October 19, 2014 at 10:23AM
"understanding how parts compose structures by sharing information on different scales [may] be the key to unlocking how those complex systems behave." #readingToday  

Allen, Stacey and Bar-Yam composed foundational axioms and then derived two quantities to summarize the structure of a system. One, called the complexity profile, is high for systems with mostly independent parts and drops sharply for highly interdependent systems. The other, called marginal utility of information, quantifies how well a system can be described with a limited amount of information. Together these two measures avoid many of the problems and paradoxes that have afflicted previous approaches to quantifying complexity and structure.

A new way to measure structure and complexity can help explain how information sharing among the parts of a system is related to its behaviors on different scales.