Instructor: Melanie Mitchell Launch date: January 28, 2013 Prerequisites: None Cost: Free Credit offered: None, though everyone who successfully finishes the course will receive a certificate of completion from the Santa Fe Institute. Course length: 11 weeks Approximate workload: 3-6 hours per week
Science 1 February 2013: Vol. 339 no. 6119 pp. 574-576 DOI: 10.1126/science.1225883
The capacity for groups to exhibit collective intelligence is an often-cited advantage of group living. Previous studies have shown that social organisms frequently benefit from pooling imperfect individual estimates. However, in principle, collective intelligence may also emerge from interactions between individuals, rather than from the enhancement of personal estimates. Here, we reveal that this emergent problem solving is the predominant mechanism by which a mobile animal group responds to complex environmental gradients. Robust collective sensing arises at the group level from individuals modulating their speed in response to local, scalar, measurements of light and through social interaction with others. This distributed sensing requires only rudimentary cognition and thus could be widespread across biological taxa, in addition to being appropriate and cost-effective for robotic agents.
In complex environments, weak hierarchies and strong networks are the best organizing principle. One good example of complexity that we can try to fathom is nature itself. Networks thrive in nature. As Howard Bloom stated in a speech at Yale University
Excellent work. I would add that to properly understand complex systems on the global scale requires a holistic approach. You can somewhat understand the mechanics of the system only generally since these systems are emergent by definition, but to 'influence' the outcomes of an emergent system requires a holistic understanding.
Only 15 years ago, complex systems science had to justify its existence. Today it is taking the world by storm. Networks, big data, cascading crises, extreme events, the word "systems," and many other ideas are widely accepted and the basis for new advances and increasing the scope of science. What is this movement about, what changes are in store, and what are the opportunities for engagement? We will answer these questions, and others that you have, in this web presentation.
What is complex systems science: Opportunities and insights.