Self Organization + Emergence

Self organizing system are ones that exhibit order, structure, differentiation and fitness without any top-down mechanism enabling this to occur.

Emergence implies the creation of novel characteristics which cannot be attributed to the elements that make up the system

Self organization is a system that through its elements is able to maintain itself, without the need for an external form of maintenance - related to the concept of  auto-poesis.

The terms are often related to one another, as some of the feature of the 'emergent' entity, in turn help maintain the 'self-organized' aspects of the contituent elements.

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Attractor States


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Attractor States

CAS Defining Features




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The complexity of the ant world

This amazing video shows how the ants are able to build a complex structure in the absence of top-down control. The manner in which this can occur is part of what is studied in Complex Adaptive Systems Theory