Concept and Definition of Complexity

Concept and Definition of Complexity

Russell K. Standish (UNSW, Australia)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-717-1.ch004
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The term complexity is used informally both as a quality and as a quantity. As a quality, complexity has something to do with our ability to understand a system or object—we understand simple systems, but not complex ones. On another level, complexity is used as a quantity when we talk about something being more complicated than another. In this chapter, we explore the formalisation of both meanings of complexity, which happened during the latter half of the twentieth century.

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