Diversity and Complexity

Princeton University Press
Free sample

This book provides an introduction to the role of diversity in complex adaptive systems. A complex system--such as an economy or a tropical ecosystem--consists of interacting adaptive entities that produce dynamic patterns and structures. Diversity plays a different role in a complex system than it does in an equilibrium system, where it often merely produces variation around the mean for performance measures. In complex adaptive systems, diversity makes fundamental contributions to system performance.

Scott Page gives a concise primer on how diversity happens, how it is maintained, and how it affects complex systems. He explains how diversity underpins system level robustness, allowing for multiple responses to external shocks and internal adaptations; how it provides the seeds for large events by creating outliers that fuel tipping points; and how it drives novelty and innovation. Page looks at the different kinds of diversity--variations within and across types, and distinct community compositions and interaction structures--and covers the evolution of diversity within complex systems and the factors that determine the amount of maintained diversity within a system.


  • Provides a concise and accessible introduction

  • Shows how diversity underpins robustness and fuels tipping points

  • Covers all types of diversity

  • The essential primer on diversity in complex adaptive systems

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About the author

Scott E. Page is the Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan and an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute. He is the author of The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies (Princeton).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Nov 8, 2010
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781400835140
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Language
English
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Genres
Mathematics / Group Theory
Political Science / History & Theory
Science / Life Sciences / Biological Diversity
Social Science / Sociology / General
Social Science / Sociology / Marriage & Family
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 Biodiversity is the variety of life in a given range. Today, the world is under tremendous threat of unprecedented loss of biodiversity. Issues like global warming, environmental pollution, recurrent natural calamities and human population rise are of major concern for scientists all over the world.

The second edition of the book covers a complete range of the topics pertaining to the subject such as meaning of biodiversity, its history, importance of species diversity, systematics, determination of status of bioresources, pattern of distribution of global species, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity. It also elaborates on various drivers that lead to biodiversity loss and its impact on global climate. Moreover, the topics on biopiracy, related laws and policies, and the importance of indigenous knowledge of several communities are also described in the text. The use of biotechnology-based methods and various measures to preserve natural resources and conserve biodiversity is the highlight of the text. Moreover, the book provides a detailed account of the conservation measures of biodiversity, especially those implemented by the government.

This book is primarily designed for the undergraduate and postgraduate students of Environmental Science, Zoology and Botany. Besides, it will also be useful for postgraduate diploma or other professional courses in Environmental Science and also for the researchers.


NEW TO THE SECOND EDITION

• ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ are introduced in the chapter on Conservation Practice.

• Various sections have been revised and updated throughout the book.

• A few figures have been added and many others have been replaced for better illustration.

KEY FEATURES

• Explains the contemporary topics such as green accounting and sustainable management of natural resources in an easy-to-understand manner.

• Incorporates a number of photographs, flow charts, diagrams and tables.

• Provides chapter-end review questions to help students check their understanding of the subject.

• Includes MCQs (with answers given at the end of the book).

• Gives an elaborate glossary of technical terms to acquaint the students with the related terminologies.

In this landmark book, Scott Page redefines the way we understand ourselves in relation to one another. The Difference is about how we think in groups--and how our collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts. Why can teams of people find better solutions than brilliant individuals working alone? And why are the best group decisions and predictions those that draw upon the very qualities that make each of us unique? The answers lie in diversity--not what we look like outside, but what we look like within, our distinct tools and abilities.

The Difference reveals that progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality. Page shows how groups that display a range of perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts. Diversity yields superior outcomes, and Page proves it using his own cutting-edge research. Moving beyond the politics that cloud standard debates about diversity, he explains why difference beats out homogeneity, whether you're talking about citizens in a democracy or scientists in the laboratory. He examines practical ways to apply diversity's logic to a host of problems, and along the way offers fascinating and surprising examples, from the redesign of the Chicago "El" to the truth about where we store our ketchup.


Page changes the way we understand diversity--how to harness its untapped potential, how to understand and avoid its traps, and how we can leverage our differences for the benefit of all.

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