- Gebundene Ausgabe: 272 Seiten
- Verlag: Oxford University Press (Oktober 1998)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0198504098
- ISBN-13: 978-0198504092
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,1 x 2 x 24,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 4.251.774 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Emergence: From Chaos to Order (Englisch) Gebundenes Buch – Oktober 1998
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'a challenging and demanding book'. . . 'Holland's model demands deep consideration' TLS 12th March 1999 Gary Lachman
This new book, by acclaimed scientist- John Holland, introduces the reader to the exciting new theory of 'emergence', which many people now consider to be the single most characteristic feature of complex, adaptive systems. By 'emergence' it is meant that such systems tend to involve large numbers of intelligent, adaptive agents, interacting on the basis of local information possessed by each agent. These interactions produce global behaviour that cannot be understood simply by knowledge of the individual agents; it is 'emergent behaviour'. Examples of phenomena of this kind are price movements on speculative markets (where agents are individual traders) or road-traffic patterns (where the agents are individual drivers). The book explores the theory of 'emergence', demonstrating how a small number of rules or laws can generate systems of surprising complexity. Board games provide an ancient and direct example: Chess is defined by fewer than two dozen rules, but the myriad patterns that result lead to perpetual novelty and emergence.The discovery of similar patterns in other facets of our world opens the way to a deeper understanding of the complexity of life, answering such questions as: How does a fertilised egg program the development of a trillion-cell organism? How can we build human organisations that respond rapidly to change through innovation? Throughout the book, Holland compares the different systems and models that exhibit emergence in the quest for common rule or laws. These range from the tiny seed "that encloses specifications that produce structures as complicated and distinctive as the giant redwood and the common daisy", to the checkers-playing computer that learned to beat its creator consistently, to the ant colonies that build bridges over chasms and navigate leaf-boats on streams, to the emotive creations of the past. All are explored in a book that will have important ramifications for every aspect of human intellectual endeavour. Reviews "John Holland is an exceptionally imaginative person.Often surprising, and always engaging, he takes the reader on a journey from simplicity to complexity, showing how a few 'rules of engagement' can lead to systems as bewilderingly rich as the neural networks in our brains, our immune defenses against pathogens, and even the ecosystems that maintain the biosphere so that life can flourish" Sir Robert May, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government, and one of the founders of Chaos Theory" "Holland at his best - a crisp, insightful framework for analysing and modelling emergent phenomena" John Seely Brown, Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation "I think it's safe to say that this book will certainly be a significant contribution to the field of complex system theory. And I can't think of a person more well-qualified to write such an account." Professor John Casti, Santa Fe Institute, and author or Would-be worlds.
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I certainly came away with knowledge of how to create models because that seemed to be the main point that Professor Holland made throughout the book. Don't get me wrong. Modeling is critically important to understanding the world we live in and the phenomena we observe in the world. I just had no idea from the title or the blurbs that modeling would be such a central theme. In a way it is reassuring since modeling is something that I am very comfortable with, and to me, relatively straight forward.
The book covers such novel concepts as cell assemblies, anticipation, signaling, and indefinite memory in relatively easy to understand language. There is a fair amount of dense mathematical notation that adds a bit of depth if you are comfortable with the subject matter, but can be skipped by the casual reader. I also like the point Professor Holland made about macrolaws and microlaws - that once basic structures and patterns are in place (microlaws), emergent, higher level structures and patterns emerge (macrolaws) that can be explained without reverting back to a knowledge of the microlaws. This provides a road map to understanding more about emergent behavior as we better develop and understand the microlaws describing emergent behavior.
I do think that some of the material was repetitive. Although many reviewers liked the last chapter or two, the end of the book seemed to drag on for me. It was a combination of recap (which is fine), and a philosophical discourse on innovation and creativity. The material was fine, but it seemed just tacked on at the end, and was less interesting to me than the rest of the book.
I have not yet read "Hidden Order", so I cannot compare the two books. Overall, I am very glad I read the book. I learned many new concepts regarding emergent behavior, and reinforced my prior knowledge about things like neural nets, genetic algorithms, and game trees.