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Complexity: A Guided Tour


Complexity: A Guided Tour Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? In this remarkably clear and companionable book, leading complex systems scientist Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. Richly illustrated, Complexity: A Guided Tour--winner of the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science--offers a wide-ranging overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for its contribution to solving some of the most important scientific questions of our time.

About the Author

Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

Table of Contents



Part I: Background and History

Chapter 1: What is Complexity?

Chapter 2: Dynamics, Chaos, and Prediction

Chapter 3: Information

Chapter 4: Computation

Chapter 5: Evolution

Chapter 6: Genetics, Simplified

Chapter 7: Defining and Measuring Complexity

Part II: Life and Evolution in Computers

Chapter 8: Self-Reproducing Programs

Chapter 9: Genetic Algorithms

Part III: Computation Writ Large

Chapter 10: Cellular Automata, Life, and the Universe

Chapter 11: Computing with Particles

Chapter 12: Information Processing in Living Systems

Chapter 13: How to Make Analogies (If You Are A Computer)

Chapter 14: Prospects of Computer Modeling

Part IV: Network Thinking

Chapter 15: The Science of Networks

Chapter 16: Applying Network Science to Real-World Networks

Chapter 17: The Mystery of Scaling

Chapter 18: Evolution, Complexified

Part V: Conclusion

Chapter 19: The Past and Future of the Sciences of Complexity




Product Details

Mitchell, Melanie
Oxford University Press, USA
null, Melanie
General science
Life sciences
Mathematics-Systems Theory
Publication Date:
60 illustrations
6.1 x 9.2 x 1.1 in 1.05 lb

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Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Advanced
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Algebra » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Systems Theory
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