Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

sensitive dependence on initial conditions

A system's sensitivity to initial conditions refers to the role that the starting configuration of that system plays in determining the subsequent states of that system. When this sensitivity is high, slight changes to starting conditions will lead to significantly different conditions in the future. Sensitive dependence on initial coditions is a defining property of chaos in dynamical systems theory. 

Chaos, Dynamical Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics