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Complex Systems Science: Dreams of Universality, Reality of Interdisciplinarity

Authors
  • sebastian grauwin
  • Grauwin, Sebastian
  • Beslon, Guillaume
  • Fleury, Eric
  • Franceschelli, Sara
  • Robardet, Céline
  • Rouquier, Jean-Baptiste
  • Jensen, Pablo
Type
Preprint
Publication Date
Jun 10, 2012
Submission Date
Jun 10, 2012
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/asi.22644
arXiv ID: 1206.2216
Source
arXiv
License
Yellow
External links

Abstract

Using a large database (~ 215 000 records) of relevant articles, we empirically study the "complex systems" field and its claims to find universal principles applying to systems in general. The study of references shared by the papers allows us to obtain a global point of view on the structure of this highly interdisciplinary field. We show that its overall coherence does not arise from a universal theory but instead from computational techniques and fruitful adaptations of the idea of self-organization to specific systems. We also find that communication between different disciplines goes through specific "trading zones", ie sub-communities that create an interface around specific tools (a DNA microchip) or concepts (a network).

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