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The Call of the Complex

Directions in Complex Systems for Sustainable Development

James Rising

on 3 February 2012

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Transcript of The Call of the Complex

The Call of the Complex James Rising Friday Forum, SD Feb 3, 2012 What are complex systems? Self-organized criticality in SD Open model for climate behaviors Tropical agriculture and complex systems The problems with the field Systems that are Complex The computer scientist's dream
Incomplete work, sloppy thinking
Dogmatic complexity-mongers
A focus on techniques
Ill-defined terms: vs. complicated 18th c.: integrity of wholes music cosmology meaning of parts circular causality homeostasis and overdeterminism gender, family, evolution Ludwig von Bertalanffy Jay Forester social embeddedness big push development Sets of elements standing in interaction isomorphisms between contexts information theory Levels of Complexity Classical linearity
unorganized complexity (chance)
closed systems
thermodynamic drive to homogeneity

Systems Studies non-linearity, chaos
"state" and evolution
cybernetics, equifinality, teleology
structures and feedback
open systems
continued dynamics

not used Insights for Sustainable Develelopment Leverage points Structure influence behavior Policy resistance System archetypes
and mental models Simulation 1. Constants, parameters, numbers (subsidies, taxes, standards)
2. Material flows and nodes of material intersection
3. Regulating negative feedback loops
4. Driving positive feedback loops
5. Information flows
6. The rules of the system (incentives, punishments, constraints)
7. The distribution of power over the rules of the system
8. The goals of the system
9. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system– its goals, power structure, rules, its culture– arises Systems thinking Problems are self-created See beyond events We are boiled frogs When placed in the same system, people, however different, tend to produce similar results Today's problems come from yesterday's "solutions" The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back. Behavior grows better before it grows worse. The easy way out usually leads back in. Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space. Small changes can produce big results-- but the areas of highest leverate are often the least obvious. social system dynamics management, communication, understanding Counterintuitiveness Dividing an elephant in half doesn't make two small elephants. Complexity catastrophe
data and history
fractal complexity

drive toward heterogeneity
Dialogue Wiki Engine

Fat-tailed distributions Agent-Based Modeling Information Theory GCMs Network Theory self-organized criticality Insights for Sustainable Develelopment small-world networks heterogenous historical endogenous incomplete spatiality matters, and most interesting systems don't tend toward equilibrium Adaptive Networks
Historical Physics history matters, in societies and ecosystems; you can't get places but by a path Emergence A complex system's basic properties are much more likely to be a function of its content than context. You can't know everything, but knowing nothing tells you a lot. Problems with Complexity ill-defined
A.I.? methodological SOC, networks, ABM incomplete simplistic approaches,
disconnected from reality Complexity done Right evolutionary, cross-scale calibration, validation understanding element and whole connections to reality The coming revolution new tools for research, communication networked systems, incomplete systems, overlapping systems, hierarchical systems data analysis, estimators Poverty Traps Where is SOC? applying many tools combining agents and systems and networks These make a difference! new tipping points scales and scale-free Finding tipping points for change 1 2 3 4 5 Combining systems and space Multiple Network Maps Overlapping Models Integrating Data Computational Tools 6 Open Interfaces Reasons:
Different stocks flow differently
Deaggregating through networks
Capture society's network properties new language Importance Approach Agriculture at heart of biodiversity and development better models opportunities for change how do we make networks dynamic? how do we make systems precise? Examples of Self-Organized Criticality power-law temporal fluctuations spatial self-similarity emergent behavior critical state between chaos and order
near threshold of instability
far out of equilibrium
missing information no fine parameter tuning distributed in space/network historical and heterogenous driven by a force towards a critical limit locally and globally unstable collapse and avalanche large fluctuations
no "normal size" of events
variance is undefined
unpredictable build-up and collapse equilibrium fractal patches or
scale-free networks SOC Characteristics of Are economies SOC? economic networks are small-world (scale-free?) similar behaviors a many scales (global to personal) SOC Examples: human-impacted vegetation patterns (Barbier et al, 2006), academic papers (Barabasi and Albert, 1999), market prices (Cootner, 1964), politial popularity (Byers, 1991), war and conflict (Conybeare, 1990) evolutionary, path-dependent, multiple equilibria intense adaptive forces endogenous but unpredictable city size/abundance follows power law (Eeckhout, 2004), corporations too price fluctuations follow 1/f noise (Pleurou et al, 1999) society collapse follows a power law (Brunk, 2002) But not everywhere... City size distribution differs by country (Soo, 2005, Mulianta et al, 2004) Price fluctuations in developing countries do not have scale-independence (Matia et al, 2004) According to theory, log-log slope for Zipf law is 1. High HDI countries have higher power-law slopes (greater decrease in abundance for increase in size)
High HDI countries more closely approximate a power-law (?) City distribution characteristics, vs. HDI Problems of Econometrics Not Gaussian Linearity is not innocuous. Not least squres-- L1 norm? rank-methods (e.g. copula) Regressions can be tricked Everything is endogenous Variable errors are ubiquitous Space, time, and history matter. The crumbling ediface Reasons:
spatial heterogeneity
finer tipping points Challenges:
how to allow systems to vary
how to ensure matches aggregate Challenges:
conceptualizing components that work along different networks
what about when not available? Reasons:
incomplete, hierarchical, interacting

new handling of feedback
how to adjust parameters
how to determine hierarchical allotments
missing models fail gracefully Why bigger models? smaller tipping points Precision? Debatable.
Accuracy? Better.
As a platform? If popular. Applications Challenges and Steps Forward a context Reasons:
research platform
better models
communication tool Challenges:
Language of model building
model visualization
Modular simulation intractable, systemic problems
spatially heterogenous environmental problems health problems obesity, substance abuse environmental degradation groundwater use, fishery management rebound and border leakage passanger transporation Technical Details software framework systems: intelligent objects modular, abstractions units and indicators language? Toolbox. networks importing Vensim Systems Regression
Driving forces simplifier
Tipping point finder
Model evaluation Reasons:
callibration and validation
defining flows Challenges:
what of endogenous dynamics
data library (contextual, incomplete) Hydrological model for Himalayan glaciers Needed more efficiency: model it on a network! Expanded Solow-model for poverty traps Want to explore SOC: model it on a network! transparency Extras memetic propogation of models integration with climate modeling actors modeling research recommendations Misspecified models problems of statistical significance understanding big models, unverified models credibility testible hypotheses better communication how do we understand complex drivers? e.g. behavior of a sandpile e.g. sand slope instability e.g. size of avalanches e.g. slope area affected Requirements: Data: GapMinder
497 indicators
259 countries/territories 1. normalized year-to-year differences
2. HDI or
3. sort into bins by HDI deciles
4. estimate PDF by indicator-bin
5. calculate R for log-log regression 2 Peru's year-to-year indicator differences Low SOC (R < .1) Moderate SOC (R < .5, > .1) High SOC (R > .5) 2 2 2 Rising SOC Falling SOC 40-59 years- number
Crude oil production- total (toe)
Electricity consumption- total (kWh)
Fixed broadband Internet subscribers
GDP per employee- (constant 1990$)
Homicide 0-14 all age adj
Hydro production- total (toe)
Natural Gas Production total (tonnes oil equivalent)
Per capita government expenditure on health (PPP int. $)
Per capita government expenditure on health at average exchange rate (US$)
Per capita total expenditure on health (PPP int. $)
Population density (per square km)
Proportion of the population using improved sanitation facilities- total
Residential electricity consumption- total (kWh)
Suicide 15-29 all age adj
Suicide 45-59 all age adj
Tax revenue (% of GDP)
TB incidence- all forms in HIV+ (per year)
Total above 60- number
Total CO2 emissions from fossil-fuels (metric tons)
Total water withdrawal per capita (m3/inhab/yr)
Urban population (% of total) Air accidents killed
DOTS all new case detection rate (%)
DOTS new smear-positive case detection rate (%)
DOTS treatment success (%)
Lung Female Mortality
Male 15-64 labour to population (%)
Male 15+ labour to population (%)
Male above 15 employment to population (%)
Neonates protected at birth against neonatal tetanus (PAB) (%)
Total 15+ labour to population (%)
Total 25-54 labour to population (%)
Total expenditure on health as percentage of GDP (gross domestic product)
Whole country all new case detection rate (%)
Whole country new smear-positive case detection rate (%) Agricultural land (% of land area)
CO2 emissions (kg per 2005 PPP $ of GDP)
Crude oil production- per capita (toe)
Electricity consumption- per capita (kWh)
Energy production- per capita (toe)
Energy production- total (toe)
Energy use- per capita (toe)
Exports of goods and services (% of GDP)
Exports unit value (index- 2000=100)
External debt stocks (% of GNI)
Fixed broadband Internet subscribers (per 100 people)
Foreign direct investment- net inflows (% of GDP)
Foreign direct investment- net outflows (% of GDP)
GDP per capita growth (annual %)
Gross capital formation (% of GDP)
High-technology exports (% of manufactured exports)
Homicide 15-29 all
Homicide 30-44 all age adj
Homicide 45-59 all age adj
Hydro production- per capita (toe)
Import value index (2000 = 100)
Imports of goods and services (% of GDP)
income per person
Industry- value added (% of GDP)
Inflation- GDP deflator (annual %)
Internet users (per 100 people)
Male 15-19 years (%)
Male 5-9 years (%)
Male above 60 (%)
Merchandise trade (% of GDP)
Military expenditure (% of GDP)
Murder per 100-000- age adjusted
Murdered women- per 100-000- age adjusted
Natural Gas Production per person (tonnes oil equivalent)
Net barter terms of trade (2000 = 100)
Out-of-pocket expenditure as percentage of total health expenditure
People living with HIV
Population growth (annual %)
Residential electricity consumption- per person (kWh)
RTI 30-44 all age adj
RTI 45-59 all age adj
SBP female (mm Hg)- age standardized mean
Services- etc.- value added (% of GDP)
Suicide 0-14 all age adj
Suicide 30-44 all age adj
Suicide 60+ all age adj
TC female (mmol/L)- age standardized mean
TC male (mmol/L)- age standardized mean
Total 0-4 years (%)
Total 15-19 years (%)
Total 40-59 years (%)
Total above 60 (%)
Total GDP (PPP 2005 intl.D)
Total population both sexes
Total population female
Total population male
Total reserves (% of total external debt)
Trade balance (current US$)
Traffic mortality per 100-000- age adjusted
Traffic mortality women- per 100-000- age adjusted
Urban population
Urban population growth (annual %)
Water resources: total internal renewable per capita (m3/inhab/yr) Uncategorized 5-9 years- number
Adult literacy rate (%). Female
Adult literacy rate (%). Male
Adult literacy rate (%). Total
Agricultural water withdrawal as % of total water withdrawal (%)
Aid received % of GNI
Aid received per person (current US$)
Air accidents affected
Annual number of AIDS deaths
Arms exports (constant 1990 US$)
Births attended by skilled health staff (% of total)
Contraceptive prevalence (% of women ages 15-49)
Democracy score
Dependency ratio
Drought affected
Epidemic killed
Estimated ART Coverage (CD4 < 350)
Estimated HIV Prevalence% - (Ages 15-49)
Estimated new births
Estimated new HIV infections (All ages)
External debt stocks- total (DOD- current US$)
Female 5-9 years (%)
Female 65+ labour to population (%)
Female above 60 (%)
Forest area (sq. km)
GINI index
Homicide 60+ all age adj
Income share held by fourth 20%
Income share held by highest 10%
Income share held by lowest 10%
Income share held by lowest 20%
Income share held by second 20%
Income share held by third 20%
Industrial water withdrawal as % of total water withdrawal (%)
Infant Mortality Rate
Male 0-4 years (%)
Male 10-14 years (%)
Male 20-39 years (%)
Male 25-54 labour to population (%)
Male 40-59 years (%)
Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)
Mobile cellular subscriptions- total number
Municipal water withdrawal as % of total withdrawal (%)
Municipal water withdrawal per capita (m3/inhab/yr)
New and relapse cases
New and relapse cases (per 100 000 population)
New smear-positive cases (per 100 000 population)
One-year-olds immunized with MCV (%)
One-year-olds immunized with three doses of Hepatitis B (HepB3) (%)
PC per 100
Per capita total expenditure on health at average exchange rate (US$)
Personal computers
Population in urban agglomerations of more than 1 million (% of total population)
Poverty headcount ratio at $1.25 a day (PPP) (% of population)
Poverty headcount ratio at $2 a day (PPP) (% of population)
Proportion of the population using improved drinking water sources- rural
Proportion of the population using improved drinking water sources- total
Proportion of the population using improved drinking water sources- urban
Proportion of the population using improved sanitation facilities- rural
Proportion of the population using improved sanitation facilities- urban
Reported Cases
Reported cases per 100000
Reported Deaths
Reported Deaths per 100000
Roads- paved (% of total roads)
RTI 15-29 all age adj
RTI 60+ all age adj
Stillbirth rate
Suicide among men- per 100 000- age adjusted
TB incidence- all forms (per 100 000 population per year)
TB incidence- all forms in HIV+ (per 100 000 population per year)
TB incidence- smear-positive (per 100 000 population per year)
TB mortality- all forms (per 100 000 population per year)
TB mortality- all forms in HIV+ (per 100 000 population per year)
TB mortality- all forms in HIV+ (per year)
TB prevalence- all forms (per 100 000 population per year)
TB prevalence- all forms in HIV+ (per 100 000 population per year)
TB prevalence- all forms in HIV+ (per year)
Total 10-14 years (%)
Total 20-39 years (%)
Total 5-9 years (%)
Total fertility rate
Total water withdrawal (summed by sector) (10^9 m3/yr)
Trade balance (% of GDP)
Traffic mortality men- per 100-000- age adjusted
Under 5 mortality rate from CMEinfo
Youth literacy rate (%). Female
Youth literacy rate (%). Male
Youth literacy rate (%). Total 0-14 yrs sex ratio
15-24 yrs sex ratio
15-49 yrs sex ratio
Agriculture- value added (% of GDP)
Arms imports (constant 1990 US$)
Breast Female Mortality
Cervix Female Mortality
Children per woman
Colon & Rectum Female Mortality
Colon & Rectum Male Mortality
Crude birth rate (births per 1000 population)
Debt servicing costs (% of exports and net income from abroad)
Female 0-4 years (%)
Female 15-24 employment to population (%)
Female 15-64 labour to population (%)
Female 15+ labour to population (%)
Female 25-54 labour to population(%)
Female above 15 employment to population (%)
General government expenditure on health as percentage of total expenditure on health
General government expenditure on health as percentage of total government expenditure
Income per person (PPP) with projections
Life expectancy at brith
Male 15-24 employment to population (%)
Male 65+ labour to population (%)
Malnutrition prevalence- weight for age (% of children under 5)
Murdered men- per 100-000- age adjusted
One-year-olds immunized with three doses of diphtheria tetanus toxoid and pertussis (DTP3) (%)
Per capita CO2 emissions (metric tons of carbon)
Private expenditure on health as percentage of total expenditure on health
Stomach Female Mortality
Stomach Male Mortality
Suicide women age adjusted
Suicide- age adjusted- per 100 000 standard population
Total 15-24 employment to population (%)
Total 15-64 labour to population (%)
Total 65+ labour to population (%)
Total above 15 employment to population (%)
Under-five mortality rate 0-4 years- number
10-14 years- number
15-19 years- number
20-39 years- number
50+ yrs sex ratio
Annual population growth rate (%)
Crude death rate (deaths per 1-000 population)
DOTS population coverage (%)
Energe use- total (toe)
Epidemic affected
Female 10-14 years (%)
Female 15-19 years (%)
Female 20-39 years (%)
Female 40-59 years (%)
Flood affected
Flood killed
Forest coverage (%)
Income share held by highest 20%
Lung Male Mortality
Median age
Prostate Male Mortality
Road traffic total deaths
RTI 0-14 all age adj
SBP male (mm Hg)- age standardized mean
Storm affected
Storm killed
Surface area (sq. km)
Total sex ratio
Water resources: total renewable per capita (actual) (m3/inhab/yr) systemic? spatially complex? intractable? leverage points? Contexts slash-and-burn and wood harvesting water sustainability Indonesia and Brazil population pressures Africa (Trop Ag. Group) India (Water Center) Questions Samboja Lestari (Willie Smits) Engineering a rainforest 740 tree species individually monitored Working with people 50% unemployment 3000 jobs Long-term planning fast-growing and soil replenishing trees slow-growing and income-generating trees 7 bird species 137 bird species Success 20 families per group, democratic arbitration structures more rainfall, no more fires 1000 orangutangs What specific problem do I want to solve? counterintuitive effects biological social economic particle ecological physical system regressions Insights for Sustainable Development importance of scale, or scaling agent bias and alternatives self-organization support
critical value support
collapse facilitation
critical competition importance of "noise" The noise spikes in SOC systems are called flicker noise, but are actual events, rather than `measurement errors.' Here, usually insignicant events sometimes cause complexity cascades that propagate within a system to produce very large `noise' spikes that appear to us as unexpected events. These cascades are situations where an initially small, and perhaps insignicant-seeming action generates a macro-level event, such as a currency collapse, war, market bubble, riot, bank run, electoral landslide, or a government collapse. - Brunk (2002) importance of instability Do traps represent too much instability or too little? instability serves self-organized resilience but too much instability undermines cooperation (Perry 1995) Model of SOC economy (Brunk 2002) development pushes toward interconnectedness but collapses of nodes can avalanche Is the process that causes development to fail external to the process of development itself? SOC found in riot and strike growth (Bohstedt and Williams, 1988, Midlarsky, 1978) and urban collapse (Brunk, 2002b, Tainter, 1990). Poverty Traps 1. Solow Growth 2. Distributed Model Circular graph of firms Each firm has individual capital stock, L/N labor, and Cobb-Douglas production Growth is "distributed Solow" growth term: decay term: if if and probability of collapse Connections increase "technology" (specialization) multiple in production. When collapse, capital set to 0 and connections severed. Every time step, some firms get connections. Agent Bias New SOC Relations Solow Model Distributed Solow Model save biodiversity - but where? before after Can I get anyone as an advisor on it? uestions?
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