Spatial Embedding and Complexity: The Small-World is Not Enough

Buckley, Christopher L and Bullock, Seth, (2007) Spatial Embedding and Complexity: The Small-World is Not Enough Almeida e Costa, Fernando, Rocha, Luis M., Costa, Ernesto, Harvey, Inman and Coutinho, António (eds.) In Advances in Artificial Life: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Artificial Life. Springer, Berlin., pp. 986-995.


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The “order for free” exhibited by some classes of system has been exploited by natural selection in order to build systems capable of exhibiting complex behaviour. Here we explore the impact of one ordering constraint, spatial embedding, on the dynamical complexity of networks. We apply a measure of functional complexity derived from information theory to a set of spatially embedded network models in order to make some preliminary characterisations of the contribution of space to the dynamics (rather than mere structure) of complex systems. Although our measure of dynamical complexity hinges on a balance between functional integration and segregation, which seem related to an understanding of the small-world property, we demonstrate that smallworld structures alone are not enough to induce complexity. However, purely spatial constraints can produce systems of high intrinsic complexity by introducing multiple scales of organisation within a network.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Event Dates: September 10-14, 2007
Venue - Dates: The 9th European Conference on Artificial Life, Portugal, 2007-09-10 - 2007-09-14
Keywords: complexity, networks, information theory, theoretical neuroscience
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 264282
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 19:40
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