Characteristic of a relation in which the variable is multiplied or divided by coefficients themselves variable.
"What comes out of a nonlinear equation isn't proportional to what goes in; unlike linear equations, they may contain feedbacks and thresholds and other features that can yield complicated results "(C. ZIMMER, 2000, p.84)
Some examples are: exponential, or logistic, or asymptotic growth, cyclical variations and chaotic behavior.
According to F. BAILLY, F. GAILL and R. MOSSERS, "Nonlinearity corresponds to the growing complexification process associated with iteration, as in morphogenetic complexification. A mere linear iteration would be purely additive and unable to account for a progressive, structural and functional complexification."(1991, p.58).
Any iteration, in order to lead to complexity, must go with the creation of specific links, i.e. restricted ones in relation to all the potentially possible ones, but still not merely additive.
L. DOUGLAS KIEL observes: "(their) sensivity to initial conditions means that nonlinear systems are historical systems. Furthermore, nonlinear systems are a result of both determinism and chance. While the history of the system determines its evolution, the element of chance, ranging from the nature of external shocks to changing internal dynamics, plays an essential role in the evolution of the system" (1992, p.34).
This formulation seems somewhat ambiguous.
It should be clearer to say that, in the history of any system, pure determinism is perceived as having reigned until the present moment, because the system reached its present state through one and only one line of transformations, while more or less chaotic determinism becomes dominant into its future.
Moreover, while the term "evolution" is very frequently applied to the adaptive transformations of systems, this use is questionable: Individual systems do not undergo evolution, but merely some occasional mutation, which becomes immediately fixed (if not lethal and if transmitted).
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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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