This a list of books that we have found interesting and useful for learning more about recent research and thoughts on complex systems.
My introduction to "Complexity Science". Easy and fun read. Not very technical.
Introduction to Chaos theory. Similar in style to “Complexity”. Easy and fun to read.
These books are the best books that go one step further into the details of complex systems.
“Evolving Hierarchical Systems”
“The Sciences of the Artificial”
Mostly information theory
Biological base – life systems
The books are also good for going one level deeper into understanding complex systems
"Signs of Life"
Sole and Goodwin
“At Home in the Universe”
Similar to “Investigations” by Kauffman, but written earlier.
"A New Kind of Science"
Very large book. Received mixed reviews, but we liked it. Could have used some editing. Jury is out, but we think he may be onto something here. Could change the world of science in the long run.
These books aren't very technical, but explore real world systems for further understanding.
Social systems emphasis. Easy “light” read, but contains some good “real world” insights from years of field work with people based systems.
“The Tipping Point"
Contains some interesting insights into systems even though it is mostly anecdotal.
These systems and complexity books are more technical and challenging to read.
“Adaptation in Natural & Artificial Systems"
Forest Et al.
Summary of a conference. Very interesting papers on computer system use of emergence and complexity.
“The Recursive Universe”
Mostly analyzes Conway’s Artificial Life program and different permutations of structures that form in it.
“Modeling Complex Systems”
Uses mathematical models
“Parallel Distributed Processing" Vol I & II
Dense, but interesting papers on distributed processing. The future success of artificial intelligence will be based on ideas in this area.
“The Economy as an evolving Complex System”
Arthur, Durlanf, et al.
Summary of papers. Very dense reading.
These books emphasize evolution and memes. Evolution and memes (cultural equivalent to genes) are a very interesting life system processes.
“Darwins Dangerous Idea”
“Darwin among the machines"
“The Selfish Gene”
“The Extended Phenotype”
“The Electric Meme”
“The Dreams of Reason”
“The Lucifer Principle"
A dark but entertaining view of history from a systems point of view. Not very technical.
These books emphasize information theory. Storage and communication of information is a fundamental piece of system processes and functions.
“An Introduction to Information Theory”
“Programming the Universe”
"Decoding the Universe”
“The mathematical Theory of Communication”
Shannon & Weaver
Very technical and dense. From two of the pioneers of information theory.
These books are in the institute's library but haven't been fully explored yet.
“The Systems View of the World”
“The End of Certainty”
“The Elegant Universe"
“What Shape is a Snowflake”
“The Minds I"
Hofstadter and Dennett
“The Meme Machine"
“The Moral Animal”
“Flesh and Machines"
“On Numbers and Games"
“An Introduction to Genetic Algorithms”
“The evolution of civilizations"
"Increasing Returns and Path Dependence..."
“Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy”
“Fractals and Chaos”
“The Essence of Chaos"
“Applied Chaos Theory"
“Complex Systems Dynamics"
Ahl and Allen
"A Vision Vocabulary and Epistemology"
“Hierarchy Theory: ..."
"The Challenge of Complex Systems"
These books are very good. They are included because they are indirectly related to systems.
“Godel, Esher and Bach "
A mix of math, concepts in logic and story telling. Relates to some system concepts and consciousness. Very good book.
“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”
One of our favorite books of all time. Philosophical. Intertwines story with discussion of philosophy. Interesting intro to holistic thinking.
Intertwines philosophy with story in a similar manner as “Zen..” His concept of Dynamic and Static quality is related to the balance of chaos and order that is a very creative process in systems.
Very interesting book discussing the evolution of our understanding of particle physics. Emphasizes the importance of symmetry to this process.