039;s Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity November 5-6, 2010 2010 Computational Social Science Society Conference September 30 - October 2, 2010 IASC North American Regional Meeting CSDC joins the Consortium for Biosocial Complex Systems Together with the Center for Institutional Diversity and the Mathematical, Computational, and Modeling Sciences Center, the CSDC has been brought into the Consortium for Biosocial Complex Systems under the leadership of Sander van der Leeuw. "Integration is the key to being a leader in solving complex challenges," van der Leeuw says. The new Consortium is also a part of the university-wide Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative headed by Sander van der Leeuw and George Poste.
Holism Holism: Holism as an idea or philosophical concept is diametrically opposed to atomism. Where the atomist believes that any whole can be broken down or analyzed into its separate parts and the relationships between them, the holist maintains that the whole is primary and often greater than the sum of its parts. The early Greek atomism of Leucippus and Democritus (fifth century B.C.) was a forerunner of classical physics. In the seventeenth century, at the same time that classical physics gave renewed emphasis to atomism and reductionism, Spinoza developed a holistic philosophy reminiscent of Parmenides. Hegel, too, had mystical visions of the unity of all things, on which he based his own holistic philosophy of nature and the state. The twentieth century has seen a tentative movement toward hoilism in such diverse areas as politics, social thinking, psychology, management theory, and medicine. Relational Holism in Quantum Mechanics
Sociotechnical system Sociotechnical systems (STS) in organizational development is an approach to complex organizational work design that recognizes the interaction between people and technology in workplaces. The term also refers to the interaction between society's complex infrastructures and human behaviour. In this sense, society itself, and most of its substructures, are complex sociotechnical systems. The term sociotechnical systems was coined by Eric Trist, Ken Bamforth and Fred Emery, World War II era, based on their work with workers in English coal mines at the Tavistock Institute in London. Sociotechnical systems pertains to theory regarding the social aspects of people and society and technical aspects of organizational structure and processes. Overview Sociotechnical refers to the interrelatedness of social and technical aspects of an organization. Principles Responsible autonomy Adaptability The second issue is that of complexity. Whole tasks Job enrichment
Complex systems Complex systems present problems both in mathematical modelling and philosophical foundations. The study of complex systems represents a new approach to science that investigates how relationships between parts give rise to the collective behaviors of a system and how the system interacts and forms relationships with its environment. Such systems are used to model processes in computer science, biology, economics, physics, chemistry, and many other fields. It is also called complex systems theory, complexity science, study of complex systems, sciences of complexity, non-equilibrium physics, and historical physics. The key problems of complex systems are difficulties with their formal modelling and simulation. For systems that are less usefully represented with equations various other kinds of narratives and methods for identifying, exploring, designing and interacting with complex systems are used. Overview History A history of complexity science 1. Americas Europe
Conway's Game of Life Work design Job design (also referred to as work design or task design) is the specification of contents, methods and relationship of jobs in order to satisfy technological and organizational requirements as well as the social and personal requirements of the job holder. Its principles are geared towards how the nature of a person's job affects their attitudes and behavior at work, particularly relating to characteristics such as skill variety and autonomy. The aim of a job design is to improve job satisfaction, to improve through-put, to improve quality and to reduce employee problems (e.g., grievances, absenteeism). Job characteristic theory The job characteristic theory proposed by Hackman & Oldham (1976) stated that work should be designed to have five core job characteristics, which engender three critical psychological states in individuals—experiencing meaning, feeling responsible for outcomes, and understanding the results of their efforts. Core job dimensions
Institute for Complex System Simulations (Home page) Fairy Circle Mystery Solved By Computational Modelling Fairy circles are mysterious barren patches of land that are surrounded by healthy vegetation. The circles are common in many parts of the world but particularly in the arid grasslands of southern Africa where they range in size from 2 metres to 10 metres across (see picture above). Plant biologists know these circles are stable having watched them over periods of decades. So these structures are clearly no accident. Indeed, exactly why fairy circles appear is something of a mystery. In particular, nobody has been able to explain why the patches are circular and not some other shape. That changes today thanks to the work of Cristian Fernandez-Oto at the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and a few pals who have used computer simulations to show that fairy circles are emergent patterns that occur naturally when plants compete for water in arid conditions. Their model is relatively straight forward. The interesting behaviour occurs when both states exist at the same time.
Complex adaptive system They are complex in that they are dynamic networks of interactions, and their relationships are not aggregations of the individual static entities. They are adaptive in that the individual and collective behavior mutate and self-organize corresponding to the change-initiating micro-event or collection of events. Overview The term complex adaptive systems, or complexity science, is often used to describe the loosely organized academic field that has grown up around the study of such systems. The fields of CAS and artificial life are closely related. The study of CAS focuses on complex, emergent and macroscopic properties of the system. John H. General properties What distinguishes a CAS from a pure multi-agent system (MAS) is the focus on top-level properties and features like self-similarity, complexity, emergence and self-organization. Characteristics Some of the most important characteristics of complex systems are: Robert Axelrod & Michael D.
Complexity Explorer University of Michigan, Center for the Study of Complex Systems