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Entropy vs. Majorization: What Determines Complexity?

Department of Marine Sciences, Texas A&M University at Galveston, P.O. Box 1675, Galveston, TX 77553, USA
School of Marine Science and Policy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Entropy 2014, 16(7), 3793-3807;
Received: 18 April 2014 / Revised: 10 June 2014 / Accepted: 1 July 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
The evolution of a microcanonical statistical ensemble of states of isolated systems from order to disorder as determined by increasing entropy, is compared to an alternative evolution that is determined by mixing character. The fact that the partitions of an integer N are in one-to-one correspondence with macrostates for N distinguishable objects is noted. Orders for integer partitions are given, including the original order by Young and the Boltzmann order by entropy. Mixing character (represented by Young diagrams) is seen to be a partially ordered quality rather than a quantity (See Ruch, 1975). The majorization partial order is reviewed as is its Hasse diagram representation known as the Young Diagram Lattice (YDL).Two lattices that show allowed transitions between macrostates are obtained from the YDL: we term these the mixing lattice and the diversity lattice. We study the dynamics (time evolution) on the two lattices, namely the sequence of steps on the lattices (i.e., the path or trajectory) that leads from low entropy, less mixed states to high entropy, highly mixed states. These paths are sequences of macrostates with monotonically increasing entropy. The distributions of path lengths on the two lattices are obtained via Monte Carlo methods, and surprisingly both distributions appear Gaussian. However, the width of the path length distribution for diversity is the square root of the mixing case, suggesting a qualitative difference in their temporal evolution. Another surprising result is that some macrostates occur in many paths while others do not. The evolution at low entropy and at high entropy is quite simple, but at intermediate entropies, the number of possible evolutionary paths is extremely large (due to the extensive branching of the lattices). A quantitative complexity measure associated with incomparability of macrostates in the mixing partial order is proposed, complementing Kolmogorov complexity and Shannon entropy. View Full-Text
Keywords: mixing; majorization; complexity mixing; majorization; complexity
MDPI and ACS Style

Seitz, W.; Kirwan, A.D., Jr. Entropy vs. Majorization: What Determines Complexity? Entropy 2014, 16, 3793-3807.

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