Complexity: A Guided Tour

Paperback | August 19, 2011

byMelanie Mitchell

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What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? In this remarkably clear and companionable book, leading complex systems scientist Melanie Mitchellprovides an intimate tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. Based on her work at the Santa Fe Institute and drawing on its interdisciplinary strategies, Mitchell brings clarity to the workings of complexity across a broad range of biological, technological, and social phenomena, seeking out the general principles or laws that apply to all of them. Richlyillustrated, Complexity: A Guided Tour - winner of the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science - offers a wide-ranging overview of the ideas underlying complex systems science, the current research at the forefront of this field, and the prospects for its contribution to solving some of the mostimportant scientific questions of our time.

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What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? In this remarkably clear and companionable book, leading complex systems scientist Melanie Mitchellprovides an intimate tour of the sciences of ...

Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:August 19, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199798109

ISBN - 13:9780199798100

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsPart I: Background and History1. What is Complexity?2. Dynamics, Chaos, and Prediction3. Information4. Computation5. Evolution6. Genetics, Simplified7. Defining and Measuring ComplexityPart II: Life and Evolution in Computers8. Self-Reproducing Programs9. Genetic AlgorithmsPart III: Computation Writ Large10. Cellular Automata, Life, and the Universe11. Computing with Particles12. Information Processing in Living Systems13. How to Make Analogies (If You Are A Computer)14. Prospects of Computer ModelingPart IV: Network Thinking15. The Science of Networks16. Applying Network Science to Real-World Networks17. The Mystery of Scaling18. Evolution, ComplexifiedPart V: Conclusion19. The Past and Future of the Sciences of ComplexityNotesBibliographyIndex