Systems Science, Complexity, and Networks
A complex system is a large network of relatively simple components with no central control, in which emergent complex behavior is exhibited. The complexity of the system's global behavior is typically characterized in terms of the patterns it forms, the information processing that it accomplishes, and the degree to which this pattern formation and information processing are adaptive for the system, that is, increase its success in some evolutionary or competitive context. Systems thinking can be seen as a reaction to the failure of natural science when confronted with complex, real-world problems set in social systems. This chapter describes the four paradigms of systems thinking are: Hard systems thinking (HST), Soft systems thinking (SST), Critical systems thinking (CST) and Multimodal systems thinking (MST). Complex adaptive system (CAS) theory attempts to categorize the common characteristics of complex systems, wherein individual agents interact and compete for resources within their environment.