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Tipping points in complex coupled life-environment systems

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Simple models of complex phenomena provide powerful insights and suggest low-level mechanistic descriptions. The Earth system arises from the interaction of subsystems with multi-scale temporal and spatial variability; from the microbial to continental scales, operating over the course of days to geological time. System-level homeostasis has been demonstrated in a number of conceptual, artificial life, models which share the advantage of a thorough and transparent analysis. We reintroduce a general model for a coupled life-environment model, concentrating on a minimal set of assumptions, and explore the consequences of interaction between simple life elements and their shared, multidimensional environment. In particular stability, criticality and transitions are of great relevance to understanding the history, and future of the Earth system. The model is shown to share salient features with other abstract systems such as Ashby's Homeostat and Watson and Lovelock's Daisyworld. Our generic description is free to explore high-dimensional, complex environments, and in doing so we show that even a small increase in the environmental complexity gives rise to very complex attractor landscapes which require a much richer conception of critical transitions and hysteresis

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Weaver, Iain S. and Dyke, James G. (2013) Tipping points in complex coupled life-environment systems At 12th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2013).

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Published date: 2 September 2013
Venue - Dates: 12th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2013), 2013-09-02
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity


Local EPrints ID: 354212
PURE UUID: 1cdf9825-3077-48d6-b029-14afdff18352
ORCID for James G. Dyke: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2013 10:35
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 03:58

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Author: Iain S. Weaver
Author: James G. Dyke ORCID iD

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