complexity


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

complexity,

in science, field of study devoted to the process of self-organization. The basic concept of complexity is that all things tend to organize themselves into patterns, e.g., ant colonies, immune systems, and human cultures; further, they go through cycles of growth, mass extinction, regeneration, and evolution. Complexity looks for the mathematical equations that describe the middle ground between equilibrium (see staticsstatics,
branch of mechanics concerned with the maintenance of equilibrium in bodies by the interaction of forces upon them (see force). It incorporates the study of the center of gravity (see center of mass) and the moment of inertia.
..... Click the link for more information.
) and chaos (see chaos theorychaos theory,
in mathematics, physics, and other fields, a set of ideas that attempts to reveal structure in aperiodic, unpredictable dynamic systems such as cloud formation or the fluctuation of biological populations.
..... Click the link for more information.
), such as the interplay between supply and demand in an economy or the relationship among living organisms in an ecosystem.

Complexity theory had its beginnings with American mathematician Norbert Wiener'sWiener, Norbert,
1894–1964, American mathematician, educator, and founder of the field of cybernetics, b. Columbia, Mo., grad. Tufts College, 1909, Ph.D. Harvard, 1913.
..... Click the link for more information.
 development of cyberneticscybernetics
[Gr.,=steersman], term coined by American mathematician Norbert Wiener to refer to the general analysis of control systems and communication systems in living organisms and machines.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Canadian biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy's development of general system theory, and American mathematician John H. Holland's development of a computerized artificial life simulation. More recent efforts are centered at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, which was established in 1984, and are found in the work of multidisciplinary researchers such as American economist Kenneth ArrowArrow, Kenneth Joseph,
1921–2017, American economist, b. New York City, grad. City College of New York (B.S. 1940), Columbia (M.A. 1941, Ph.D. 1951). He was on the faculties of the Univ.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and American physicist Murray Gell-Mann. Because complex systems typically cross the boundaries of traditional disciplines, the study of complexity is an interdisciplinary science. Much of the progress in the field can be attributed to advances in nonlinear dynamicsnonlinear dynamics,
study of systems governed by equations in which a small change in one variable can induce a large systematic change; the discipline is more popularly known as chaos (see chaos theory).
..... Click the link for more information.
, in the power of computerscomputer,
device capable of performing a series of arithmetic or logical operations. A computer is distinguished from a calculating machine, such as an electronic calculator, by being able to store a computer program (so that it can repeat its operations and make logical
..... Click the link for more information.
 and in computer graphicscomputer graphics,
the transfer of pictorial data into and out of a computer. Using analog-to-digital conversion techniques, a variety of devices—such as curve tracers, digitizers, and light pens—connected to graphic computer terminals, computer-aided design
..... Click the link for more information.
, and in adaptive programs and fuzzy logicfuzzy logic,
a multivalued (as opposed to binary) logic developed to deal with imprecise or vague data. Classical logic holds that everything can be expressed in binary terms: 0 or 1, black or white, yes or no; in terms of Boolean algebra, everything is in one set or another but
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Bibliography

See M. M. Waldrop, Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos (1992); R. Lewin, Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos (1993); J. H. Holland, Hidden Order (1995).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Complexity

Consisting of various parts united or connected together, formed by a combination of different elements; intricate, interconnecting parts that are not easily disentangled.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

complexity

[kəm′plek·səd·ē]
(computer science)
The number of elementary operations used by a program or algorithm to accomplish a given task.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

complexity

(algorithm)
The level in difficulty in solving mathematically posed problems as measured by the time, number of steps or arithmetic operations, or memory space required (called time complexity, computational complexity, and space complexity, respectively).

The interesting aspect is usually how complexity scales with the size of the input (the "scalability"), where the size of the input is described by some number N. Thus an algorithm may have computational complexity O(N^2) (of the order of the square of the size of the input), in which case if the input doubles in size, the computation will take four times as many steps. The ideal is a constant time algorithm (O(1)) or failing that, O(N).

See also NP-complete.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
References in periodicals archive ?
As part of this partnership, Complexity players will have access to WinStar's hotel, golf courses and concerts.
'Complexity [also] reduces business agility because, to change one thing, you have to change lots of other things,' the paper added.
The above studies focused on the complexity of air traffic situations from different perspectives.
This cross sectional study was designed to apply Index of Complexity, Outcome and Need (ICON) in Pakistani population to assess treatment need and complexity grades, among the patients visiting department of Orthodontics, de,Montmorency College of dentistry, Lahore, Pakistan.
It is assumed part design complexity will have minimal or no influence on the cost per casting in post-fabrication operations including pour, shakeout and secondary operations such as heat treatment, machining and inspections.
The main results included that participants considered the organoleptic qualities of intensity, harmony, length (persistence in mouth) and balance to be important contributors to perceived complexity, these varying somewhat as a function of taster expertise.
Complexity theory is very much concerned with the study of the structure and dynamics of complex adaptive systems (CAS), characterised with nonlinearity, self-organization, and emergent properties [6].
The video complexity can be determined if the video frames complexity is measured and the video temporal information is know.
Managing complexity is becoming a more urgent concern for many companies because the complexity of projects and management systems appears to be increasing.
Yet the very notion of network complexity lacks a strict and agreed-upon definition.
Cornerstone Advisors managing director of Technology Services Brad Smith said, "These executives are battling less with the complexity of their technology architectures than they are with the complexity of managing all that technology.