Entropy | Special Issue : What is Self-Organization?

Many of us have used the notion of “self-organization” in our studies. What is it precisely, though? A constituent element could be, e.g., the emergence of non-trivial properties from comparatively simple rules. What would simple, non-trivial or complex emergence mean in this context?

In this Special Issue, we invite viewpoints, perspectives, and applied considerations on questions regarding the notions of self-organization and complexity. Examples include:

Routes: In how many different ways can self-organization manifest itself? Would it be meaningful, or even possible, to attempt a classification?

Detection: Can we detect it automatically—either the process or the outcome? Or do we need a human observer to classify a system as “self-organizing”? This issue may be related to the construction of quantifiers, e.g., in terms of functions on phase space, such as entropy measures.

Complexity: Is a system self-organizing only when the resulting dynamical state is “complex”? What does “complex” mean exact;ly? Are there many types of complexity, or just a single one? E.g., it has never been settled whether complexity should be intensive or extensive, if any.

Domains: Where do we find self-organizing processes? Are the properties of self-organizing systems domain-specific or universal? In which class of systems does self-organization show up most clearly?

Prof. Dr. Claudius Gros
Dr. Damián H. Zanette
Guest Editors

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