1st Edition

Introduction to Complexity and Complex Systems

By Robert B. Northrop Copyright 2010
    551 Pages 133 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    552 Pages 133 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The boundaries between simple and complicated, and complicated and complex system designations are fuzzy and debatable, even using quantitative measures of complexity. However, if you are a biomedical engineer, a biologist, physiologist, economist, politician, stock market speculator, or politician, you have encountered complex systems. Furthermore, your success depends on your ability to successfully interact with and manage a variety of complex systems. In order not to be blindsided by unexpected results, we need a systematic, comprehensive way of analyzing, modeling, and simulating complex systems to predict non-anticipated outcomes.

    In its engaging first chapters, the book introduces complex systems, Campbell's Law, and the Law of Unintended Consequences, and mathematics necessary for conversations in complex systems. Subsequent chapters illustrate concepts via commonly studied biological mechanisms. The final chapters focus on higher-level complexity problems, and introduce complexity in economic systems.

    Designed as a reference for biologists and biological engineers, Introduction to Complexity and Complex Systems lends itself to use in a classroom course to introduce advanced students studying biomedical engineering, biophysics, or physiology to complex systems. Engaging and illustrative, this book aids scientists and decision makers in managing biological complexity and complex systems.

    Introduction to Complexity and Complex Systems
    Introduction to Complexity
    Why Study Complex Systems?
    Human Responses to Complexity
    Complex Systems Engineering
    Chapter Summary
    Introduction to Large Linear Systems
    Linearity, Causality & Stationarity
    L TI System Tools Impulse Response, Frequency Response and Real Convolution
    Systems Described by Large Sets of Linear ODEs
    Stability of Linear Systems
    Signal Flow Graphs and Mason's Rule
    Chapter Summary
    Introduction to Nonlinear Biochemical Systems and Biochemical Oscillators
    Introduction Some General Properties of NonIinear Systems
    All Living Systems Are Nonlinear
    Parametric Regulation in Complex Biological Systems
    Chaos, Stability and Limit Cycle Oscillations in Nonlinear Systems
    Chapter Summary
    Modularity, Redundancy, Degeneracy, Pleiotropy and Robustness in
    Complex Biological Systems
    Measures of Modularity
    Modularity in Physiological Organ Systems
    Modularity in Gene Regulation and Development
    Network Motifs and Modularity
    Redundancy, Degeneracy, Pleiotropy and Robustness
    Chapter Summary
    The Evolution of Biological Complexity; Invertebrate Immune Systems
    Darwinian Evolution; a Brief Summary
    Why Does a Rise in Complexity Accompany Biological Evolution?
    Examples of Biological Complexity; Invertebrate Immune Systems
    Chapter Summary
    The Complex Adaptive and Innate Human Immune Systems
    An Overview of the CAIS
    A Summary of the Cells of the hIS
    Innate Immune Systems
    Antigen presentation
    Autacoids Immunocytokines, Proteins and Glycoproteins Secreted by hIS Cells
    Discussion How the hIS is Adaptive
    Chapter Summary
    Complexity in Quasispecies MicroRNAs
    Quasispecies; Viral and Bacterial Evolutionary Models [see Kamp papers in NB3]
    The Role of Micro-RNAs in the Regulation of Gene Expression and Disease
    Chapter Summary
    Introduction to Physiological Complexity Examples of Models of Some Complex Physiological Systems
    Physiology Defined
    Structure & Function Some Examples of Complex Physiological Regulatory Systems and their Models
    Examples of When Complex Physiological Systems Fail
    Chapter Summary
    The Quest for Quantitative Measures of Complexity
    Intuitive Measures of Complexity
    Structural Complexity Measures
    Informatic Complexity Measures
    Chapter Summary
    "Irreducible and Specified Complexity" in Living Systems
    Irreducible Complexity
    Specified Complexity
    Chapter Summary
    Introduction to Complexity in Economic Systems
    Economic Systems
    Chapter Summary
    Dealing with Complexity
    Dorner's Approaches to Tackling Complex Problems
    Frederic Vester's "Paper Computer"
    The Sensitivity Model of Vester
    Learning From Our Mistakes
    Chapter Summary
    Bibliography and References


    Robert B. Northrop is Professor Emeritus and the former Program Director of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Connecticut.