trabajos. ... Read more

4. Coherent Dynamics of Complex Quantum Systems (Theoretical and Mathematical Physics)
by Vladimir M. Akulin
Paperback: 471 Pages (2009-12-15)
list price: US$129.00 -- used & new: US$102.77
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Asin: 364205918X
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Coherent Dynamics of Complex Quantum Systems is aimed at senior-level undergraduate students in the areas of atomic, molecular, and laser physics, physical chemistry, quantum optics and quantum informatics. It should help them put particular problems in these fields into a broader scientific context and thereby take advantage of the well-elaborated technique of the adjacent fields. ... Read more

5. Complex Systems & Archaeology (Foundations of Archaeological Inquiry)
Paperback: 190 Pages (2003-08-19)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
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Asin: 087480759X
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6. Chaos: From Simple Models to Complex Systems (Series on Advances in Statistical Mechanics)
by Massimo Cencini, Fabio Cecconi, Angelo Vulpiani
Hardcover: 480 Pages (2009-09-01)
list price: US$99.00 -- used & new: US$78.43
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Asin: 9814277657
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"Chaos: From Simple Models to Complex Systems" aims to guide science and engineering students through chaos and nonlinear dynamics from classical examples to the most recent fields of research. The first part, intended for undergraduate and graduate students, is a gentle and self-contained introduction to the concepts and main tools for the characterization of deterministic chaotic systems, with emphasis to statistical approaches. The second part can be used as a reference by researchers as it focuses on more advanced topics including the characterization of chaos with tools of information theory and applications encompassing fluid and celestial mechanics, chemistry and biology. The book is novel in devoting attention to a few topics often overlooked in introductory textbooks and which are usually found only in advanced surveys such as: information and algorithmic complexity theory applied to chaos and generalization of Lyapunov exponents to account for spatiotemporal and non-infinitesimal perturbations. The selection of topics, numerous illustrations, exercises and proposals for computer experiments make the book ideal for both introductory and advanced courses. ... Read more

7. Complexity and Postmodernism: Understanding Complex Systems
by Paul Cilliers
Hardcover: 176 Pages (1998-03-10)
list price: US$135.00 -- used & new: US$107.99
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Asin: 0415152860
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This book integrates insights from complexity and computational theory with the philosophical position of thinkers including Derrida and Lyotard. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cilliers marries complexity and philosophy successfully
Cilliers does an excellent job to bring together difficult concepts.One or two reviewers come up with issues around time and thermodynamics: let's just say that entropy (central to the second law)is a temporal concept and leave it at that. I found his work something to go back to regularly, well referenced and an example of how to fuse philosophy and science in a rather rigorous manner.We have moved ahead in neural network technology and thinking since 1998, but I still use the concepts of Cilliers to validate thinking around the modern concepts of non-linear estimation and pattern matching.I believe that this is a very good book to use as part of core reading material if you come from a scientific or a social sciences background and need to work on real world problems at that uncomfortable cross-over point between the two.

Why not 5 stars? This is 2006 and we have internalised many of the ideas that Cilliers had to expose and defend in 1998.So Paul, what about a new work that brings in your ideas on "slowness" and bounding of systems?

1-0 out of 5 stars Science is not pop music ...and philosophy didn't used to be
... in spite of the appearance of the reviews associated with this work and the work itself, there is a valid connection between postmodernism and (let me be patient!) complexity.

First of all, about terminology... isn't complexity theory a branch of computer science that deals with execution time as a metric of algorithms? I think the reviewers here want to refer to complex systems theory. Wasn't connectionism a fad which was piled on top of a catchily-conceived name for artificial neural networks .... which were the popularization of more serious works of people like Papert, Minsky, Grossberg...and doesn't the reviewer who pretends to know something about physical science understand what "irreversibility" is and that, indeed, classical mechanics is indeed reversible?J. Willard Gibbs would roll over in his grave if he could read the reviews on this page...

IF you are seriously trying to find out what this stuff is about, start out by getting Lars Skyttner's book on General Systems Theory. Use it as a guidebook. Then, if you want to understand the evolution of the ideas, read the opening sections of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. After that, read Saussure and Piaget on structuralism and read Terence Hawkes' book, "Structuralism and Semiotics" After that, try to get at least a rudimentary understanding of the work of the process philosophers...Bergson, Peirce, James and, of course, "Process and Reality" by Whitehead. At this point, you should seriously consider getting at least a passing familiarity with the work of Karl Marx with the goal of understanding what was really bothering him - and of seeing that Marx's ideas are important in ways that he probably never even thought about.

At that point, if you are one of many for whom there is a schism between the culture of liberal arts and the culture of mathematics and science, you should, at this point read a few of the popular works of Richard Feynman - perhaps, "The Character of Physical Law" or the opening lecture of Volume I of "The Feynman Lectures on Physics". Compare what Feynman has to say about science to what Piaget has to say about structures and - hopefully, by now you are beginning to realize that mathematics is a liberal art - and that the so-called liberal arts are sometimes excuses for people who don't want to be very careful in their thinking....(not always, mind you) - go and read Sunny Auyang's wonderful books, "Foundations of Complex Systems Theories" and "How is Quantum Field Theory Possible?"

By this point, you should feel somewhat secure in addressing "Postmodernism" and being able to distinguish what is there because people want to sound "cool" for their friends, and what is valid and sometimes deeply disturbing for the evolution of humanity.

2-0 out of 5 stars Crippled by Cilliers' Knowledge of Complexity Science
Frankly, I'm astonished by some of the favorable reviews this book has received.First of all, I still haven't figured out if this really is a book or if it's a collection of essays, due to the amount of repetition of content between chapters.

Cilliers attempts to demonstrate the mutual relevance of complexity science (CS) and postmodern philosophy, but his knowledge of CS and thermodynamics seems to go no deeper than what he's read on the dustjackets of pop-sci books.The number of claims he makes that are either blatantly false or not necessarily true are outnumbered only by the number of uninsightful comments and statements that appear to have been gleaned directly from more technical sources.Here are a few to make one's skin crawl:

On p. 6, as an example of a non-linear relationship: "money can receive compounded interest".In fact, this is a classic *linear* relationship (so common it's often used as an introductory problem the first day of a course in linear differential equations).The equation representing it is simply: dM/dt = n*M, where M is the amount of money in an account, and n is the interest rate.The solution is Mo * e^(nt), where Mo is the initial amount of money in the account and 'e' represents 'exponential'.(Simply because compounded interest generates an exponential curve over time does not make the relationship non-linear; the underlying equation is linear.)

On p. 4: "Any analysis of a complex system that ignores the dimension of time is incomplete, or at most a synchronic snapshot of a diachronic process."This is completely false - One of the very purposes of 'phase space' analysis is to *completely* represent a system without considering time.The elliptical relationship between velocity and momentum in a simple harmonic oscillator is a common example that many might remember from high school physics.

On p. 8: "In classical mechanics, time was reversible, and therefore not part of the equation.In thermodynamics time plays a vital role."This quote still makes me tear at my hair.The *exact opposite* is true: almost every equation in classical mechanics (projectile motion, harmonic oscillation, planetary motion) explicitly involve time as a dimension, while, because thermodynamics is only concerned with initial and final (equilibrium) states, few thermo equations do so.

On p. 3, Cilliers says: "The grains of sand on a beach do not interest us as a complex system." but includes later in the book a quote from complexity scientist Per Bak, who has achieved his fame specifically for the study of the 'self-organized criticality' of sand grains.

And this is just the first few pages!The list goes on and on:He repeatedly confuses the thermodynamic concepts of 'closed' and 'isolated' systems; He seems to think that 'non-linear' equations are all somehow phenomenally complex and unsolvable and that the phrase 'non-linear' is therefore a synonym for being non-reductionist, non-rational, and, in short, 'postmodern'.(In doing so, he falls into many of the traps Alan Sokal identified in Fashionable Nonsense.)

I think that the basic concept behind the book could have been interesting, but due to Cilliers elementary-level grasp of half the subject matter with which he deals, the statement Cilliers himself makes on p. 133 (in reference to a recent book by Rouse) applies equally well to this text: "For me, reading this book was about as pleasant as it would be to eat it."

5-0 out of 5 stars All Without Referring to Wittgenstein?
I read this book primarily through an interest in the philosophy of language. Of particular relevance in this respect is the emphasis on a characterisation of complexity as being opposed to traditional notions of representation.Cilliers draws parallels between the philosophy of Saussure and Derrida and scientific developments in distributed representation, particularly with respect to connectionist approaches as implemented in neural networks.Cilliers argues that a classical representational theory of language that posits syntax as an instantiation of semantics does not sufficiently allow for the complexity evident in language, but rather that meaning is constituted by the dynamic relationships between both the components of language and the environment in which it is embedded.Cilliers explicitly rejects rule-based symbol systems as being adequete for modelling language, referring to recent scientific research using neural networks to simulate language learning indicating that "though rules may be useful to describe linguistic phenomena, explicit rules need not be employed when language is acquired or when it is used" (p. 32).In Chapter 4 (pp. 48-57), Cilliers considers the Chinese Room Gedankenexperiment from the perspective of his thesis.He suggests that the debate has unquestionably assumed that the formal model of language represented by the argument is correct, that is, that a rule-book such as the one supposed is even possible.Cilliers suggests that this assumes certain features of language: that a formal grammar for a natural language can be constructed and represented in a lookup table; that there is a clean split between syntax and semantics; and that language represents rather than constitutes meaning (p. 53).

The overall picture of language that Cilliers develops has important parallels with the views of Wittgenstein, though, somewhat surprisingly, Wittgenstein is never explicitly mentioned (except with regard to his family concepts).Firstly, meaning is construed as occuring through dynamic processes (use) rather than static representations (the conception that Wittgenstein's private language argument criticises).Secondly, the idea that there is some fact of the matter (whether inside or outside human agents) that determines meaning is explicitly rejected.Finally, a straightforward split between syntax and semantics is denied (a distinction that the sceptical interpretation of Wittgenstein, offered by Kripke, takes advantage of).

In summary, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in making connections between dynamic systems theory and philosophy of mind or language -- Cilliers proves an effective communicator in both of the fields he wishes to connect.

2-0 out of 5 stars Complexity and Dead End
The book combines elements of different philosophies: post-modernism, structuralism, and deconstruction. It is a meeting of vague philosophical generalizations and scientific terminology (e.g., neural networks), and as such, it muddles things instead of making them clear. The hope being that, if things look complex and muddled, people will consider the book profound.

I have to say that stylistically the book is fairly well written, yet this is not something one would read for entertainment. Bottom line: this is an attempt at some sort of philsophical synthesis which, in reality, is an intellectual dead end. ... Read more

8. Investigating Human Error: Incidents, Accidents, and Complex Systems
by Barry Strauch
Paperback: 324 Pages (2004-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$37.75
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Asin: 0754641228
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is a paperbound reprint of a 2002 book. Utilizing aviation accidents for most of his examples, but stressing the applicability of the material to any investigation of the causes of human error in transportation and industrial systems, Strauch (psychology, George Mason U. and aviation management ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Little Light Reading
This book was fine for what it was used for, an aviation class on safety.

4-0 out of 5 stars trust
I received the book: "Investigating Human Error: Incidents, Accidents, and Complex Systems" a week ago.

Your service is great. I trust you.

Best regards,
David Xu
Shekou, Guangdong, P.R.China

3-0 out of 5 stars Useful but there are better books
One gets the impression that Strauch sees people involved in accidents as 'patients' who symptoms must be probed or worse that his approach is more like a pathologist, seeking the cause of the error.Hence heavey emphasis on substance abuse testing for example.Much better is Dekker's book The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error.The latter is better preparation.

5-0 out of 5 stars College Book
This book is required for my Masters class ... it arrived as described and in a very timely manner.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding guide, one that has long been needed.
Just as our transportation system, like most complex systems, has grown ever more sophisticated, so have the means of investigating when those systems suffer failures.For years, a pronouncement of "human error" signaled the end of an accident investigation; now it often marks the beginning.It is no longer sufficient to conclude that an error occurred; investigators must now determine why it occurred and what can be done to prevent a recurrence.Yet surprisingly, there has been little in the training canon to prepare the accident investigator for this central function.That is, until now, because Dr. Barry Strauch has masterfully filled that gap."Investigating Human Error: Incidents, Accidents, and Complex Systems" is that rarity in the literature of any discipline: a text that is thorough, well-organized and also a pleasure to read.Strauch is clearly at home in both the academic world and the gritty, high-stress environment that surrounds the investigator in the field.Each page of his book is informed by his years of experience as an investigator, an educator and a human factors psychologist.With the systematic, insightful approach presented by Strauch, complex systems are no longer impenetrable to the investigator; human error ceases to be a conundrum.Furthermore, Strauch's audience extends well beyond the ranks of investigators alone.His book will be profoundly appreciated by the people who work in airlines and other complex systems, by those who manage them and by those who analyze and regulate them.In fact, Strauch's work will be a compelling read for anyone who is fascinated and perplexed by humans failing to perform as they should in critical missions. ... Read more

9. Two-Phase Flow in Complex Systems
by Salomon Levy
Hardcover: 448 Pages (1999-08-02)
list price: US$145.00 -- used & new: US$84.40
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Asin: 0471329673
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The first comprehensive, real-world look at two-phase flow systems-from one of the world's leading authorities on the subject.

From his early works in the area of heat transfer research on boundary layer flows and two-phase flows to his role as one of the lead consultants following the Three Mile Island accident, internationally renowned engineer Salomon Levy has achieved an ideal balance of theory and practice in his engineering career. In Two-Phase Flow in Complex Systems, Dr. Levy's newest book, he draws on this breadth of experience to examine these systems in the real world.

Two-Phase Flow in Complex Systems offers a unique look at two-phase flow phenomena (primarily gas and liquid) in a variety of systems, from water reactors to the global climate system. Focusing on the interaction and simultaneous behavior of all the components in a system, the book's approach departs significantly from conventional texts, which emphasize modeling of separate phenomena. The book begins with the formulation of an integrated program of experiments and analytical tools, and describes experimental aspects-specifically the scaling of test facilities-essential to representing the critical elements of the behavior of complex systems. Subsequent chapters:
* Discuss system computer codes for predicting system behavior during transients and accidents.
* Examine flow pattern maps and flow pattern models.
* Describe typical limiting phenomena known to impact the safety and cost of complex systems (including countercurrent limiting conditions and critical or choking flow).

The book also illustrates how the analysis used in understanding the dynamics of a nuclear power system can be applied to the entire global climate system, including the phenomenon of global warming. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Phenomena under the mask
This is a comprehensive and timely text on multiphase flow and heat transfer for a nuclear engineer and those who are interested in nuclear reactor safety assessment, to have a picture of what may be happending in nuclear power plants under accident conditions, including hypothetical core meltdown situations. It is helpful since a majority of those who run reactor-safety computer codes do not have good grip on phenomenological understanding and models which formed the backbone of these codes. With respect to severe accidents, the author made a terrific attempt to go beyond the mundane of empiricism, but phenomena are too complex and there are too large uncertainties that somehow reduces the value of detailed modeling of particular processes. Knowledge gained to date in simulant-materials and small-scale experiments not necessarily provides the adequate picture of what could happen in reality.Especially since in most cases, measurements were indirect and models are speculative. Therefore a sense of caution is recommended to look behind equations and aware of where and how they were derived or conditions in which correlations were obtained. ... Read more

10. Complex Systems: Operational Approaches in Neurobiology, Physics and Computers (Springer Series in Synergetics, Vol 31)
 Hardcover: 375 Pages (1985-12)
list price: US$85.95
Isbn: 0387159231
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11. Science Matters: Humanities As Complex Systems
by Maria Burguete
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2008-11-26)
list price: US$61.00 -- used & new: US$51.67
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Asin: 9812835938
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All earnest and honest human quests for knowledge are efforts to understandNature, which includes both human and nonhuman systems, the objects of studyin science. Thus, broadly speaking, all these quests are in the sciencedomain. The methods and tools used may be different; for example, the literarypeople use mainly their bodily sensors and their brain as the informationprocessor, while natural scientists may use, in addition, measuringinstruments and computers. Yet, all these activities could be viewed in aunified perspective -- they are scientific developments at varying stages ofmaturity and have a lot to learn from each other.

That "everything in Nature is part of science" was well recognized byAristotle, da Vinci and many others. Yet, it is only recently, with the adventof modern science and experiences gathered in the study of statisticalphysics, complex systems and other disciplines, that we know how thehuman-related disciplines can be studied scientifically.

Science Matters is about all human-dependent knowledge, wherein humans(the material system of Homo sapiens) are studied scientifically fromthe perspective of complex systems. It includes all the topics covered in thehumanities and social sciences. Containing contributions from knowledgeablehumanists, social scientists and physicists, the book is intended for those --from artists to scientists -- who are curious about the world and areinterested in understanding it with a unified perspective.

Contents: Science Matters: A Unified Perspective (L Lam); Art andCulture:; Culture THROUGH Science: A New World of Images and Stories(P Caro); Physiognomy in Science and Art: Properties of a Natural BodyInferred from Its Appearance (B Hoppe); Has Neuroscience Any TheologicalConsequence? (A Dinis); SciComm, PopSci and The Real World (L Lam);Philosophy and History of Science:; The Tripod of Science:Communication, Philosophy and Education (N Sanitt); History and Philosophy ofScience: Towards a New Epistemology (M Burguete); Philosophy of Science andChinese Sciences: The Multicultural View of Science and a Unified OntologicalPerspective (B Liu); Evolution of the Concept of Science Communication inChina (D-G Li); History of Science in Globalizing Time (D Liu); RaisingScientific Level:; Why Markets are Moral (M Shermer); Towards theUnderstanding of Human Dynamics (T Zhou et al.); Human History: A ScienceMatter (L Lam). ... Read more

12. Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems, Second Edition
by Robert W. Proctor, Trisha Van Zandt
Hardcover: 696 Pages (2008-04-22)
list price: US$99.95 -- used & new: US$75.19
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Asin: 0805841199
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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In terms of simple and complex systems, it is a whole new world out there. At the initial publication of this book, fourteen years ago, the web was in its infancy, DVDs did not exist, cell phones were few and far between, and the information superhighway was just a blip upon the horizon. If you used the terms "social engineering," you were most likely a political scientist, and if you were "phishing" you might be listening to a rock band.

The second edition of a bestseller, Human Factors in Simple and Complex Systems provides the necessary understanding of the breadth and depth of human factors issues that influence the design, implementation, and evaluation of products and systems. Emphasizing the close relationship between basic theory and application, the authors delineate a framework for the research process, present an integrated view of the current state of knowledge, and examine how these factors can be applied to system design. The new edition addresses such concepts as situation awareness and highlights topics of interest, with a special focus on computer applications and human-computer interaction.

See what’s new in the Second Edition

  • New topics, such as situational awareness, that capture the tremendous changes in human factors and ergonomics
  • Tightly integrates basic research and application, strengthening the link between knowledge and practice
  • Each chapter includes a separate box that discusses a topic of current interest related to human interaction with computers and recent technology

Demonstrating a general approach to solving a broad range of system problems, the book provides coverage of the theoretical foundation on which the discipline of human factors is built. Structured around human information processing, it covers the full range of contemporary human factors and ergonomics, then shows you how to apply them.

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Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Human Factors Book
I did not like the product.It is bound upside down! so i have to read the entire book from back to front instead of front to back...its ridiculous! and how are we expected to return it when classes have started and i need the book to study everyday! I mean come on...you charge me 90$ and give me book bound upside down...that's just crappy ... Read more

13. Managing Complex Governance Systems (Routledge Critical Studies in Public Management)
Hardcover: 292 Pages (2009-06-08)
list price: US$138.00 -- used & new: US$110.40
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Asin: 0415459737
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Advances in public management sciences have long indicated the empirical finding that the normal state of public management systems is complex and that its dynamics are non-linear.  Complex systems are subject to system pressures, system shocks, chance events, path-dependency and self-organisation. Arguing that complexity is an ever-present characteristic of our developed societies and governance systems that should be accepted, understood and adopted into management strategies, the original essays collected in this book aim to increase our understanding of complex governance processes and to propose new strategies for how public managers can deal with complexity in order to achieve high-quality research.

The authors collected here use theoretical frameworks grounded in empirical research to analyze and explain how non-linear dynamics, self-organisation of many agents and the co-evolution of processes combine to generate the evolution of governance processes, especially for public urban and metropolitan investments. Managing Complex Governance Systems: Dynamics, Self-Organization and Coevolution in Public Investments offers readers an increased understanding of the main objective of public management in complexity--namely complex process system--and a strategy for accepting and dealing with complexity based on the idea of dual thinking and dual action strategies satisfying the desires of controlling processes and the need to adjust to changes simultaneously.

... Read more

14. Social Emergence: Societies As Complex Systems
by R. Keith Sawyer
Paperback: 276 Pages (2005-11-28)
list price: US$42.99 -- used & new: US$15.00
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Asin: 0521606373
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Sociologists have long believed that psychology alone can't explain what happens when people work together in complex modern societies.In contrast, most psychologists and economists believe that we can explain much about social life with an accurate theory of how individuals make choices and act on them. R. Keith Sawyer argues, however, that societies are complex dynamical systems, and that the best way to resolve these debates is by developing the concept of emergence, paying attention to multiple levels of analysis--individuals, interactions, and groups--with a dynamic focus on how social group phenomena emerge from communication processes among individual members. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Timely arrival and condition both as stated.Excellent book.
The book arrived within the stated time frame, in fact it arrived quicker than expected.It was new and did arrive in new condition still wrapped.It is a great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Regarding CAM's Essential Science-Ejected Vitalism, 2005:
Vitalism is a profoundly science-ejected concept, though many CAM or 'natural health' cabals falsely claim that vitalism survives scientific scrutiny.

I quote:

"from the late nineteenth century through the 1920s, many holists rejected materialism and held to dualist ontologies such as vitalism and organicism. Vitalism holds that living organisms contain a 'vital' force or substance in addition to physical matter [...] as science became more firmly detached from metaphysics, nonmaterialist holisms -- including vitalism, dualism, spiritualism, and idealism -- became increasingly difficult for serious scientists to maintain, although metaphysical philosophers continued to make such arguments through the 1920s. Today, dualist ontologies such as vitalism are rejected as unscientific by the mainstream of all scientific disciplines; all science is now materialist and is based on the metaphysical position [until empirical evidence warrants otherwise] that all existence is material in character and there are no entities that exist independently of matter [p.029]."


4-0 out of 5 stars Useful Contribution to Complex Systems Theory
Human society is a prime candidate for analysis as a complex dynamical system, since societies consist in large numbers of very similar agents engaged in overlapping and interdependent interactions. Despite the power of methodologically individualist approaches in understanding human behavior, they cannot go beyond a certain point, because complex dynamical systems have emergent properties that govern the joint behavior of the individuals who constitute society. Such emergent properties cannot be properly modeled within the confines of the existing behavioral disciplines, because some disciplines (e.g., economics) are thoroughly committed to methodological individualism, and others (e.g., sociology) do not study the precise mechanisms whereby emergent properties result from the interaction of micro-level agents. Sawyer's book focuses on the requirements for a consistent approach to emergent social properties.

Sawyer argues that the agent-based modeling and complexity techniques now used form a "third wave" of social systems theory, the first being Talcott Parsons' structural-functionalism, and the second being Bertalanffy' work general systems theory. Sawyer's personal emphasis is on the role of communication in constituting complex group intentionality.

The book does a nice job of outline the history of the concept of emergence in social theory, arguing that Durkheim's work is best understood as a systematic alternative to methodological individualism. Much of the analysis difficult to deal with because it depends on a high level of abstraction from analytical and behavioral models, so lacks focus. It is difficult to have much patience with transcendental realism, critical realism, and other philosophical and sociological doctrines that pontificate on the abstractnature of social systems.

Sawyer stresses the importance of agent-based modeling of complex dynamical systems. This stress is well-founded, but the book's emphasis on the level of emergent properties leads to a slighting of the analytical modeling of human individuals. This is, of course, typical of a sociological approach to social theory, but it belies the author's earlier insistence on the cross-disciplinary nature of the task of explaining social emergence. There is neither biology nor economics here, and the analysis suffers as a result. It is incorrect to believe that a groups of computer scientists can model human communication, for instance,without knowing the empirical data on the social role of communication, the evolutionary dynamics of human language, and the conditions under which communication is veridical. In particular, it is incorrect to think one can understand communication without problematizing the conditions under which people can assume that message are truthful.

Despite erring on the side of slighting the micro components of society---the individuals who compose society in their strategic and communicative interactions---this is a valuable contribution for those interested in developing social theory beyond methodological individualism

5-0 out of 5 stars Overview of Complex Social Systems
This book is a great overview of the state of understanding and research in and around complex social systems. I found this a good foundation for deeper digging, particularly understanding what happens in some of the social networks on the web as they scale.As it is academic in nature (although rather accessible for non-accademics) it is well footnoted and annotated, making it easy to dig deeper on a variety of subjects. ... Read more

15. Applications of Complex Adaptive Systems
by Yin Shan
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2008-02-15)
list price: US$99.95 -- used & new: US$94.77
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Asin: 1599049627
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The universe is a massive system of systems -- for example, ecological systems, social systems, commodity and stock markets. These systems are complex, constantly adapting to their environment, and many are essential to the very existence of human beings. To fully understand these systems, complex adaptive systems research uses systemic inquiry to build multi-level and multidisciplinary representations of reality to study these systems.

Applications of Complex Adaptive Systems provides a global view of the most up-to-date research on the strategies, applications, practice, and implications of complex adaptive systems, to better understand the various critical systems that surround human life. Researchers working in the field of complex adaptive systems and related fields such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, and data mining, as well as professionals in related applications such as defense, bioinformatics, and sociology will find this book an indispensable, state-of-the-art reference. ... Read more

16. Complex Systems and Evolutionary Perspectives of Organisations: The Application of Complexity Theory to Organisations
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2003-10-14)
list price: US$117.00 -- used & new: US$109.99
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Asin: 0080439578
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In January 1995 the first Complexity Seminar was held at the London School of Economics, in the UK. This was quite a momentous occasion as it proved to be the turning point for the series of seminars, which had started in December 1992. That seminar and those that followed it, had a profound effect on the research interests of Eve Mitleton-Kelly, the initiator and organiser of the series and editor of this volume, and thus laid the foundation for what became the LSE Complexity Research Programme, which proceeded to win several research awards for collaborative projects with companies. But the series also provided the material for this book. Earlier versions of the papers selected for this volume were first given at the LSE Complexity Seminar series.

The seminar series, focussed primarily on the application of the theories of complexity to organisations - an area of study which was quite new to UK businesses and academics; it slowly helped to disseminate these ideas and today, there is a proliferation of networks and seminar series throughout the UK on complexity; a strong and active academic community studying complexity in different disciplines and a growing number of organisations, experimenting with these revolutionary ideas and putting them into practice.

The 14 international authors in this volume reflect this interest in 10 chapters that range from the very practical application of the theory to more philosophical reflections on its nature and applicability. They do not all agree with each other, but since diversity and variety is at the heart of complexity they each provide a strand of an intertwined whole, which will enrich and deepen our understanding. In an environment of increasing uncertainty and ambiguity it is necessary to learn how to hold, in tension, disparate or even contradictory views, without undue stress. The world is not a simple dyadic black or white entity, but a rich multi-coloured and many-hued ensemble, each strand or perspective contributing to an intricate and inter-related n-dimensional whole. ... Read more

17. Modeling Complex Systems (Graduate Texts in Physics)
by Nino Boccara
Paperback: 397 Pages (2010-11-02)
list price: US$124.00 -- used & new: US$98.83
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Asin: 1441923381
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book explores the process of modeling complex systems in the widest sense of that term, drawing on examples from such diverse fields as ecology, epidemiology, sociology, seismology, as well as economics. It also provides the mathematical tools for studying the dynamics of these systems. Boccara takes a carefully inductive approach in defining what it means for a system to be "complex" (and at the same time addresses the equally elusive concept of emergent properties). This is the first text on the subject to draw comprehensive conclusions from such a wide range of analogous phenomena.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good intructory book
This book encloses a large variety of models in an introductory level and opens the possibility to the students to go deep in specific topics through its references. So, it is adequate for a regular course on complex systems. The mean-field part of book provides a concise, clear and complete presentation of dynamical systems. In my opinion, the agent-based chapters iswell presented, but do not cover satisfactorily the criticality of epidemic spreading, a central point in complex system modeling.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good comprehensive presentation of the state of the art
This is a fine book to learn the state of the art in 2004 in the field of complex systems modeling. It has the right blend of useful illustrations from many types of applications and of clean mathematics, without overdoing it in terms of abstraction. It is expensive but I don't regret my purchase. ... Read more

18. Democracy and Economic Openness in an Interconnected System: Complex transformations
by Quan Li, Rafael Reuveny
Paperback: 360 Pages (2009-07-31)
list price: US$28.99 -- used & new: US$21.91
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Asin: 0521728908
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In this book, Quan Li and Rafael Reuveny combine the social scientific approach with a broad, interdisciplinary scope to address some of the most intriguing and important political, economic, and environmental issues of our times. Their book employs formal and statistical methods to study the interactions of economic globalization, democratic governance, income inequality, economic development, military violence, and environmental degradation. In doing so, Li and Reuveny cross multiple disciplinary boundaries, engage various academic debates, bring the insights from compartmentalized bodies of literature into direct dialogue, and uncover policy tradeoffs in a growingly interconnected political-economic-environmental system. They show that growing interconnectedness in the global system increases the demands on national leaders and their advisors; academicians and policy makers will need to cross disciplinary boundaries if they seek to better understand and address the policy tradeoffs of even more complex processes than the ones investigated here. ... Read more

19. Structuring Biological Systems: A Computer Modeling Approach (Neurocomputing for Modeling Complex Biological Systems Series)
by S. Sitharama Iyengar
Hardcover: 288 Pages (1992-04-30)
list price: US$219.95 -- used & new: US$31.99
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Asin: 084937961X
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Structuring Biological Systems focuses on the important components of biological systems in order to develop genetic algorithms for modeling purposes. The book considers the characteristics of biological systems from the artificial intelligence point of view, examines modeling examples of complex biological systems (such as molecular level modeling, a model of renal hemodynamics, and cognitive aspects of modeling), describes the entropy-based probability distribution for modeling of environmental and biological systems, and presents a detailed analysis of modeling cancer phenomena. Structuring Biologic Systems will benefit students and researchers interested in an interdisciplinary approach to complex problems of biological systems, as well as biologists, chemists, engineers, research physicians, and computer scientists. ... Read more

20. Foundations of Complex-system Theories: In Economics, Evolutionary Biology, and Statistical Physics
by Sunny Y. Auyang
Paperback: 420 Pages (1999-08-28)
list price: US$43.00 -- used & new: US$38.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521778263
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Complex behavior can occur in any system made up of large numbers of interacting constituents, be they atoms in a solid, cells in a living organism, or consumers in a national economy. Analysis of this behavior often involves making important assumptions and approximations, the exact nature of which vary from subject to subject. Foundations of Complex-system Theoriesbegins with a description of the general features of complexity and then examines a range of important concepts, such as theories of composite systems, collective phenomena, emergent properties, and stochastic processes. Each topic is discussed with reference to the fields of statistical physics, evolutionary biology, and economics, thereby highlighting recurrent themes in the study of complex systems. This detailed yet nontechnical book will appeal to anyone who wants to know more about complex systems and their behavior. It will also be of great interest to specialists studying complexity in the physical, biological, and social sciences. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars-The whole is not the sum of the parts;Excellent and scholarly
This is a very interesting book.The author demonstrates that she has command over a number of different fields.She exhibits awide ranging scholarship in this book.In a nutshell,one can categorize the major conclusions she arrives at as the whole is not the sum of the parts alone.Neither a strictly micro or macro approach to the different fields she investigates,using a complex systems framework, yields the idealized types of scientific discoveryand knowledge one finds postulatedin some philosophy of science discourses that emphasize deductive closure laws.I have one slight criticism of the book,which is why I have subtracted one half a star.The author has a deep general understanding of the Keynes-Knight distinction between risk and uncertainty in economics(and in social sciences).However,she lacks an understanding of the specifics of Keynes's approach in the A Treatise on Probability(1921;TP).She is unaware of Keynes's interval estimate approach to probability,his index,w,used to measure the completeness of the evidence ,ranging from ignorance through partial knowledge to a complete information set,and Keynes's conventional coefficient of weight and risk,which treats risk, based on the purely deductive laws of probability, as a special case.This would be a very minor criticism if she had integrated the work of D.Ellsberg(Ellsberg's 2001 book,Risk,Ambiguity,and Decision gives a modern,improved and updated version of the TP) and B.Mandelbrot into her discussions involving economics,risk,and uncertainty(Ellsberg's Ambiguity with his rho and alpha indexes and the wild versus mild risk of the cauchy distribution versus normal distribution as discussed by Mandelbrot).Unfortunately,Ellsberg's contributions are not discussed at all while Mandelbrot receives a single footnote that completely ignores his contributions to economics.She can certainly obtain a 5-star rating by bringing out a revised edition in which the original,technical, pioneering work of Keynes is covered followed by the modern and updated contributions of Ellsberg and Mandelbrot.

5-0 out of 5 stars a fascinating book -- recommended to philosophers
Philosophers of science need to read this book:the hands-on
account of how three sciences work is a healthy
corrective to the usual practice of writing philosophy of science
without actually knowing how the science is done.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Professional work
This is an amazing work. Sunny Auyang has written an easily comprehenedible book on applications of complexity theories to economics, biology and physics.It is a professional writing to professionals indifferent fields.One needs college level maths and some physics to fullygrasp it but she has made minimum use of mathematical symbols. Her writingflows, the examples are clear, some illuminate important issues in theapplied fields, some are just homey bits that convey an idea insightfully.A lot of depth in her philosophical explorations of the complexity ideas. I consider this to be a must for any person studying or instructing insystem thinking. ... Read more

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