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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
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


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

some basic concepts
SFI CSSS 2011Complexity ChallengeSome 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 ChallengeMore concepts...

Failure: a significant, systemic loss of function

Fragility: sensitivity to failure.

Robustness: resistance to failure.

Resilience: capacity to recover from failure.