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Entropy 2009, 11(4), 993-1000; doi:10.3390/e11040993

Dispersal (Entropy) and Recognition (Information) as Foundations of Emergence and Dissolvence

University Hospital Centre, 46, Rue du Bugnon, CH-1011 Lausanne–CHUV, Switzerland
Received: 15 October 2009 / Accepted: 27 November 2009 / Published: 3 December 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information and Entropy)
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The objective of this essay is to reflect on a possible relation between entropy and emergence. A qualitative, relational approach is followed. We begin by highlighting that entropy includes the concept of dispersal, relevant to our enquiry. Emergence in complex systems arises from the coordinated behavior of their parts. Coordination in turn necessitates recognition between parts, i.e., information exchange. What will be argued here is that the scope of recognition processes between parts is increased when preceded by their dispersal, which multiplies the number of encounters and creates a richer potential for recognition. A process intrinsic to emergence is dissolvence (aka submergence or top-down constraints), which participates in the information-entropy interplay underlying the creation, evolution and breakdown of higher-level entities.
Keywords: entropy; dispersal; information; recognition; coherent behavior; emergence; dissolvence entropy; dispersal; information; recognition; coherent behavior; emergence; dissolvence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Testa, B. Dispersal (Entropy) and Recognition (Information) as Foundations of Emergence and Dissolvence. Entropy 2009, 11, 993-1000.

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