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In this module we will be trying to define what exactly a complex system is, we will firstly talk about systems in general before going on to look at complexity as a product of a number of different parameters.
Examples of some definitions for a complex system:
“A system comprised of a (usually large) number of (usually strongly) interacting entities, processes, or agents, the understanding of which requires the development, or the use of, new scientific tools, nonlinear models, out-of-equilibrium descriptions and computer simulations.”
The social scientist Herbert Simons gives us this definition; “A system that can be analyzed into many components having relatively many relations among them, so that the behavior of each component depends on the behavior of others.”
Jerome Singer tells us that a complex system is;
“A system that involves numerous interacting agents whose aggregate behaviors are to be understood. Such aggregate activity is nonlinear, hence it cannot simply be derived from summation of individual components behavior.”