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Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2012
Author(s): Holland, J.
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Computing & Processing (Hardware/Software)
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Abstract

Complex adaptive systems (cas), including ecosystems, governments, biological cells, and markets, are characterized by intricate hierarchical arrangements of boundaries and signals. In ecosystems, for example, niches act as semi-permeable boundaries, and smells and visual patterns serve as signals; governments have departmental hierarchies with memoranda acting as signals; and so it is with other cas. Despite a wealth of data and descriptions concerning different cas, there remain many unanswered questions about "steering" these systems. In Signals and Boundaries, John Holland argues that understanding the origin of the intricate signal/border hierarchies of these systems is the key to answering such questions. He develops an overarching framework for comparing and steering cas through the mechanisms that generate their signal/boundary hierarchies. Holland lays out a path for developing the framework that emphasizes agents, niches, theory, and mathematical models. He discusses, among other topics, theory construction; signal-processing agents; networks as representations of signal/boundary interaction; adaptation; recombination and reproduction; the use of tagged urn models (adapted from elementary probability theory) to represent boundary hierarchies; finitely generated systems as a way to tie the models examined into a single framework; the framework itself, illustrated by a simple finitely generated version of the development of a multi-celled organism; and Markov processes.

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      Front Matter

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): i - viii
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, Title, Copyright, Contents, Preface View full abstract»

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      The Roles of Signals and Boundaries

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 1 - 33
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Prologue, The prevalence of signal/boundary interactions, Tropical rainforests: an important example, Mechanisms, Unification, What is to come View full abstract»

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      Theory and Models: General Principles

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 35 - 56
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Why theory?, First steps, The structure of theories and models, Three modeling tactics, Detail and rigor, Existing theory and models, Requirements for signal/boundary theory View full abstract»

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      Agents and Signal Processing

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 57 - 84
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Typical agents in a complex adaptive system, Signal processing, Reactions, Particle (billiard-ball) mechanics and the concept of state, Signal Processing in a biological cell, Summary View full abstract»

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      Networks and Flows

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 85 - 97
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Networks, Tags, Representing networks with classifier systems, Representing reaction networks with classifier systems, Networks in biological cells View full abstract»

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      Adaptation

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 99 - 115
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Adaptive changes in interactions, Mechanisms of change (as suggested by biological cells), Building blocks, Two kinds of building blocks, A word about emergence, Questions View full abstract»

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      Recombination and Reproduction

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 117 - 130
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Recombination of rules, Reproduction of rules and agents, Stage setting and fitness, Summary View full abstract»

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      Urn Models of Boundaries

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 131 - 144
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Urn models, Urns with entry and exit conditions, Building agents with urns, Putting it together View full abstract»

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      Boundary Hierarchies

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 145 - 158
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Hierarchical organization of urns, Coupled interactions—a first look, Coupled interactions—a precise calculation, What next? View full abstract»

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      The Evolution of Niches—A First Look

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 159 - 180
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The idea of niche, Bandits with Queues—a niche analog, A sequence of queued-bandit models, Recombination of tags within queues, From bandits to arches View full abstract»

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      Language: Grammars and Niches

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 181 - 203
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Background, Linguistic grammars, An example, Linguistic networks—speech communities, Mechanisms of language formation and change, The consequences of change View full abstract»

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      Grammars as Finitely Generated Systems

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 205 - 216
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction to finitely generated systems, A precise example: finitely generated groups, Dynamic finitely generated systems, Using a dgs to study signal/boundary coevolution View full abstract»

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      An Overarching Signal/Boundary Framework

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 217 - 228
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The advantages of unification, Configuration of a unified signal/boundary model, An agent-based dgs, Conglomerate agents, Onward View full abstract»

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      A Dynamic Generated System Model of Ontogeny

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 229 - 243
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: A Simple model of ontogeny, Five mechanisms, Specification of the “spore“ model, Ontogenic sequence, Generating the model, Signal routing in the model, Summary View full abstract»

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      A Complete Dynamic Generated System for Signal/Boundary Studies

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 245 - 264
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Guidelines, Overview of dgs generators and operators, Meta-operators and agents, The dgs corpus, The generated dynamic, What now? View full abstract»

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      Mathematical Models of Generated Structures

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 265 - 279
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Prologue, A Simple urn-based Markov process, More complex urn-based Markov processes, Relation to reaction networks and grammars View full abstract»

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      A Short Version of the Whole

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 281 - 296
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Agents, Niches, Theory, Mathematical models, Some questions, A short version of the short version View full abstract»

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      References

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 297 - 301
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Complex adaptive systems (cas), including ecosystems, governments, biological cells, and markets, are characterized by intricate hierarchical arrangements of boundaries and signals. In ecosystems, for example, niches act as semi-permeable boundaries, and smells and visual patterns serve as signals; governments have departmental hierarchies with memoranda acting as signals; and so it is with other cas. Despite a wealth of data and descriptions concerning different cas, there remain many unanswered questions about "steering" these systems. In Signals and Boundaries, John Holland argues that understanding the origin of the intricate signal/border hierarchies of these systems is the key to answering such questions. He develops an overarching framework for comparing and steering cas through the mechanisms that generate their signal/boundary hierarchies. Holland lays out a path for developing the framework that emphasizes agents, niches, theory, and mathematical models. He discusses, among other topics, theory construction; signal-processing agents; networks as representations of signal/boundary interaction; adaptation; recombination and reproduction; the use of tagged urn models (adapted from elementary probability theory) to represent boundary hierarchies; finitely generated systems as a way to tie the models examined into a single framework; the framework itself, illustrated by a simple finitely generated version of the development of a multi-celled organism; and Markov processes. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Holland, J.
      Signals and Boundaries:Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

      Page(s): 303 - 308
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Complex adaptive systems (cas), including ecosystems, governments, biological cells, and markets, are characterized by intricate hierarchical arrangements of boundaries and signals. In ecosystems, for example, niches act as semi-permeable boundaries, and smells and visual patterns serve as signals; governments have departmental hierarchies with memoranda acting as signals; and so it is with other cas. Despite a wealth of data and descriptions concerning different cas, there remain many unanswered questions about "steering" these systems. In Signals and Boundaries, John Holland argues that understanding the origin of the intricate signal/border hierarchies of these systems is the key to answering such questions. He develops an overarching framework for comparing and steering cas through the mechanisms that generate their signal/boundary hierarchies. Holland lays out a path for developing the framework that emphasizes agents, niches, theory, and mathematical models. He discusses, among other topics, theory construction; signal-processing agents; networks as representations of signal/boundary interaction; adaptation; recombination and reproduction; the use of tagged urn models (adapted from elementary probability theory) to represent boundary hierarchies; finitely generated systems as a way to tie the models examined into a single framework; the framework itself, illustrated by a simple finitely generated version of the development of a multi-celled organism; and Markov processes. View full abstract»