Modelling and Generating Complex Emergent Behaviour

Author: Kirsty Kitto

Kitto, Kirsty, 2006 Modelling and Generating Complex Emergent Behaviour, Flinders University, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

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Despite a general recognition of the importance of complex systems, there is a dearth of general models capable of describing their dynamics. This is attributed to a complexity scale; the models are attempting to describe systems at different parts of the scale and are hence not compatible. We require new models capable of describing complex behaviour at different points of the complexity scale. This work identifies, and proceeds to examine systems at the high end of the complexity scale, those which have not to date been well understood by our current modelling methodology. It is shown that many such models exhibit what might be termed contextual dependency, and that it is precisely this feature which is not well understood by our current modelling methodology. A particular problem is discussed; our apparent inability to generate systems which display high end complexity, exhibited by for example the general failure of strong ALife. A new model, Process Physics, that has been developed at Flinders University is discussed, and arguments are presented that it exhibits high end complexity. The features of this model that lead to its displaying such behaviour are discussed, and the generalisation of this model to a broader range of complex systems is attempted.

Keywords: contextuality,complexity,reductive failure,Process Physics,quantum theories as models of complexity

Subject: Physics thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2006
School: School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Supervisor: Associate Professor Reginald Thomas Cahill