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Diagram: Requisite Variety

Requisite Variety

The quantity and breadth of a system's adaptive potential is its 'requisite variety'.

In order for a complex system to adapt, it needs to contain agents that have the capacity to behave in different ways - to enact adaptation you need adaptable things.


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Wohl, S. (2021, 8 July). Requisite Variety. Retrieved from https://kapalicarsi.wittmeyer.io/definition/large-number-elements

Requisite Variety was updated July 8th, 2021.

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    Complex Systems are generated from the local interactions of multiple AGENTS. These agents are not actively striving to achieve any form of 'global' structure or pattern, but simply behave in their own self interests. Hence, we describe CAS dynamics as being generated from 'the bottom up' as opposed to 'the top down' as would be the case in traditional hierarchical organizations.

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    Across the globe we find spatial clusters of similar economic activity. How does complexity help us understand the path-dependent emergence of economic clusters?

    Evolutionary Economic Geography (EEG) tries to understand how economic agglomerations or clusters emerge from the bottom-up. This branch of economics draws significantly from principles of complexity and emergence, seeing the rise of particular regions as being path-dependent, and trying to understand the forces at work that drive change for economic agents - the firms that make up our economic environment.
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