System Dynamics Glossary
What is the meaning of Complexity?
Complexity describes that which comprises myriad parts, or
which is complicated in nature. Complexity can be
considered as comprising two forms, detail and dynamic. Detail complexity describes too many factors to be considered at
any one time. Dynamic complexity describes behaviour we
observe which changes over time, where the patterns of change
are familiar but the underlying factors that produce change over
time may be obscured. Fundamentally, a system is complex when
we cannot understand it through simple cause-and-effect relationships or other
standard methods of systems analysis. In a complex system, we
cannot reduce the interplay of individual elements to the study
of individual elements considered in isolation. Often, several different models,
each at a different level of abstraction, are needed.
Neal Boortz and John Linder, "The FairTax Book".
information on The FairTax Book
Stephen Wolfram, "A New Kind
—More information on A New Kind of
Other topics in our resources on System Dynamics related to Complexity include:
© Argos Press Pty Ltd, Canberra, 2003-2005. All rights reserved. Please contact Argos Press Pty Ltd to obtain information on licensing content from this web site (for example this entry on Complexity).