spider web
“The spider has constructed a web of statistical probability, honed to near perfection by millions of years of evolution.” (Robert J. Hustwit) Photo by Alfonso Diaz.


Roger C. Conant & W. Ross Ashby
The living brain must proceed in learning by the formation of a model (or models) of its environment.

John L. Casti
The Central Limit Theorem serves as a prototype for what we might call a law of complex systems.

Emergent Universe Alliance
An innovative science outreach partnership that seeks to create public appreciation for what is arguably the most significant scientific challenge of this new century (www.eualliance.org, www.emergentuniverse.org/emp/).


Causality in Complex Systems
by Andreas Wagner

A regularity notion of causality can only be meaningfully defined for systems with linear interactions among their variables. For the vastly more important class of nonlinear systems, no such notion is likely to exist.

The lognormal as universal descriptor of unconstrained complex systems: a unifying theory for complexity
by Stephan Halloy and Peter Whigham

Analysis of complex systems data using the lognormal pattern as a benchmark provides useful practical insights into system status, disturbance, successional phase, diagnosis of thresholds and boundaries between systems, etc.

A Theoretical Framework for Abundance Distributions in Complex Systems
by Stephan R.P. Halloy

An explanation on how and where splits occur in a complex system. Then a simple resource attraction model is proposed to study the implications and effects of the theoretical concepts.

The wealth of species: ecological communities, complex systems and the legacy of Frank Preston
by Jeffrey C. Nekola and James H. Brown

Four different "distributions of wealth" (species abundance distributions, species–area and species–time relations, and distance decay of compositional
similarity) are not unique to ecology, but have analogues in other physical,
geological, economic and cultural systems.

Universal Diversity Patterns Across the Sciences
by Jeffrey C. Nekola

Several intensively studied ecological diversity patterns appear to have almost exact analogues across a wide range of disciplines including physics, economics, linguistics, sociology and the geosciences.

Questions of Quest
by Stafford Beer

Science seeks the "ultimate" source of control, in the cybernetics of natural processes, in the evolution of the nervous system and brain itself. (pdf)

Models and Aphorisms
by David A. Lane

While scientific models are primarily directed at some particular world of experience which might be physical, chemical, biological, social or economic - on another level they can lead to new insights about other worlds of experience, including those that we ourselves inhabit in our personal and professional lives. (pdf)

The Physics of Institutions
by Philip Ball

Complex human systems have a tendency to become 'self-organized' into patterns and structures that no one has planned or foreseen. An ability to understand these structures is a prerequisite for being able to achieve a degree of control over the outcome, or to discover the boundaries of that potential for control.


How algorithms shape our world
by Kevin Slavin

We're writing things that we can no longer read. And we've rendered something illegible, and we've lost the sense of what's actually happening in this world that we've made. (See also Helping Business Leaders make Big Decisions)

Management Cybernetics: The Law of Requisite Variety
An explanation of Ashby's Law: The variety of the Regulator must match the variety of the System it regulates.


Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
by Steven Johnson

In the coming years, the power of self-organization – coupled with the connective technology of the Internet – will usher in a revolution every bit as significant as the introduction of electricity.


Complex '09 Workshop on Causality in Complex Systems
One of the reasons people have difficulty in dealing with complex systems is that the linear causal chain way of thinking - A causes B causes C causes D ... etc - breaks down in the presence of feedback and multiple interactions between causal and influence pathways. One could say that complex systems are characterised by networked rather than linear causal relationships.


The Good-Regulator Project
Educational materials focused on Conant and Ashby's "Good-Regulator Theorem" designed to increase public awareness and understanding of the crucial role played by models and representations in the regulation of complex systems.


Life is log-normal!
by Eckhard Limpert and Werner A. Stahel

The model fills a 100 years old gap of demonstrating the ubiquity of lognormal distribution in life. The characterization makes complicated things easy, from science to various applications and everyday life. It's normal, that life is log-normal or - multiplicative normal.

Log-Normal Distribution: Its Widespread Use and Some Basic Hints for its Application
by Eckhard Limpert and Werner A. Stahel

Complex Open Systems Research Network
mplexity is the common frontier in the physical, biological and social sciences. This Network will link specialists in all three sciences through five generic conceptual and mathematical theme activities.

Emergent Publications
Publisher of multi-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary complex systems papers and books.

About Complex Systems
New England Complex Systems Institute

The field of complex systems cuts across all traditional disciplines of science, as well as engineering, management, and medicine. It focuses on certain questions about parts, wholes and relationships.

The Good-Regulator Project
Educational materials focused on Conant and Ashby's "Good-Regulator Theorem", which establishes that the simplest, optimal regulator of a system must be a model of that system.

Complex Systems Digital Campus
Complex systems science bridges the gap between the individual and the collective: from genes to organisms to ecosystems, from atoms to materials to products, from notebooks to the Internet, from citizens to society.