Self-organization is a process of attraction and repulsion in which the internal organization of a system, normally an open system, increases in complexity without being guided or managed by an outside source. Valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR theory (1957 is a model in Chemistry, which is used for predicting the shapes of individual Molecules based System (from Latin systēma, in turn from Greek systēma is a set of interacting or interdependent Entities, real or abstract An open system is a state of a System, in which a system continuously interacts with its environment In general usage complexity often tends to be used to characterize something with many parts in intricate arrangement Self-organizing systems typically (though not always) display emergent properties. For other uses see Emergence (disambiguation, Emergent, and Emergency.
The most robust and unambiguous examples of self-organizing systems are from physics. Physics (Greek Physis - φύσις in everyday terms is the Science of Matter and its motion. Self-organization is also relevant in chemistry, where it has often been taken as being synonymous with self-assembly. Chemistry (from Egyptian kēme (chem meaning "earth") is the Science concerned with the composition structure and properties Self-assembly is a term used to describe processes in which a disordered system of pre-existing components forms an organized structure or pattern as a consequence of specific local The concept of self-organization is central to the description of biological systems, from the subcellular to the ecosystem level. There are also cited examples of "self-organizing" behaviour found in the literature of many other disciplines, both in the natural sciences and the social sciences such as economics or anthropology. In Science, the term natural science refers to a naturalistic approach to the study of the Universe, which is understood as obeying rules or law of The social sciences comprise academic disciplines concerned with the study of the social life of human groups and individuals including Anthropology, Communication studies Economics is the social science that studies the production distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Anthropology (/ˌænθɹəˈpɒlədʒi/ from Greek grc ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, "human" -λογία -logia) is the study of Self-organization has also been observed in mathematical systems such as cellular automata. A cellular automaton (plural cellular automata) is a discrete model studied in computability theory, Mathematics, Theoretical biology
Sometimes the notion of self-organization is conflated with that of the related concept of emergence. For other uses see Emergence (disambiguation, Emergent, and Emergency. Properly defined, however, there may be instances of self-organization without emergence and emergence without self-organization, and it is clear from the literature that the phenomena are not the same. The link between emergence and self-organization remains an active research question.
Self-organization usually relies on four basic ingredients:
The idea that the dynamics of a system can tend by themselves to increase the inherent order of a system has a long history. Positive feedback, sometimes referred to as "cumulative causation" is a Feedback loop system in which the system responds to perturbation in the same direction Negative Feedback feeds part of a System 's output inverted into the system's input generally with the result that fluctuations are attenuated The term " exploitation " may carry two distinct meanings The act of utilizing something for any purpose Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an Effect upon one another In physics the term dynamics customarily refers to the time evolution of physical processes One of the earliest statements of this idea was by the philosopher Descartes, in the fifth part of his Discourse on Method, where he presents it hypothetically. Organization How to think correctly The Method of Science Morals Maxims deduced from this Method Proof of God and the Soul Physics the heart Descartes further elaborated on the idea at great length in his unpublished work The World. The World, originally titled Le Monde and also called Treatise on the Light, is a book by René Descartes ( 1596 &ndash 1650
The ancient atomists (among others) believed that a designing intelligence was unnecessary, arguing that given enough time and space and matter, organization was ultimately inevitable, although there would be no preferred tendency for this to happen. In Natural philosophy, atomism is the theory that all the objects in the universe are composed of very small indestructible building blocks - Atoms Or stated in What Descartes introduced was the idea that the ordinary laws of nature tend to produce organization (For related history, see Aram Vartanian, Diderot and Descartes).
Beginning with the 18th century naturalists a movement arose that sought to understand the "universal laws of form" in order to explain the observed forms of living organisms. The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system Natural history is the Scientific research of Plants or Animals leaning more towards the Observational than Experimental methods Because of its association with Lamarckism, their ideas fell into disrepute until the early 20th century, when pioneers such as D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson revived them. Lamarckism (or Lamarckian evolution) is the once widely accepted idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring (also Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson ( May 2, 1860, Edinburgh &ndash June 21, 1948 St The modern understanding is that there are indeed universal laws (arising from fundamental physics and chemistry) that govern growth and form in biological systems.
The term "self-organizing" seems to have been first introduced in 1947 by the psychiatrist and engineer W. Ross Ashby. Year 1947 ( MCMXLVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. W Ross Ashby ( September 6, 1903, - November 15, 1972) was an English Psychiatrist and a pioneer in Cybernetics It was taken up by the cyberneticians Heinz von Foerster, Gordon Pask, Stafford Beer and Norbert Wiener himself in the second edition of his "Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine" (MIT Press 1961). Heinz von Foerster (Nov 13 1911 Vienna – Oct 2 2002 Pescadero California) was an Austrian American scientist combining Physics and Philosophy Andrew Gordon Speedie Pask (* June 28 1928 in Derby; † March 28 1996 London) was an English cybernetician and psychologist who Anthony Stafford Beer ( September 25, 1926 - August 23, 2002) was a British Theorist, Consultant and professor Norbert Wiener ( November 26, 1894, Columbia Missouri – March 18, 1964, Stockholm, Sweden) was an American Self-organization as a word and concept was used by those associated with general systems theory in the 1960s, but did not become commonplace in the scientific literature until its adoption by physicists and researchers in the field of complex systems in the 1970s and 1980s. Systems theory is an Interdisciplinary field of Science and the study of the nature of Complex systems in Nature, Society, and The 1960s decade refers to the years from the beginning of 1960 to the end of 1969 Below is a list of famous Physicists Many of these from the 20th and 21st centuries are found on the list of recipients of the Nobel Prize in physics. This article describes complex system as a type of system For other meanings see Complex systems. This article is about the Decade 1970-1979 For the Year 1970 see 1970. The 1980s was the decade spanning from January 1 1980 to December 31 1989. 
The following list summarizes and classifies the instances of self-organization found in different disciplines. As the list grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine whether these phenomena are all fundamentally the same process, or the same label applied to several different processes. Self-organization, despite its intuitive simplicity as a concept, has proven notoriously difficult to define and pin down formally or mathematically, and it is entirely possible that any precise definition might not include all the phenomena to which the label has been applied.
It should also be noted that, the farther a phenomenon is removed from physics, the more controversial the idea of self-organization as understood by physicists becomes. Also, even when self-organization is clearly present, attempts at explaining it through physics or statistics are usually criticized as reductionistic. Reductionism can either mean (a an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts or to simpler or more fundamental things
Similarly, when ideas about self-organization originate in, say, biology or social science, the farther one tries to take the concept into chemistry, physics or mathematics, the more resistance is encountered, usually on the grounds that it implies direction in fundamental physical processes. Teleology ( Greek: telos: end purpose is the philosophical study of design and Purpose.
There are several broad classes of physical processes that can be described as self-organization. Such examples from physics include:
Statistical mechanics informs us that large scale phenomena can be viewed as a large system of small interacting particles, whose processes are assumed consistent with well established mechanical laws such as entropy, i. Statistical mechanics is the application of Probability theory, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations to the field of Mechanics e. , equilibrium thermodynamics. However, “… following the macroscopic point of view the same physical media can be thought of as continua whose properties of evolution are given by phenomenological laws between directly measurable quantities on our scale, such as, for example, the pressure, the temperature, or the concentrations of the different components of the media. The macroscopic perspective is of interest because of its greater simplicity of formalism and because it is often the only view practicable. ” Against this background, Glansdorff and Prigogine introduced a deeper view at the microscopic level, where “… the principles of thermodynamics explicitly make apparent the concept of irreversibility and along with it the concept of dissipation and temporal orientation which were ignored by classical (or quantum) dynamics, where the time appears as a simple parameter and the trajectories are entirely reversible. ”
As a result, processes considered part of thermodynamically open systems, such as biological processes that are constantly receiving, transforming and dissipating chemical energy (and even the earth itself which is constantly receiving and dissipating solar energy), can and do exhibit properties of self organization far from thermodynamic equilibrium.
A LASER (acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”) can also be characterized as a self organized system to the extent that normal states of thermal equilibrium characterized by electromagnetic energy absorption are stimulated out of equilibrium in a reverse of the absorption process. A laser is a device that emits Light ( Electromagnetic radiation) through a process called Stimulated emission. “If the matter can be forced out of thermal equilibrium to a sufficient degree, so that the upper state has a higher population than the lower state (population inversion), then more stimulated emission than absorption occurs, leading to coherent growth (amplification or gain) of the electromagnetic wave at the transition frequency. ”
Self-organization in chemistry includes:
According to Scott Camazine. Chemistry (from Egyptian kēme (chem meaning "earth") is the Science concerned with the composition structure and properties Molecular self-assembly is the process by which Molecules adopt a defined arrangement without guidance or management from an outside source Reaction–diffusion systems are mathematical models that describe how the concentration of one or more substances distributed in space changes under the influence of two processes local A chemical reaction is a process that always results in the interconversion of Chemical substances The substance or substances initially involved in a chemical reaction are called A single Chemical reaction is said to have undergone autocatalysis, or be autocatalytic, if the reaction product is itself the Catalyst for that reaction An autocatalytic set is a collection of entities each of which can be created catalytically by other entities within the set such that as a whole the set is able to catalyze its own Liquid crystals are substances that exhibit a phase of matter that has properties between those of a conventional Liquid, and those of a Solid Self assembled monolayers ( SAM s are surfaces consisting of a single layer of Molecules on a substrate. A micelle (rarely micella, plural micelles) is an aggregate of Surfactant molecules dispersed in a liquid Colloid. A heteropolymer or copolymer is a Polymer derived from two (or more Monomeric species as opposed to a Homopolymer where only one monomer is . [et al. ]:
|“||In biological systems self-organization is a process in which pattern at the global level of a system emerges solely from numerouse interactions among the lower-level components of the system. Moreover, the rules specifying interactions among the system's components are executed using only local information, without reference to the global pattern. ||”|
The following is an incomplete list of the diverse phenomena which have been described as self-organizing in biology. Foundations of modern biology There are five unifying principles
As mentioned above, phenomena from mathematics and computer science such as cellular automata, random graphs, and some instances of evolutionary computation and artificial life exhibit features of self-organization. In the Natural sciences, Abiogenesis, or origin of life, is the study of how Life on Earth emerged from Inanimate Organic An autocatalytic set is a collection of entities each of which can be created catalytically by other entities within the set such that as a whole the set is able to catalyze its own The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological Hypothesis proposing that the Biosphere and the physical components of the Earth ( Atmosphere Mathematics is the body of Knowledge and Academic discipline that studies such concepts as Quantity, Structure, Space and Computer science (or computing science) is the study and the Science of the theoretical foundations of Information and Computation and their A cellular automaton (plural cellular automata) is a discrete model studied in computability theory, Mathematics, Theoretical biology In Mathematics, a random graph is a graph that is generated by some Random process. In Computer science evolutionary computation is a subfield of Artificial intelligence (more particularly Computational intelligence) that involves Artificial life (commonly Alife or alife) is a field of study and an associated art form which examine Systems related to Life, its processes In swarm robotics, self-organization is used to produce emergent behavior. Swarm robotics is a new approach to the coordination of Multirobot systems which consist of large numbers of mostly simple physical Robots It is supposed that a desired In particular the theory of random graphs has been used as a justification for self-organization as a general principle of complex systems. In the field of multi-agent systems, understanding how to engineer systems that are capable of presenting self-organized behavior is a very active research area. A multi-agent system ( MAS) is a system composed of multiple interacting Intelligent agents Multi-agent systems can be used to solve problems which are difficult or
Wiener regarded the automatic serial identification of a black box and its subsequent reproduction as sufficient to meet the condition of self-organization. Norbert Wiener ( November 26, 1894, Columbia Missouri – March 18, 1964, Stockholm, Sweden) was an American System identification is a general term to describe mathematical Tools and Algorithms that build dynamical models from measured data Black box is a technical term for a device or system or object when it is viewed primarily in terms of its input and output characteristics  The importance of phase locking or the "attraction of frequencies", as he called it, is discussed in the 2nd edition of his "Cybernetics". In Mathematics, a circle map is a member of a family of dynamical systems on the circle first defined by Andrey Kolmogorov. Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the Structure of Complex systems especially Communication processes control mechanisms and Feedback  Drexler sees self-replication as a key step in nano and universal assembly. Kim Eric Drexler (born April 25, 1955 in Oakland California) is an American engineer best known for popularizing the potential of Molecular A molecular assembler as defined by K Eric Drexler is a "proposed device able to guide chemical reactions by positioning reactive molecules with atomic precision A Universal Assembler is a construction machine that manipulates and builds with individual atoms molecules or other units originally studied by John von Neumann who is also
By contrast, the four concurrently connected galvanometers of W. Ross Ashby's homeostat hunt, when perturbed, to converge on one of many possible stable states. W Ross Ashby ( September 6, 1903, - November 15, 1972) was an English Psychiatrist and a pioneer in Cybernetics  Ashby used his state counting measure of variety to describe stable states and produced the "Good Regulator" theorem which required internal models for self-organized endurance and stability. In Cybernetics the term variety denotes the total number of distinct states of a System. The Good Regulator is a theorem due to Roger C Conant and W Ross Ashby that is central to Cybernetics. Endurantism or endurance theory is a philosophical theory of persistence and identity. Stability can refer to Aircraft flight Stability (aircraft In atmospheric fluid dynamics atmospheric stability, a measure of the turbulence
Warren McCulloch proposed "Redundancy of Potential Command" as characteristic of the organization of the brain and human nervous system and the necessary condition for self-organization. Warren Sturgis McCulloch ( November 16, 1899 – September 24, 1969) was an American neurophysiologist and cybernetician
Heinz von Foerster proposed Redundancy, R = 1- H/Hmax , where H is entropy. Heinz von Foerster (Nov 13 1911 Vienna – Oct 2 2002 Pescadero California) was an Austrian American scientist combining Physics and Philosophy  In essence this states that unused potential communication bandwidth is a measure of self-organization.
In the 1970s Stafford Beer considered this condition as necessary for autonomy which identifies self-organization in persisting and living systems. Anthony Stafford Beer ( September 25, 1926 - August 23, 2002) was a British Theorist, Consultant and professor Autonomy ( Greek: Auto- Nomos - nomos meaning "law" one who gives oneself his/her own Law) is the right to Self-government Life is a state that distinguishes Organisms from non-living objects such as non-life and dead organisms being manifested by growth through Metabolism Using Variety analyses he applied his neurophysiologically derived recursive Viable System Model to management. The Viable Systems Model, or VSM is a model of the organisational structure of any viable or Autonomous System. It consists of five parts: the monitoring of performance of the survival processes (1), their management by recursive application of regulation (2), homeostatic operational control (3) and development (4) which produce maintenance of identity (5) under environmental perturbation. The Viable Systems Model, or VSM is a model of the organisational structure of any viable or Autonomous System. Homeostasis (from Greek: ὅμος hómos, "equal" and ιστημι istēmi, "to stand" lit Focus is prioritized by an "algedonic loop" feedback: a sensitivity to both pain and pleasure.
In the 1990s Gordon Pask pointed out von Foerster's H and Hmax were not independent and interacted via countably infinite recursive concurrent spin processes (he favoured the Bohm interpretation) which he called concepts (liberally defined in any medium, "productive and, incidentally reproductive"). Andrew Gordon Speedie Pask (* June 28 1928 in Derby; † March 28 1996 London) was an English cybernetician and psychologist who In Quantum mechanics, spin is a fundamental property of atomic nuclei, Hadrons and Elementary particles For particles with non-zero spin The Bohm interpretation of Quantum mechanics, sometimes called Bohmian mechanics, the ontological interpretation, or the causal interpretation His strict definition of concept "a procedure to bring about a relation" permitted his theorem "Like concepts repel, unlike concepts attract" to state a general spin based Principle of Self-organization. His edict, an exclusion principle, "There are No Doppelgangers" means no two concepts can be the same (all interactions occur with different perpectives making time incommensurable for actors). Andrew Gordon Speedie Pask (* June 28 1928 in Derby; † March 28 1996 London) was an English cybernetician and psychologist who Andrew Gordon Speedie Pask (* June 28 1928 in Derby; † March 28 1996 London) was an English cybernetician and psychologist who This means, after sufficient duration as differences assert, all concepts will attract and coalesce as pink noise and entropy increases (and see Big Crunch, self-organized criticality). Pink noise or 1/f noise is a signal or process with a Frequency spectrum such that the power spectral density is Proportional In Thermodynamics (a branch of Physics) entropy, symbolized by S, is a measure of the unavailability of a system ’s Energy In Physical cosmology, the Big Crunch is one possible scenario for the Ultimate fate of the universe, in which the Metric expansion of space eventually In Physics, self-organized criticality (SOC is a property of (classes of Dynamical systems which have a critical point as an Attractor. The theory is applicable to all organizationally closed or homeostatic processes that produce endurance and coherence (also in the sense of Reshcher Coherence Theory of Truth with the proviso that the sets and their members exert repulsive forces at their boundaries) through interactions: evolving, learning and adapting. In Mathematics, the closure of a set S consists of all points which are intuitively "close to S " Endurantism or endurance theory is a philosophical theory of persistence and identity. In Physics, coherence is a property of waves that enables stationary (i Nicholas Rescher (born July 15, 1928 in Hagen, Germany) is an American philosopher, affiliated for many years with the eVolution is the third Album by eLDee, it was due to be released in 2008 In the fields of Neuropsychology, Personal development and Education, Learning is one of the most important Mental function of humans An adaptation is a characteristic of an Organism that has been favored by Natural selection and
Pask's Interactions of actors "hard carapace" model is reflected in some of the ideas of emergence and coherence. Andrew Gordon Speedie Pask (* June 28 1928 in Derby; † March 28 1996 London) was an English cybernetician and psychologist who For other uses see Emergence (disambiguation, Emergent, and Emergency. In Physics, coherence is a property of waves that enables stationary (i It requires a knot emergence topology that produces radiation during interaction with a unit cell that has a prismatic tensegrity structure. In Mathematics, knot theory is the area of Topology that studies mathematical knots While inspired by knots which appear in daily life in shoelaces For other uses see Emergence (disambiguation, Emergent, and Emergency. In Mineralogy and Crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of Atoms in a Crystal. For the movement system created by Carlos Castaneda, see Tensegrity (Castaneda Laughlin's contribution to emergence reflects some of these constraints. Robert Betts Laughlin (born November 1, 1950) is a professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University who together For other uses see Emergence (disambiguation, Emergent, and Emergency.
The self-organizing behaviour of social animals and the self-organization of simple mathematical structures both suggest that self-organization should be expected in human society. A society is a Population of Humans characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals that share a distinctive Culture and Institutions Tell-tale signs of self-organization are usually statistical properties shared with self-organizing physical systems (see Zipf's law, power law, Pareto principle). WikipediaWikiProject Probability#Standards for a discussion of standards used for probability distribution articles such as this one A power law is any Polynomial relationship that exhibits the property of Scale invariance. The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity) states that for many events 80% Examples such as Critical Mass, herd behaviour, groupthink and others, abound in sociology, economics, behavioral finance and anthropology. A critical mass is the smallest amount of Fissile material needed for a sustained Nuclear chain reaction. Herd behaviour describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing analyzing and evaluating ideas Sociology (from Latin: socius "companion" and the suffix -ology "the study of" from Greek λόγος lógos "knowledge" Economics is the social science that studies the production distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Behavioral economics and behavioral finance are closely related fields which apply scientific research on human and social cognitive and emotional factors to better Anthropology (/ˌænθɹəˈpɒlədʒi/ from Greek grc ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, "human" -λογία -logia) is the study of 
In social theory the concept of self-referentiality has been introduced as a sociological application of self-organization theory by Niklas Luhmann (1984). For Luhmann the elements of a social system are self-producing communications, i. e. a communication produces further communications and hence a social system can reproduce itself as long as there is dynamic communication. For Luhmann human beings are sensors in the environment of the system. Luhmann put forward a functional theory of society.
Self-organization in human and computer networks can give rise to a decentralized, distributed, self-healing system, protecting the security of the actors in the network by limiting the scope of knowledge of the entire system held by each individual actor. The Underground Railroad is a good example of this sort of network. The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and Safe houses used by 19th century Black slaves in the United States The networks that arise from drug trafficking exhibit similar self-organizing properties. The illegal drug trade or drug trafficking is a global Black market consisting of the cultivation manufacture distribution and sale of illegal Drugs Parallel examples exist in the world of privacy-preserving computer networks such as Tor. Tor ( The Onion Router) is a Free software implementation of second-generation Onion routing – a system enabling its users to communicate anonymously In each case, the network as a whole exhibits distinctive synergistic behavior through the combination of the behaviors of individual actors in the network. Usually the growth of such networks is fueled by an ideology or sociological force that is adhered to or shared by all participants in the network.
In economics, a market economy is sometimes said to be self-organizing. A market economy is a realized Social system based on the Division of labour in which the prices of Goods and Services are determined in a Friedrich Hayek coined the term catallaxy to describe a "self-organizing system of voluntary co-operation," in regard to capitalism. Friedrich August von Hayek CH ( May 8, 1899 March 23, 1992) was an Austrian British Economist Catallactics is the praxeological theory of the way the Free market system reaches Exchange ratios and Prices It aims to analyse all actions Most modern economists hold that imposing central planning usually makes the self-organized economic system less efficient. A planned economy or directed economy is an Economic system in which the Government or Workers' councils manages the Economy. By contrast, some socialist economists consider that market failures are so significant that self-organization produces bad results and that the state should direct production and pricing. Market failure is a concept within economic theory wherein the allocation of goods and services by a Free market is not efficient. Many economists adopt an intermediate position and recommend a mixture of market economy and command economy characteristics (sometimes called a mixed economy). A planned economy or directed economy is an Economic system in which the Government or Workers' councils manages the Economy. A mixed economy is an Economic system that incorporates aspects of more than one economic system
Non-thermodynamic concepts of entropy and self-organization have been explored by many theorists. Cliff Joslyn and colleagues and their so-called "global brain" projects. The Global Brain is a metaphor for the intelligent network formed by humans together with the knowledge and communication technologies that connect them Marvin Minsky's "Society of Mind" and the no-central editor in charge policy of the open sourced internet encyclopedia, called Wikipedia, are examples of applications of these principles - see collective intelligence. Marvin Lee Minsky (born August 9, 1927) is an American cognitive scientist in the field of Artificial intelligence (AI co-founder The Society of Mind is a book and theory of natural intelligence as written and developed by Marvin Minsky. ***************************************************************************************** * * Collective intelligence is a shared or group Intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals
Donella Meadows, who codified twelve leverage points that a self-organizing system could exploit to organize itself, was one of a school of theorists who saw human creativity as part of a general process of adapting human lifeways to the planet and taking humans out of conflict with natural processes. Donella "Dana" Meadows ( March 13, 1941 Elgin Illinois, USA - February 20, 2001, New Hampshire) was a pioneering The twelve leverage points to intervene in a system were proposed by Donella Meadows, a scientist and system analyst focused on environmental limits to economic growth See Gaia philosophy, deep ecology, ecology movement and Green movement for similar self-organizing ideals. Gaia philosophy (named after Gaia, Greek Goddess of the Earth) is a broadly inclusive term for related concepts that living organisms on Deep ecology is a recent branch of ecological Philosophy ( Ecosophy) that considers Humankind an integral part of its environment. The global ecology movement is based upon environmental protection and is one of several new Social movements that emerged at the end of the sixties. Green politics is a Political ideology which places a high importance on ecological and environmental goals and on achieving these goals through broad-based
Disertations and Theses on Self-organization