Complexity change in system’s structure as a result of space symmetry rupture: an example from transport system

Ruzzenenti, Franco and Basosi, Riccardo (2008) Complexity change in system’s structure as a result of space symmetry rupture: an example from transport system. In: Shape and Thermodynamics, International Workshop Florence 2008, 25-26 September 2008, Florence.


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Constructal theory predicts structures, both in nature and in human artefacts, tend to optimize flow access. The systems’ architecture develops from a principle of maximization of one function under local constrains. The domain of this optimization is a continuous space. We would like here to advance an example in which the system structure is reshaped in a more energy intensive fashion as to maximize the components’ interactions due to a symmetry rupture in the space. Flows throughout the system are thereby incremented in a discontinuous way by a complexity leap. Nevertheless, the complexity leap is a step of the developmental pattern that displays the same trend in constructal theory’s models: flow maximization. In this paper, we analyze how the productive system evolved its structure, between 1970s and 1990s, to maximize interactions among its parts and thus further develop the transport sub-system. A two-stage shift has been considered: the fordian and the postfordian productive structure. The second structure, given the same amount of parts, has been shown to increase the degree of freedom (path length and path diversity) of the system. The underlying evolutionary pattern is then analyzed. This evolutionary pattern relies on the hypothesis that thermodynamic evolutionary systems are characterized by an ever growing influx of energy driven into the system by self-catalytic processes that must find their way through the constraints of the system. The system initially disposes of the energy by expanding, in extent and in the number of components, up to saturation due to inner or outer constraints. The two counteractive forces, constraints and growing energy flux, expose the systems to new gradients. Every new gradient upon the system represents a symmetry rupture in the components’ space. By exploring a new gradient, the system imposes further restrictions on its components and increases its overall degree of freedom.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Uncontrolled Keywords: space symmetry rupture, structural complexity, complexity leap
Subjects: 600 Tecnologia - Scienze applicate > 620 Ingegneria e attivita' affini > 621 Fisica applicata; Ingegneria meccanica
700 Arti, Belle arti e Arti decorative > 720 Architettura (Classificare qui le opere d'insieme su Architettura, Urbanistica e Paesistica)
Depositing User: FUP firenze university press
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 20 May 2010 12:03

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