Foundations of Science

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 379–390 | Cite as

Complexity and Scientific Modelling

  • Bruce Edmonds


It is argued that complexity is not attributable directly to systems or processes but rather to the descriptions of their `best' models, to reflect their difficulty. Thus it is relative to the modelling language and type of difficulty. This approach to complexity is situated in a model of modelling. Such an approach makes sense of a number of aspects of scientific modelling: complexity is not situated between order and disorder; noise can be explicated by approaches to excess modelling error; and simplicity is not truth indicative but a useful heuristic when models are produced by a being with a tendency to elaborate in the face of error.

complexity learning modelling noise simplicity 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Edmonds
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Policy ModellingManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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