An Introduction to Complex Systems

Making Sense of a Changing World​

  • Joe Tranquillo

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 1-34
  3. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 35-59
  4. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 61-97
  5. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 99-133
  6. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 135-174
  7. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 175-214
  8. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 215-252
  9. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 253-292
  10. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 293-322
  11. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 323-359
  12. Joe Tranquillo
    Pages 361-369
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 371-396

About this book


This book explores the interdisciplinary field of complex systems theory. By the end of the book, readers will be able to understand terminology that is used in complex systems and how they are related to one another; see the patterns of complex systems in practical examples; map current topics, in a variety of fields, to complexity theory; and be able to read more advanced literature in the field. The book begins with basic systems concepts and moves on to how these simple rules can lead to complex behavior. The author then introduces non-linear systems, followed by pattern formation, and networks and information flow in systems. Later chapters cover the thermodynamics of complex systems, dynamical patterns that arise in networks, and how game theory can serve as a framework for decision making. The text is interspersed with both philosophical and quantitative arguments, and each chapter ends with questions and prompts that help readers make more connections.
  • Studies the tools of complex system theory that include chaos and fractals, game theory, networks, agent-based models and information theory;
  • Contains examples, some outside the traditional boundaries of science, to help build a more intuitive feeling for complex systems;
  • Outlines principles that can be used to design the next generation of machines and automata.


Non-linear systems Pattern formation Networks and information flow in systems Thermodynamics of complex systems Dynamical patterns in networks System behaviors Cellular Automaton Differential equations Symmetry breaking Turning pattern formation Fractals and patterns in phase space Scale-free networks Artificial intelligence Open systems Structural adaptation Complex and coupled systems

Authors and affiliations

  • Joe Tranquillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Bucknell UniversityLewisburgUSA

Bibliographic information