The discipline that "deals with complex systems formed of many physical particles of various species"
R. FIVAZ, who gives this definition, states: "Such systems generally are endowed of stationary states in which they subsist in the mean term. During this time, they deliver definite functions at a constant rate that maintain them in permanent interaction with the environment… The generic assumptions of morphodynamics include that order is acquired according to the leading modalities found in physics, namely through transitions on cusps, and that the structures so acquired perform the functions belonging to the stationary state" (1993, p.35).
R. FIVAZ writes: "Morphodynamics specifically concerns complex systems where structures and functions generate each other, i.e. each structure supports all or part of a function and each function participates in the maintenance of one or several structures" and "Morphodynamics considers complex systems as assemblies of distinct physical subsystems embedded in the natural environment. A morphodynamical system satisfies three constructive hypotheses:
1. Structural hypothesis: Each subsystem is ordered in structures specified by order parameters qi, coupled to external parameters; in technical terms, subsystems are driven far from equilibrium and switch structures according to bifurcation theory.
2. Functional hypothesis: Each subsystem carries out a function pi, at a rate depending on its order parameter; in technical terms, subsystems are open and exchange energy and matter with the outside.
3. Ergodic hypothesis: The natural environment includes a large set of external parameters li; that fluctuate randomly in time and/or in space; in technical terms, all configurations of this set of parameters are accessed in due time with equal probability" (1996, p. 128)
It should be observed that fluctuations need necessarily the time dimension. Also, while it appears basically correct, the ergodic hypothesis thus formulated is ambiguous: the "due time" is quite variable according to the different configurations..
As structures may interact in a nonlinear way, "in the long term, these compounded behaviors justify the repeated applications of the ergodic hypothesis" (Ibid).
FIVAZ proposes a formalism to sustain his ideas.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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