Nino Boccara – Modeling Complex Systems

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Nino Boccara – Modeling Complex Systems

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Nino Boccara – Modeling Complex Systems

This book explores the process of modeling complex systems in the widest sense of that term, drawing on examples from such diverse fields as ecology, epidemiology, sociology, seismology, as well as economics. It also provides the mathematical tools for studying the dynamics of these systems. Boccara takes a carefully inductive approach in defining what it means for a system to be “complex” (and at the same time addresses the equally elusive concept of emergent properties). This is the first text on the subject to draw comprehensive conclusions from such a wide range of analogous phenomena.

Review

From the reviews of the first edition:

JOURNAL OF PHYSICS A: MATHEMATICAL AND GENERAL

Review by M Schreckenberg, Fachbereich Physik, Duisburg-Essen University, Germany

“This book by Nino Boccara presents a compilation of model systems commonly termed as `complex’. It starts with a definition of the systems under consideration and how to build up a model to describe the complex dynamics. The subsequent chapters are devoted to various categories of mean-field type models (differential and recurrence equations, chaos) and of agent-based models (cellular automata, networks and power-law distributions). Each chapter is supplemented by a number of exercises and their solutions. … The book is written as a textbook for interested students as well as serving as a comprehensive reference for experts. It is an ideal source for topics to be presented in a lecture on dynamics of complex systems. This is the first book on this `wide’ topic and I have long awaited such a book. … In my opinion this is one of the best textbooks published during the last decade and even experts can learn a lot from it.”

“Boccara has written a self-contained textbook that covers topics from basic nonlinear mathematics to agent-based models for systems with spatiotemporal emergent behavior. His book is clearly written … illustrated and full of examples and good problems. … This book is a welcome addition to the field and would make an excellent textbook for advanced undergraduates. I would also recommend it to those wanting to learn about nonlinear and complex systems. … Boccara’s book is an excellent place to start to become acquainted with complex systems.” (Michael F. Shlesinger, Journal of Statistical Physics, Vol. 119 (3-4), May, 2005)

“This is an important book, of pedagogical use to a cohort of upcoming students and as an overview of the mathematical techniques currently available to the complex system manager. Your reviewer greatly enjoyed reading it and found much in it that was new and interesting and readily understandable.” (Dr. D. J. Jefferies, Contemporary Physics, Vol. 46 (1), 2005)

“Boccara’s Modeling Complex Systems is full of useful knowledge … . Every chapter contains a remarkable number of examples that mix classical and up-to-date models … . The ideal audience for Boccara’s book is first- or second-year physics graduate students who have had a one-semester course in modern statistical mechanics … . Readers so prepared will find the book clear and well worth reading. Modern Complex Systems should be the standard introductory textbook to the physics of complex systems for the foreseeable future.” (Cosma Shalizi, Physics Today, February, 2005)

“This nice book can serve as an introduction to modeling complex systems, but it can also be used both as a general presentation and as a reference book for anyone wanting to find in a single book on complex systems simultaneously models, modeling tools, examples, theoretical results and interesting applications. … Each chapter ends with exercises (and solutions). The book ends with a bibliography of more than 350 items, adding to its very good quality.” (Jean-Paul Allouche, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1072, 2005)

From the Back Cover

This book explores the process of modeling complex systems in the widest sense of that term, drawing on examples from such diverse fields as ecology, epidemiology, sociology, seismology, as well as economics. It also provides the mathematical tools for studying the dynamics of these systems. Boccara takes a carefully inductive approach in defining what it means for a system to be “complex” (and at the same time addresses the equally elusive concept of emergent properties). This is the first text on the subject to draw comprehensive conclusions from such a wide range of analogous phenomena.


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ino Boccara

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