Complex Systems

Complexity as a Linguistic Variable Download PDF

Ali Sanayei
Department of Electrical Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran
Member in Group on Statistical & Nonlinear Physics, American Physical Society


One of the problematic aspects of "complexity" is still its definition. We encounter many definitions and criteria for a system being "complex" from different points of view, some of which give rise to contradictory results. For a given system some definitions deduce that the system is complex, but others lead to the opposite result. An attempt is made to deal with the concept of "complexity" from a new viewpoint. A look at the "fuzzy logic" approach is suggested as an appropriate way to better understand what "complexity" is. The new idea is to find a definition of "complexity" based on linguistic variables (one of the foundations of fuzzy logic). To do this, we distinguish "system" from the corresponding "model" as a specific interpretation of the "system". We conclude that "complex" is a most appropriate adjective for "models" but not for "systems". Far from claiming to have come closer to the ultimate definition of "complexity", hereby only a window is opened to see "complex models" in a new way.