James P. Crutchfield ,
University of California at Davis,
Complexity Sciences Center
Abstract: 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 Nemetic Approach to Predicting Black Swans
Nemetic Institute of Art and Science Kolkata
Predicting Black Swans Part 1
June 29, 2103
"The question is how do we deal with (Black Swans)
It is easy to deal with any complex system if we are able to predict their behavior over time.
However, the idea of prediction is a bit different from our usual idea of prediction. Our usual idea about prediction is, if we know sufficiently about the behavior at any point of time, we would be able to predict the behavior of a system any time in the future.
. . .The good news is that the behavior of any complex system can be monitored and predicted for black swans, a little in advance, before it strikes us with full force to bring the system to its knees.
In order to predict black swans we need to know of one very peculiar phenomenon of any complex system. That is a complex system behaves linearly for most of its time when it is free from a black swan or an outlier. Then as a black swan slowly creeps into the system the system suddenly behaves non-linearly. When it behaves linearly it gives us a false sense of security. We feel everything is fine and hunky dory and would stay like that forever. We take pride in our design.
. . . By understanding this phenomenon clearly, we can ‘predict’ a black swan or an outlier very easily. It is deceptively simple. Simpler than what we perceive it to be.
Once the presence of a black swan is detected, much before it actually happens, we are left with enough time on our hands to deal with it effectively and skillfully. It also leaves us with the possibility to dramatically improve the system big time.
Predicting Black Swans Part 2
July 7, 2013
In this post, I intend to explore the concept a bit more: what exactly we monitor to notice a ‘black swan’ in time?. . .
. . . So the natural way to watch a system to expect a ‘black swan’ in time, is to keep a tab on the ‘energy’ of a system in the following ways:
a) Monitor the entropy of a system. As a system functions the entropy of a system gradually rises till it hits a threshold limit indicating the appearance of a ‘black swan’ or an outlier.
b) Monitor the energy gain of a system till it crosses the ‘resilience’ point to give birth to a ‘black swan’, outlier or a ‘wicked problem’.
c) Monitor critical parts of a system for excess emission of energy till it goes beyond the linear response of a part.