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Facing Complexity: Prediction vs. Adaptation

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Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Abstract

One of the presuppositions of science since the times of Galileo, Newton, Laplace, and Descartes has been the predictability of the world. This idea has strongly influenced scientific and technological models. However, in recent decades, chaos and complexity have shown that not every phenomenon is predictable, even if it is deterministic. If a problem space is predictable, in theory we can find a solution via optimization. Nevertheless, if a problem space is not predictable, or it changes too fast, very probably optimization will offer obsolete solutions. This occurs often when the immediate solution affects the problem itself. An alternative is found in adaptation. An adaptive system will be able to find by itself new solutions for unforeseen situations.

Keywords

  • Cellular Automaton
  • Adaptive System
  • Problem Space
  • Traffic Light
  • Random Initial Condition

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Gershenson, C. (2013). Facing Complexity: Prediction vs. Adaptation. In: Massip-Bonet, À., Bastardas-Boada, A. (eds) Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society. Understanding Complex Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32817-6_2

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