Sebastian Grauwin (ENS / LIP Laboratoire de l'Informatique du Parallélisme / INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes, IXXI), Guillaume Beslon (Insa Lyon / INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes / UCBL), Eric Fleury (ENS / LIP Laboratoire de l'Informatique du Parallélisme / INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes, IXXI, LIP), Sara Franceschelli (RNSC), Céline Robardet (LIRIS), Jean-Baptiste Rouquier (ISC-PIF), Pablo Jensen (IXXI, Phys-ENS)
(Submitted on 11 Jun 2012)
Using a large database (~ 215 000 records) of relevant articles, we empirically study the "complex systems" field and its claims to find universal principles applying to systems in general. The study of references shared by the papers allows us to obtain a global point of view on the structure of this highly interdisciplinary field. We show that its overall coherence does not arise from a universal theory but instead from computational techniques and fruitful adaptations of the idea of self-organization to specific systems. We also find that communication between different disciplines goes through specific "trading zones", ie sub-communities that create an interface around specific tools (a DNA microchip) or concepts (a network).