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2006) The dynamics of the internet can be analyzed through these properties, and the change and influence it has on the physical world can be determined through social network theory. Emergence can be stated as the property of a collection of independent systems to combine and form a more complex structure without being designed in such a fashion. “Man Buried in Haiti Rubble Uses i Phone to Treat Wounds, Survive”.
Certain properties appear to be inherent to CAS, such as: emergence, co-evolution with their environment, connectivity/feedback, iteration, nesting, and self organization (Freyer).
In fact, all of these properties are related to one another in many ways.
According to Peak and Frame, this can be done without violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics as the reduction in entropy only occurs locally, and the system will eventually fall into a disorganized state.
Clearly, the internet exhibits both of these traits.
A well known reference to emergence describes an object as being “greater than the sum of its parts”.
Emergence closely relates to self-organization (which can be considered analogous to a “grassroots” movement), in which a system experiences a reduction in entropy and becomes more organized without external influence (Peak and Frame, 1994). The company constantly iterated on its services: its search function was offered in dozens of languages, Gmail expanded its storage, image searching expanded to video, digital maps were updated to 3D, and various other miscellaneous services were added (Google). Year Open Data Went Worldwide.” Lecture TED Summit 2010. S and Jamali, H. “Shifts in Search Engine Development: A Review of Past, Present, and Future Trends in Research on Search Engines”. For Google to maintain their status as the world’s foremost information technology company is no small feat. Accessed 3/14/10. Future of the United States: Part I – The Future of the World Wide Web”. Nested systems, which might be thought of as fractals within the overall system, are self-similar replicas of the system at different scales, thus both changing and being affected by the system.In fact, the fractal dimension of the World Wide Web has been analyzed, and found to have a dimensionality of 4.1 (Kim et al. The very existence of search engines are a product of the various characteristics of CAS, and Google soon became the dominant search engine due to its superior algorithms which efficiently and effectively catalog the entire Web for the end user (Asadi). As greater numbers of people began using Google, it went through rapid co-evolution; it began to offer other services, such as email, image searching, digital maps, and more. Viewed from another angle, this is simply a feedback loop, which results in further and further iterations of the original system; co-evolution, iteration, and feedback are inseparable from each other, and are different “angles” of the same process. Google stands as a prime example of these three properties. Emergence can spontaneously occur through self-organization (Peak and Frame, 1994).Feedback loops in the emergent system result in co-evolution, which in turn lead to further iterations of the system.