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Criteria For Conceptual And Operational Notions of Complexity

Chu, Dominique (2008) Criteria For Conceptual And Operational Notions of Complexity. Artificial Life, 14 (3). pp. 313-323. ISSN 1064-5462. (doi:10.1162/artl.2008.14.3.14306) (KAR id:23992)


While complex systems have been studied now for more than two decades, there still is no agreement on what complexity actually is. This lack of a definition might be a problem when asking questions about the evolution of complexity. In this article criteria against which candidate measures of complexity can be assessed are discussed. The main conclusion of this article is that because of the absence of a basic consensus on what complexity is, there is no criterion that can be used to decide whether or not a proposed measure actually measures complexity. The main recommendation is to abandon complexity as a formal notion; instead, research into the evolution of complexity should use well-understood proxy notions (as is sometimes done in the literature). For the time being complexity should remain an informal notion. Research into evolutionary trends of these proxy notions might eventually lead to an emergent community consensus on what complexity is.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1162/artl.2008.14.3.14306
Additional information: forthcoming
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Dominique Chu
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2010 12:09 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2023 11:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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