Systems Science

Understanding Complex Systems: A Neat Introduction

Complex systems are all around us. They are astronomical, for example our solar system which is composed of a parent star, eight planets with their respective moons, several dwarf planets, and thousands of other astronomical objects such as asteroids and comets.

Complex systems are also ecological. As a species, we emerged and evolved in a wide arrange of ecological systems; for example, east Africa, Eurasia, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Today, we, much of the planets human population, live in artificially constructed complex systems called cities; hence, the scientific interests of yours truly. But this video explains complex systems from the perspective of ecological systems and begins the discussion with this interesting question

Have you ever wondered how thousands of birds move in amazing patterns [of flight]?

As Ilana Shoenfeld, the narrator, illustrates in this neat and easy to understand video, complex systems are composed of interactions between system agents (think of a crowded dance floor and the dancers interacting with each other) and from these interactions, a pattern of behavior emerges in the system. This is definitely a different way of looking at the world. Enjoy the video!

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