Definitions

Definitions are key thinkers, attributes, and seminal texts that relate or contribute to Complex Adaptive Systems theory. This is an alphabetical listing of all definitions in the CAS Explorer. See all categories and collections in the site →

'Fit' Unit Configurations

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'The Virtual'

This term is used by relational/assemblage philosophers to speak about the 'space of possibilities' only some of which is activated - see {{phase-space}} Learn More about 'The Virtual' →


Affordances

The notion of 'Affordances' was developed by James Gibson. It has many strong similarities to the concept of 'phase space'. Learn More about Affordances →


Agents

The building blocks of a complex adaptive system. Learn More about Agents →


Albert Laszlo Barabasi

x Learn More about Albert Laszlo Barabasi →


Annual Sunlight Exposure

ASE gives you a feel for how excessive sun affects your space in terms of glare and solar heat gain. Learn More about Annual Sunlight Exposure →


Arrow of Time

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Attractor States

Complex Systems can unfold in multiple trajectories. However, there may be trajectories that become more stable of 'fit'. Such states are considered 'attractor states' to which a system tends to gravitate. Learn More about Attractor States →


Battlefield 1942

This is where I save files and resources to help getting the monkeyhaus/atmos battlefield clan back and online playing BF1942 like it's 2002. Learn More about Battlefield 1942 →


Benoit Mandelbrot

x Learn More about Benoit Mandelbrot →


Bernhard Riemann

x Learn More about Bernhard Riemann →


Bifurcations

Complex systems do not follow linear, predictable chains of cause and effect. Instead, system trajectories can diverge wildly into entirely different regimes. The moments in time when a system splits into different, but equally probable trajectories is referred to as a system bifurcation. Learn More about Bifurcations →


Biophilia

Creating a healthy habitat for humans in our built environments. Learn More about Biophilia →


Bottom-up

Complex Systems are generated from the local interactions of multiple AGENTS. These agents are not actively striving to achieve any form of 'global' structure or pattern, but simply behave in their own self interests. Hence, we describe CAS dynamics as being generated from 'the bottom up' as opposed to 'the top down' as would be the case in traditional hierarchical organizations. Learn More about Bottom-up →


Build Lightly Studio

Miriam Gee's enthusiasm and passion for architecture sparks a wildfire of creativity in design build workshops for young designers that engage in the highest level of placemaking. Learn More about Build Lightly Studio →


Building Blocks

Complex systems are made up of simple 'building blocks'. A building block could take many forms: an ant, a cell, or a building within the urban fabric. Learn More about Building Blocks →


C. S. Holling

Holling relates concepts from CAS theory with notions of Resiliency. Learn More about C. S. Holling →


Capturing Flows

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Cards

Bite-sized doses of information rich enough to give you a little more than you need while designed in a simple yet elegant layouts you can't help but consume. Learn More about Cards →


Charles Darwin

Evolution Learn More about Charles Darwin →


Charles Waldheim

important LU guy Learn More about Charles Waldheim →


Chris Langton

x Learn More about Chris Langton →


Circadian Daylighting

Designing spaces with colors and lighting to mimic biological patters. Learn More about Circadian Daylighting →


Claude Shannon

x Learn More about Claude Shannon →


Colors

In your face bold and bright or looking for some visual massage, you choose. This is a collection of palettes. Learn More about Colors →


Contingency

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Currency Design

A collection of currencies that are awesome. Learn More about Currency Design →


Cybernetics

Cybernetics,or 'Kybernetes', from the Greek meaning 'steersman' or 'oarsman', refers to the study of systems that have an internal regulator that in same way 'steers' the system so that it remains targeted to a pre-determined trajectory. Learn More about Cybernetics →


Degrees of Freedom

The notion of 'degrees of freedom' pertains to the potential range of behaviors available within a given system. See {{phase-space}} Learn More about Degrees of Freedom →


Dynamic Interactions

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Edward Norton Lorenz

x Learn More about Edward Norton Lorenz →


Emerg. of 'fit' agent protocols

CAS Systems develop order or pattern ‘for free’: this means that order arises as a result of independent agent behaviors, without need for other inputs. Learn More about Emerg. of 'fit' agent protocols →


Emerg. of mathematical regularities

What one could describe as the 'fingerprint' of a complex system is the emergence of certain kinds of mathematical regularities that describe the system. Characteristic features of the system are organized according to POWER-LAW Distributions. Power-law distributions also appear in FRACTAL systems. Keep exploring in the topics below to learn more about mathematical regularities in CAS. Learn More about Emerg. of mathematical regularities →


Emerg. of Stabilized Features

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Emergence

Complex systems present unexpected novel properties that cannot be predicted based upon the inherent characteristics of the agents making up the system. These characteristics are referred to as 'Emergent'. Learn More about Emergence →


Employing Time

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Enslaved State

'Enslavement' captures the idea that certain emergent states will constrain the agents that initially formed that state once they have emerged. Learn More about Enslaved State →


Eric Bonabeau

x Learn More about Eric Bonabeau →


Evolving

CAS systems evolve over the course of time. That is to say that the agents that form the system will continuously adjust their independent behaviors in such a way that the overall behavior of the system becomes more fit. General Darwinian processes of Variation, Selection and Retention of desired characteristics help drive the system. Learn More about Evolving →


Feedback

A feedback loop is a system where energy or information that is an input to a system is transformed to become an output, which then acts in such a way that it is transformed into a new input in a continuous cycle. Learn More about Feedback →


Fitness

Complex Adaptive Systems become more 'fit' as they adapt. Fitness takes many forms, depending on the system, but can be thought of as entering into states that achieve more while expending less energy. Learn More about Fitness →


Fitness Landscape

A fitness landscape is a concept that employs the metaphor of a physical landscape to depict more or less 'fit' regions of phase space. see also {{fitness-peaks}} Learn More about Fitness Landscape →


Fitness Peaks

Fitness ‘peaks’ are regimes wherein a given agent behavior maximizes energetic returns while minimizing outputs. Peaks are thus optimum behaviors in phase space - though there may be numerous peaks, each employing different strategies. See also {{Fitness-Landscape}} Learn More about Fitness Peaks →


Flow of Energy

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Fluidity/Mobility

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Fractals

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Geoffrey West

Scale Free issues with Bettencourt Learn More about Geoffrey West →


Graphic & Experience Designers

Dream team of digital makers. This is more or less a running list of folks on behance and dribbble that I am starting to follow. Learn More about Graphic & Experience Designers →


Graphic Art

Simple compositions digitally drawn to perfection. Learn More about Graphic Art →


Gregory Bateson

x Learn More about Gregory Bateson →


Henri Poincare

x Learn More about Henri Poincare →


Hermann Haken

Haken popularized the concepts of {{enslaved-states}} and 'synergetics'. The notion of 'enslavement' is similar to the idea of {{attractor-statesbasins}}, wherein a system will tend to gravitate towards a particular regime and then remain in that state unless there is a system {{perturbation}}. Learn More about Hermann Haken →


History

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Information Theory

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Interfaces

User interfaces and experiences that just flow beautifully. Learn More about Interfaces →


Jean Hillier

More here Learn More about Jean Hillier →


John Conway

x Learn More about John Conway →


John Holland

John Holland is considered one of the seminal thinkers in Complex Adaptive Systems theory. Learn More about John Holland →


John Urry

John Urry writes about flows and complexity Learn More about John Urry →


John Von Neumann

x Learn More about John Von Neumann →


Josh Epstein and Rob Axtell

x Learn More about Josh Epstein and Rob Axtell →


Kim Dovey

more on Dovey Learn More about Kim Dovey →


Lighting

Collection of fun lighting fixtures. Learn More about Lighting →


Local Interactions

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Logo and Icon

The essence of branding in a single bite. I like it. Learn More about Logo and Icon →


Loose Space

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Ludwig V. Bertalanffy

x Learn More about Ludwig V. Bertalanffy →


Luis Bettencourt

x Learn More about Luis Bettencourt →


Manifold

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Manuel de Landa

page about manuel Learn More about Manuel de Landa →


Mike Batty

Mike Batty is one of the key contributors to modeling cities as Complex Adaptive Systems Learn More about Mike Batty →


Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia

have written about tactical urbanism. Learn More about Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia →


Mitchell Feigenbaum

x Learn More about Mitchell Feigenbaum →


Modular

To speak of a CAS being modular is another way to refer to its {{building-blocks}} characteristic. Complex system are made up of multiple independent components that begin to form modules, nested hierarchies or patches. Learn More about Modular →


Multiple Equilibria

Early versions of systems theory assumed that systems could be 'optimized' to a single condition. CAS analysis assumes that more than one system state can satisfy optimizing criteria, and so the system is able to gravitate to multiple equilibria. Learn More about Multiple Equilibria →


Murray Gell-Mann

x Learn More about Murray Gell-Mann →


Negative Feedback

Negative Feedback is the tendency for systems to employ mechanisms whereby any fluctuations from a particular behavior or trajectory are 'dampened'; that is to say, divergence from a norm is hindered. Learn More about Negative Feedback →


Negentropy

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Network Topology

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Networks

Network theory allows us think about the dynamics of agent interactions in a complex system. CAS networks have a tendency to naturally evolve to have power law distributions between highly and weakly connected agents. This is due to the dynamics of {{preferential-attachment}} whereby 'the rich get richer'. Learn More about Networks →


Nikos Salingaros

resilience Learn More about Nikos Salingaros →


No Central Control

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Non-Linear

Non-Linear systems are subject to {{positive-feedback}}, which tends to amplify changes. Accordingly, they are 'non-linear' in that a small change in input can lead to a large change in output. Learn More about Non-Linear →


Norbert Weiner

x Learn More about Norbert Weiner →


Oculus DK2

This is my collection of thoughts and resources for playing with and hacking the Oculus DK2. Learn More about Oculus DK2 →


Ole Jensen

x Learn More about Ole Jensen →


Open / Dissipative

A system is considered to be open and dissipative when energy or inputs can be absorbed into the system, and 'waste' discharged. While the system still is considered 'bounded' (interactions are primarily internal), the system nonetheless has a relationship with its external environment. Learn More about Open / Dissipative →


Open Scaffolds

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Open System

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Panorama Web Viewers

Collection of panorama and psuedo-VR viewers and platforms for the web. Learn More about Panorama Web Viewers →


Pareto

power law distributions Learn More about Pareto →


Passport Design

Yes, passports are incredible and things are moving forward. Learn More about Passport Design →


Patsy Healey

Patsey Healey has provided a significant contribution to discussions regarding participatory planning and complex systems. Learn More about Patsy Healey →


Patterns of Interactions

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Per Bak

Self organized criticality Learn More about Per Bak →


Perturbation

Once a Complex System has 'settled in' to a fit regime (or basin of attraction), it is very difficult for it to be 'shaken' from this state. A system perturbation acts as a kind of 'shock' that, if large enough, is able to move a system out of its attractor state and potentially into a new regime. Learn More about Perturbation →


Phase Space

Phase space is an abstract concept that refers to all possible behaviors available to an agent within a complex system. Learn More about Phase Space →


Phrase - Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Birds of a Feather Flock Together Learn More about Phrase - Birds of a Feather Flock Together →


Phrase - Cat's Pajamas

Cat's Pajamas Learn More about Phrase - Cat's Pajamas →


Place Based Storytelling

Panoramas are expanding the ability to represent and share places and moments through the first step towards virtual reality. Learn More about Place Based Storytelling →


Positive Feedback

Positive Feedback serves to amplify particular behaviors, such that a small change in initial conditions can engender a large change in overall system behavior over the course of time. Learn More about Positive Feedback →


Poster and Book

You can judge a book by its cover just as much as an event by its poster. Bring it on. Learn More about Poster and Book →


Power Laws

CAS tend to self-organize to a critical state, where the distributions of agents relative to their impact on the system follows a power-law distribution. Learn More about Power Laws →


Preferential Attachment

Think of preferential attachment as an attribute of when 'the rich get richer' within a networked system. This occurs when nodes that have a lot of links tend to attract more links as other nodes enter the system resulting in super-nodes. {{network-topology}} Learn More about Preferential Attachment →


RAW Design Build

Real Architecture Workshop is a program started by Barb and Paul Neseth of Minneapolis. They connect young designers with communities and build small projects that make for a better world. Learn More about RAW Design Build →


Redundancy

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René Thom

x Learn More about René Thom →


Requisite Variety

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Rhizomes

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Robert Axelrod

x Learn More about Robert Axelrod →


Ross Ashby

x Learn More about Ross Ashby →


Rule Based

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Scripts

Collection of scripts and other web related tools that we will curate from time to time. Learn More about Scripts →


Self Similarity

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Self-Organized Criticality

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Sensitive to Initial Conditions

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Signals / Stigmergy

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Spatial Daylight Autonomy

Spatial daylight autonomy or sDA tells you if there is enough daylight. Learn More about Spatial Daylight Autonomy →


Stabilized Assemblages

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Stephen Wolfram

x Learn More about Stephen Wolfram →


Steven Strogatz

Relates to understanding of networks Learn More about Steven Strogatz →


Stuart Kauffman

jkdlsj Learn More about Stuart Kauffman →


Swarm Behavior

Swarm behavior - examples of which happen in the natural world - is an evocative example of complex system wherein simple agents (birds, ants, fish), can collectively display emergent forms. Learn More about Swarm Behavior →


The Architecture of Complexity

This 1962 article by Herbert Simon, provides a key source for defining CAS Learn More about The Architecture of Complexity →


The Virtual

'The Virtual' is a term used by Deleuze and Guattari that parallels the idea of {{phase-space}}. The Virtual are aspects of an entity that can manifest, but may not yet have manifested. Learn More about The Virtual →


Time/Iterations

CAS systems unfold over the course of time, as agents continuously adjust their behaviors in response to feedback. Each iteration of agent behavior can be considered as a 'test' - with productive tests being reinforced and unproductive tests being abandoned. The more time to produce tests, and the more iterations of tests, the more likely a system is to gravitate towards fit configurations. Learn More about Time/Iterations →


Unfolds via Interactions

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Unit Based

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Unreal

Time to get unreal Learn More about Unreal →


Urban Parks

Parks come in a variety of shapes and sizes but none have as much impact on a cityscape as urban parks do. Learn More about Urban Parks →


Useful Daylight Illuminance

How useful is the light coming into the space? Learn More about Useful Daylight Illuminance →


Variables

Another way to speak about {{large-number-elements}} Caramelization half and half robust kopi-luwak, brewed, foam affogato grounds extraction plunger pot, bar single shot froth eu shop latte et, chicory, steamed seasonal grounds dark organic. Learn More about Variables →


Von Forster

important guy Learn More about Von Forster →


Zipf

relates to {{power-laws}} Learn More about Zipf →