Complex systems are ubiquitous in the natural and engineered worlds. Examples are self-assembling materials, the Earth’s climate, single- and multi-cellular organisms, the brain, and coupled socio-economic and socio-technical systems, to mention a few canonical examples. The use of Shannon information theory to study the behavior of such systems, and to explain and predict their dynamics, has gained significant attention, both from a theoretical and from an experimental viewpoint. There have been many advances in applying Shannon theory to complex systems, including correlation analyses for spatial and temporal data and construction and clustering techniques for complex networks. Progress has often been driven by the application areas, such as genetics, neurosciences, and the Earth sciences.
The application of Shannon theory to data of real-world complex systems are often hindered by the frequent lack of stationarity and sufficient statistics. Further progress on this front call for new statistical techniques based on Shannon information theory, for the sophistication of known techniques, as well as for an improved understanding of the meaning of entropy in complex systems. Contributions addressing any of these issues are very welcome.
This Special Issue aims to be a forum for the presentation of new and improved techniques of information theory for complex systems. In particular, the analysis and interpretation of real-world natural and engineered complex systems with the help of statistical tools based on Shannon information theory fall within the scope of this Special Issue.