Challenge complexity and fragility
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Challenge: Complexity and Fragility. Ryan Baird, Chris Glazner, Michael Lightfoot, Frances Moore, Shweta Singh, Lydia Smith, Miles Townes, Jason Veneman, Nini Zhang.

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Challenge: Complexity and Fragility

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Challenge complexity and fragility

SFI CSSS 2011Complexity Challenge

Challenge: Complexity and Fragility

Ryan Baird, Chris Glazner, Michael Lightfoot,Frances Moore, Shweta Singh, Lydia Smith, Miles Townes, Jason Veneman, Nini Zhang


Challenge complexity and fragility

Short-term survival and an exuberant plunge into building our future are generating a new kind of unintended consequence—hidden fragility. This is a direct effect of the sophistication and structural complexity of the socio-technical systems humans create. It is inevitable. And so the challenge is.. How much can we understand and predict about these systems and about the social dynamics that lead to their construction?

The Challenge:

SFI CSSS 2011Complexity Challenge


Example air travel passenger miles traveled per month january 1996 to march 2011

SFI CSSS 2011Complexity Challenge

Example: Air Travel(Passenger Miles Traveled per month, January 1996 to March 2011)


Example us banking industry

SFI CSSS 2011Complexity Challenge

Example: US Banking Industry


Some basic concepts

SFI CSSS 2011Complexity Challenge

Some basic concepts....

Socio-technical systems combine technological knowledge and social environment.

Complex systems consist of multiple components, each component active in different domains and structured in its own right, interconnected in ways that lead to emergent collective behaviors and spontaneous architectural re-organization.


More concepts

SFI CSSS 2011Complexity Challenge

More concepts...

Failure: a significant, systemic loss of function

Fragility: sensitivity to failure.

Robustness: resistance to failure.

Resilience: capacity to recover from failure.


Example again banking crisis

SFI CSSS 2011Complexity Challenge

Example, again: Banking Crisis


Challenge complexity and fragility

SFI CSSS 2011Complexity Challenge

-Dave Ackley, 2011


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