Overview of analytic frameworks for complex adaptive systems and how those may apply to considerations of planning communities. Presented as graduate seminar in the School of Landscape Architecture at the University of New Mexico
A Foray Into Complexity Nancy K. Haydennkhayde@sandia.gov September 26, 2011
Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures. Lovell Drachman Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well- informed just to be undecided about them. Laurence J. PeteI havent a clue as to how my story will end. But thats all right. When you set out on a journey and night covers the road, thats when you discover the stars.Nancy WillardLife is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.Thomas Merton
Outline• Definitions – What constitutes a system? – What does it mean to be simple? complex? adaptive?• System Dynamics – What kinds of systems are there and how do they behave? – What are the structures, properties and behaviors of CAS? – How are they measured?• Wicked Problems• Application to Terrorism and National Security – Shaping and/or predicting behaviors
DefinitionsSystem:an internally organized whole where elements are so intimately connected that they operate as one in relation to external conditions and other systems. An element may be defined as the minimal unit performing a definite function in the whole.Every system forms a whole, but not every whole is a system. Complex system : one whose elements may also be regarded as systems or subsystems. Structure: implies not only the position of elements in space but also their movement in time, their sequence and rhythm, the law of mutation of a process. It is the law or set of laws that determine a systems composition and functioning, its properties and stability. Any breakdown in structure, any deformation of an organ leads to a distortion of the function. Function organizes structure. Structure determines function
Some Important SystemCharacteristics to ConsiderClosed or OpenStatic or DynamicBounded or unboundedEquilibrium or DisequilibriumOrdered, Complex, Chaos and/or Random
System Dynamics• Structure:defined by components and composition• Behavior:involves inputs, processing and outputs of material, energy, information, or data• Interconnectivity:the various parts of a system have functional as well as structural relationships to each other.• Interactions:cooperative/competitive; directional; positive/negative; attracting/repelling; linear/non-linear; ….
Change Mechanisms in Systems Vary inTiming, Intentionality, Discovery• Mutation:random or accidental variation (DNA sequencing)• Evolution (Darwin): natural selection of mutants with improved fitness; occurs smoothly and continuously over many generations• Co-evolution:the existence of one species is tightly bound up with the life of another species• Learning: acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences; may involve synthesizing different types of information (imitation, repetition).• Adaptation: processes whereby elements in a system become better suited to their environment (three levels)• Punctuated Equilibrium (Gould, Mayer): systems remain in an extended state of stasis for most of their history. Significant evolutionary change occurs rarely, and when it does so, it is rapid and involves branching speciation (discovery, innovation, surprise)
Causal LoopDiagram withFeedback System Dynamics modeling yields non- intuitive insights into relationships between stocks, flows, and agent interactions.
Putting it all together: Frame the ProblemSystem Complexity Analysis approach depends on what question is being asked, in what timeframe Question Epistemology
Social Complexity Creates “Wicked Problems”A wicked problem is one for which each attempt to create a solutionchanges the understanding of the problem. Wicked problems cannot besolved in a traditional linear fashion, because the problem definitionevolves as new possible solutions are considered and/or implemented.
Wicked Problems1. There is no definitive formulation of “the problem”… …you don’t understand it till you solve it.2. There is no end to the problem.3. Solutions are not true-or-false, but good-or-bad.4. There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to the problem. Every instantiation of the problem is essentially unique.5. Every solution to the problem is a “one-shot operation”; because there is no opportunity to learn by trial-and-error, every attempt counts significantly.6. There is not an enumerable set of potential solutions, nor is there a well-described set of permissible operations that may be incorporated into a plan.7. The problem is actually a symptom of another problem.8. The existence of discrepancies when representing the problem can be explained in numerous ways.
Terrorism is a Complex ProblemThe key is to better understand the future—plan to change it, and change it scenario Logistics/ driven Multidimensional hypothesis Infrastructure Games MOADB Social/ Red, Blue, Green indications psychological White, Purple & warnings enhanced Simulation collection Knowledge Network smart decision making individuals and groups increase warn first hope manipulate - deceive - responders control - dissuade - deter - destroy mitigate Reality
Terrorism: It’s About People •Poor economic conditions and low human Capital Development in Arab world will continue •Cultural Histories, ethnic tensions, hate, superstition, conspiracy…will continue to expound victimization narratives •Role of US/Israel as crusaders against backdrop of changing balance of powers (EU, Asia,..)Samuel Huntington The Clash of Civilizations •Fundamental religious movements will continue (?) to foster rebellion against modernism
Complexity Science Yields New Analysis Paradigms Santa Fe Institute Workshop April 10-11, 2003 How Complex Adaptive Systems Dynamics are Related to Understanding and Modeling Terrorist Behavior Sandia, Argonne, LANL, CIA, DTRA, MITRE, Navy Cornell, U of Penn, Intel, CMU, Icosystems, USAF, Galisteo, Humana, Alidade, U of Maryland, MIIS,Intrinsic network features Brookings Institutetranscend domains
Network Architectures Connected Ring Small Worlds Ring Freshwater TB Contagion Food Web Giant StarHigh SchoolFriendships Trees Weak Links CliquesYeast Proteins High School Dating Web Sites Books on Politics
Scale Free NetworksGrowth by Preferential Attachment “Rich get Richer”
Sample Questions• Who are key players & what makes them so?• Where are the trust networks?• How do ideas transmit, how long-lasting are they, and can they be changed?• What are critical links in supply chains?• When does disruption cause innovation versus defeat?• Where are the power centers?• How will people respond to new systems?
Systems Thinking and National Security Intelligence/security AnalystsSystem Complexity Remote Sensing Academic emphasis Evidentiary Law Enforcement Reasoning Case Studies Red Teaming Field Surveys Gaming Observation Statistical Analysis Network Analysis Table Top Social Network Exercises Analysis Modeling & Simulation Question Epistemology
SummaryComplex adaptive systems – Are wicked, purposeful, and unpredictable – Are not the only kinds of systems desired – Develop structure to serve function • Can be understood by observing structure • Can be shaped by their structure • Emergent behavior can be anticipated/measured using structural metrics – Co-evolve with other CAS – Create new CAS