Thursday, May 31, 2007

Use of emergent (desired or not) states to define agents in a system?

"Under construction"

      A system, as is defined by agents and rule-based agent interactions in endless repetition, will accumulate necessary complexity for selection processes to dictate emergent states. Systems that are based on human individuals as agents, it is very likely and quite desirable to intervene towards the emergence of specific states. As emergence is a process that do not hold to prescription such an intervention towards specific states should, if it is to succeed, direct its intervening action towards the rules that govern agent interactions. One such system that specific emergent states are highly sought after are educational establishments, schools in particular. Does a desired emergent state would be expected to define the agents ia school system? What are the agents of a school system? The case goes; did she take into account my contribution to the school educational product, this day? No. Why not? It is not in her job specification. This is not what she is expected to do. She is required to administer not to judge, educational value. Administration works by virtue of checklists. No room for individual reflection. There are specific sessions for that, sessions for reflections. For all other occasions there are the checklists.
So there is a field of expertise where each one, let us say "excels" in the field. But if an administrator excels in its field, would that necessarily mean the service the work deals with, namely educational value, does actually benefit from this? Why should it benefit? The field excelled is administrative. Administration of its personnel. One of it is choosing the personnel suitable for the job. So would that be significant to the educational value product? It should be as the good teacher would increase educational value. The argument continues shortly ...

     Why should we think she is more important than any of the teachers in the school? No she is not. The main product of the school is educational value and this does not happen in her office.It happens in the classrooms. She is dealing with the bureaucratic aspect of the school system and she should never assume status not conferred by the very nature of the product offered by the establishment administered. Namely educational value. She should feel being the servant in the whole process and not the master.

      And along to the structure of the system of the school. She is dealing with the linear aspect of the processes that take place in the environment of the school, the system of the school. So, can we continue with the thought about the role of administration in establishments? As the keepers of the current state of an establishment, by virtue of the linear processes they are involved into. That brings the case of remuneration. Would that justify high earnings? Why administration should be regarded as of paramount importance, unassailable from criticism, to a great extent. Is it, notions of self-importance develop disproportionate to the specifications? To be resolved .... The non-linear and the one, we can accept as by definition, which produces the highest value in the educational product it is the one that takes place in the classroom, where the pupil engages itself in the processes that define and the same is defined by the system of school. Oops, self-reference! Self-referential! What is the significance of that observation? Is it significant or is it circumstantial? The system and its state space.

     Should we look for agents in a system according to the content of the emerging states. Emergence as defined as a result of evolutionary processes. Evolutionary processes defined by development in the states achieved, by mainly chaotic processes. Chaos as the creator of information. The evolution of the chaos developed states, pertain to the chaos-created states being checked against the conditions and features of the system, for a best fit state resolution, John Holland at work. The emergent state is different from a desired state, a goal directed therefore highly expected. However that does not dismiss the want of the emergent states according to a wish list. A wish list that directs emergent states toward desired states. The whole process is a result of intervention actions directed at specific points in the process space. Organisation of the system should have space and time elements. Or more likely assume fractal qualities? Fractal dimensions?

     Would the emergent state, desired or not, define in the system, its rules and its agents? Is it right to assume an emergent state-directed definition of agents? Taken in account the emergent product, let us say for schools the emergent product being, the vaguely defined educational value. How would educational value be defined? Learning objectives. Pupils own knowledge structures developing. Not only. Teachers as well, their knowledge structures develop too. Knowledge structures, in both cases, are different. What is the same is the process of development. The development from one state to another. Desirability determines this development as improvement. An improved knowledge structure. An improved knowledge state for both pupils and teachers.

     So, the tendency of improving the knowledge structure states should define the rules in the system. Should be used as guidelines when determining the organisation of establishments that deal with this product. And is should continue ...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Chaos related musings

     So the chaos situation or state refers to the behaviour of systems and that behaviour depends so sensitively to the system's precise initial conditions, and because of that, it is unpredictable and appears as a random process, but it is deterministic, approached from a mathematical viewpoint. Additionally, should point out, that even a very small perturbation can have a very large effect on a system. The system is geared up, amplifying minute changes in values of parameters and variables connected with its initial conditions, to very large values in other dependent variables and parameters in the system, which give rise to the intense behaviour of chaos. The amplification is exponential and it appears as a result of nonlinear functions between the variables involved in a system.

     P. S. de Laplace's statement, "We ought then to regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its preceding state and the cause of its succeeding state", brings out clearly the situations governing all chaotic systems the cause and effect relationships and the importance of pre-existing conditions in determining its current state.

     In general deterministic systems can evolve to unpredictably random behaviour, chaotic behaviour. Though, actually, it appears to us as random, primarily as a limitation of our sensory apparatus, as well as, of the limitations of our cognitive abilities. So despite our inability to discern the determinism of the chaotic processes, deterministic chaos exists and is responsible for complexity and finally emergence.

Misplaced character of deterministic

     Is it correct to regard determinism as defunct, when it comes to consider the nature's workings? It is suggested, that human evolution is not deterministic, by invoking the argument that the laws of evolution should have built into them anticipation of all events possible. One of many assumptions possible stemming from our inability to discern the underlying causes of changes in nature. The laws of evolution do not require to have all outomes possible, the multitude of all configurations of states possible, to account for state configurations, with far removed possibilities to be adapted by a system. It is more economical to account for states with a greater chance of being adapted, an attracting range of state configurations, a chaotic attractor, as deterministic chaos dictates. And this is the anticipation built, in the laws of evolution.

     The anticipation, so described, can be similar to the anticipation John Holland invokes, for neural networks. "Elements in a stimulus sequence not yet seen, are anticipated by the corresponding extrasensitive assemblies". Stimulus sequences are of similar nature, as of John Holland's reverberating cell assemblies. What about the corresponding extrasensitive assemblies? What would their equivalent be, in human evolution? Certainly, these should be the procceses most prevalent at any time in the course of human evolution. The ones, that once they have been selected, multiplied, became dominant, reinforced in the agent populations. Reinforced processes,(practises customs), become extrasensitive, by virtue of their sheer numbers in the agent populations, for the system. They provide the response to presented stimulus sequences and determine the succeding states. Anticipation is inherent, as the chaotic attractor set of states, is an attracrting set and even if it is preturbed off the attractor, it eventually ends up in the set.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Deliberating on chaos lever points

     "I wanted to learn more about lever points: those places and events in a complex adaptive system where a small force can be used to great effect, due to sensitivity to initial conditions."
                              "Website extract on John Holland's work"

     It appears that the application of a small force will give the anticipated larger effect only if it is applied on the conditions that are identified as being initial. By referring to initial conditions, in a sense we are referring to the conditions that gave rise to the whole of the system, its foundations. On this premise it is no wonder that any slight shift in its fundamental principles will certainly cause an extensive shake-up of the system, an earthquake, as it would ripple through its entire structure, from its very foundations to the top echelons of its structure, producing a much greater effect compared to the size of the slight shift of a parameter that constitutes initial condition of the system.

      Output parameters would therefore propagate exponentially to input; in a nonlinear fashion output marching in tens, hundreds or thousands of steps for every step trodden by input in contrast to linear propagation where input is matched step by step by output in its progress.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Establishing the emergence framework with a checklist to identify its occurence in individual cases

      Emergence is pervasive in world phenomena and we should have a checklist to recognise and identify the relevant features. This bulleted list is an attempt to recognise such phenomena drawn out of the understanding built from a variety of disciplines.

  • It gives rise to totaly new entities

  • New entities transcend their origins

  • Entities possess their own set of features. They are emergent features.

  • Emergent features bear no relevance to the entity's features it originates

  • The new entities act as a whole which is more than the sum of its parts

  • It builts hierarchy

  • It organises reality into hierarchical levels

  • Entities act as adaptive agents in the environment

  • Each adaptive agent creates its own set of rules of contact

  • Adaptive agents and their immediate environment comprise the system

  • Adaptive agents act in their hierarchy level, to produce emergent behaviour

  • Emergent behaviour gives rise to the next level in the hierarchy

  • Adaptive agents are oblivious to the rules of the level it sprung out of

  • Action from some rules can leak out to higher levels in the hierarchy

  • Leak-out action can impair organisation in the hierarchical level it leaks in

  • Adaptive agents and environment built hierarchical structures

  • Hierarchical structures co-exist and can overlap each other

  • Overlapping hierarchical structures can be oblivious of each other

  • Overlapping hierarchical structures interaction can only be if their respective adaptive agents interact

  • Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Verb usage in description of events reveal the dynamic processes involved

         Verb usage, in oral or textual description of events, in any level or context, reveal the processes involved and the corresponding value-changes in the variables that trigger these processes. By focusing on the process described by the verb we recognise the variables and their value changes.

          The value change might be an increase or decrease or alternations between discrete component arrangements in our environment. Our sense organs are built to detect, increase/decrease in variable values and changes from state to state.

          The increase of complexity in our environment, is matched by an ever increasing neural network of subtle composite detection methods and is reflected in language structure by the introduction of verbs describing ever more complex processes.

         We perceive the world around us by value changes, we accumulate knowledge about the world based on changing variables, and our language structure reflects our environment detection mode. Should there not then be, a change of scope in how language is taught?

    Verbs define processes

         The world that surrounds us is perpetually in motion, costantly changing. Myriad of processes unfold, develop, interact, act from an agent perspective or being acted upon by other agents. They flow from subjects to objects and are responsible for the changes we observe or participate.

         Every process unfolds as a result of a change in value of a variable, dependent or independent, characteristic in a particular environment, the change in the initial conditions trigger other processes and induce further change.

         In our every day speech, in language, we use verbs to describe the processes that happen around us. Every sentence we construct, we utter, is about the value-change triggered processes, developing in our immediacy.

         A temperature rise in the room brings about responses like "I am boiling here", "Turn off the heating" etc, the verbs in the sentences describe the processes taking place, the effects incurred upon us or upon the environment, the source, the direction, the potency of the change involved. We have thousands of verbs to record myriad processes in a multitude of contexts.

          Our use of language bears witness of the effects incurred by the multitude of changing variables present in our environment and responded since its inception by inventing verbs to describe the processes triggered.