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Title: Complexity change and space symmetry rupture
Authors: Ruzzenenti, Franco
Basosi, Riccardo 
Keywords: Space symmetry rupture; energy efficiency; Structural complexity
Issue Date: 2009
Project: None 
Is complexity growth the result of a continuous process or a sudden breakthrough? An increased energydensity rate is the effect or the cause of a complexity leap? Should we approach complexity change bythe perspective of components behaviour or system’s space geometry? In this work we address someof the questions regarding the theoretical approach to complexity change. For this purpose a case studydrawn by the productive structure and the transport systemis considered.Wewould like here to proposean example in which the system structure is reshaped in a more energy intensive fashion as to increasethe components’ interactions due to a symmetry rupture in the space. Flows throughout the system arethereby incremented in a discontinuous way by a complexity leap. In the case study, we analyze howthe productive system evolved its structure, between 1970s and 1990s, to increase interactions amongits parts and thus further develop the transport sub-system. A two-stage shift has been considered: thefordian and the post-fordian productive structure. The second structure, given the same amount of parts,has been shown to increase the degree of freedom (path length and path diversity) of the system. Theunderlying evolutionary pattern is then analyzed. This evolutionary pattern relies on the hypothesis thatthermodynamic evolutionary systems are characterized by an ever growing influx of energy driven intothe system by self-catalytic processes that must find their way through the constraints of the system.The system initially disposes of the energy by expanding, in extent and in the number of components,up to saturation due to inner or outer constraints. The two counteractive forces, constraints and growingenergy flux, expose the system to newgradients. Every new(spatial) gradient upon the system representsa symmetry rupture in the components’ space. By exploring a new gradient, the system imposes furtherrestrictions on its components and increases its overall degree of freedom. The counteractive effectsof reduction/increase of degree of freedom concern two different hierarchical levels and occur at twodifferent space and time scales.
ISSN: 0304-3800
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.04.016
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