Encyclopedia > Emergence

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Emergence is the process of deriving some new and coherent structures, patterns and properties in a complex system. Emergent phenomena occur due to the pattern of interactions between the elements of a system over time. Emergent phenomena are often unexpected, nontrivial results of relatively simple interactions of relatively simple components.

What distinguishes a complex system from a merely complicated one is that some behaviours and patterns emerge in complex systems as a result of the patterns of relationship between the elements.

See also: Emergent algorithms

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