Emergence: From Chaos to Order

Emergence: From Chaos to Order

Paperback

By (author) John H. Holland

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 274 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 197mm x 16mm | 208g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2000
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192862111
  • ISBN 13: 9780192862112
  • Illustrations note: line drawings
  • Sales rank: 319,134

Product description

'He's the man who taught computers how to have sex. And now, for an encore, he's working on a theory to explain the complexity of life and its myriad manifestations on planet earth.' New York Times In this book, one of today's most innovative thinkers, John H. Holland, explains the theory of emergenceDSa simple theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Emergence demonstrates that a small number of rules or laws can generate incredibly complex systems. From the checkers-playing computer that learnt to beat its creator again and again, to a fertilized egg that can program the development of a trillion-cell organism, to the ant colonies that build bridges over chasms and navigate leaf-boats on streams, this fascinating and groundbreaking book contains wide-ranging implications for science, business, and the arts. 'John Holland is an exceptionally imaginative person. Often surprising, and always engaging, he takes the reader on a journey from simplicity to complexity' Sir Robert May

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Author information

John H. Holland is Professor of Psychology and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the World Economic Forum, and is known world-wide as the 'father of genetic algorithms'. He is the author of the ground-breaking book Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity (Helix Books/Addison-Wesley).

Editorial reviews

We hesitated about recommending this one, because it really is heavy going in places. But it is also extremely important, and deals with the big question of the origin of complex things in the Universe, including life. If you cut your teeth on the works of Ilya Prigogine, you may feel ready to tackle this; if you are frightened of equations, though, give it a miss. A profound book which repays the effort of coming to terms with the ideas it describes. (Kirkus UK)

Table of contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS; PREFACE; 1. BEFORE WE PROCEED; 2. GAMES AND NUMBERS; 3. MAPS, GAME THEORY, AND COMPUTER-BASED MODELLING; 4. CHECKERS; 5. NEURAL NETS; 6. TOWARD A GENERAL SETTING; 7. CONSTRAINED GENERATING PROCEDURES; 8. SAMUEL'S CHECKERSPLAYER; 9. VARIATION; 10. LEVELS OF DESCRIPTION AND REDUCTION; 11. METAPHOR AND INNOVATION; 12. CLOSING; REFERENCES; INDEX.