Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute


boundary

Processes of self-organization and emergence occur within bounded regions (e.g., the container holding the Bénard System so that the liquid is intact as it undergoes far from equilibrium conditions). In cellular automata the container is the electronic network itself, which is "wrapped around" in that cells at the outskirts of the field are hooked back into the field. These boundaries or containers act to demarcate a system from its environment, and, thereby, maintain the identity of a system as it changes. Boundaries channel the nonlinear processes at work during self-organization. Boundaries need to be both permeable in the sense that they allow exchange between a system and its environments as well as impermeable in so far as they circumscribe the identity of a system in contrast with its environments.


Topics
Physics, Emergence, Complex Systems
Difficulty
1