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      An Introduction to Complex Systems Science and Its Applications

      1 , 2 , 2

      Complexity

      Hindawi Limited

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          Abstract

          The standard assumptions that underlie many conceptual and quantitative frameworks do not hold for many complex physical, biological, and social systems. Complex systems science clarifies when and why such assumptions fail and provides alternative frameworks for understanding the properties of complex systems. This review introduces some of the basic principles of complex systems science, including complexity profiles, the tradeoff between efficiency and adaptability, the necessity of matching the complexity of systems to that of their environments, multiscale analysis, and evolutionary processes. Our focus is on the general properties of systems as opposed to the modeling of specific dynamics; rather than provide a comprehensive review, we pedagogically describe a conceptual and analytic approach for understanding and interacting with the complex systems of our world. This paper assumes only a high school mathematical and scientific background so that it may be accessible to academics in all fields, decision-makers in industry, government, and philanthropy, and anyone who is interested in systems and society.

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          Most cited references 49

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Complexity
                Complexity
                Hindawi Limited
                1076-2787
                1099-0526
                July 27 2020
                July 27 2020
                : 2020
                : 1-16
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
                [2 ]New England Complex Systems Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA
                Article
                10.1155/2020/6105872
                © 2020

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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