Guided Self-Organisation (GSO)
Self-organisation is the evolution of a system into an organised form in the absence of external influences. It brings many attractive properties to systems such as robustness, adaptability and scalability. Self-organising systems can be found practically everywhere: a heated fluid forms regular convection patterns, neuronal ensembles self-organise into complex spike patterns, insect swarms change shape in response to an approaching predator, and ecosystems develop spatial structures in response to diminishing resources.
The emerging field of guided self-organisation (GSO) explores the possibility of channelling self-organisation within a system in order to achieve a desirable pattern or outcome.
GSO attempts to reconcile two seemingly opposing forces: guiding a self-organising system into a better structured shape and/or functionality, while diversifying the options in an entropic exploration within the available search space. GSO supposes that, rather than trying to precisely control a transition towards the desirable outcomes, you can put in place some constraints on the system dynamics to mediate behaviours and interactions.
We approach GSO by examining the information processing properties of systems. In doing so, we aim to quantify their structure, function, and constraints in a rigorous, system-independent fashion. We use information-theoretic measures of complexity, criticality, and computation (“information dynamics”), including transfer entropy and synergistic information. We also develop cross-disciplinary methods, relating between information theory and thermodynamics (“information thermodynamics”), game theory, as well as complex networks.
- Professor Mikhail Prokopenko
- Dr. Michael Harré
- Dr. Joseph Lizier
- Dr Ramil Nigmatullin
- Dr Richard Spinney
Honorary Associates at the University of Sydney
- Professor Nihat Ay
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in The Sciences, Leipzig, Germany
- Professor Carlos Gershenson
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México
- Professor Daniel Polani
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom
- Professor Justin Werfel
Harvard University, Cambridge, USA