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Complexity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Paperback]

John H. Holland

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Book Description

24 July 2014 0199662541 978-0199662548
The importance of complexity is well-captured by Hawking's comment: "Complexity is the science of the 21st century". From the movement of flocks of birds to the Internet, environmental sustainability, and market regulation, the study and understanding of complex non-linear systems has become highly influential over the last 30 years. In this Very Short Introduction, one of the leading figures in the field, John Holland, introduces the key elements and conceptual framework of complexity. From complex physical systems such as fluid flow and the difficulties of predicting weather, to complex adaptive systems such as the highly diverse and interdependent ecosystems of rainforests, he combines simple, well-known examples - Adam Smith's pin factory, Darwin's comet orchid, and Simon's 'watchmaker' - with an account of the approaches, involving agents and urn models, taken by complexity theory. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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About the Author

John H. Holland is a leading figure in the field of complexity science who pioneered genetic algorithms. He is Professor of Psychology and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Michigan, and a member of the Board of Trustees and Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute. He is also the author of Emergence (OUP, 1999).

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