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Self-Organized Criticality: Emergent Complex Behavior in Physical and Biological Systems [Paperback]

Professor Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 13 1998 0521483719 978-0521483711 1
Self-organized criticality (SOC) maintains that complex behavior can develop spontaneously in certain multi-body systems whose dynamics vary abruptly. This is a clear and concise introduction to the field of self-organized criticality, and contains an overview of the main research results. The author begins with an examination of what is meant by SOC, and the systems in which it can occur. He then presents and analyzes computer models to describe a number of systems, explaining the different mathematical formalisms developed to understand SOC. The final chapter assesses the impact of this field of study, and highlights some key areas of new research. The author assumes no previous knowledge of the field, and the book contains several exercises. It will be ideal as a textbook for graduate students taking physics, engineering, or mathematical biology courses in nonlinear science or complexity.

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"...describes clearly and concisely the basic ideas and the experimental evidence...and then balances the evidence and argues, in a soft voice and a mild manner, that SOC is a good idea and is at least worth looking into. And it is hard to disagree, when the proposal is stated in such gracious and intelligent terms...This book overall is eminently pleasing to read." Physics Today

Book Description

Self-organized criticality (SOC) is based upon the idea that complex behavior can develop spontaneously in certain multi-body systems whose dynamics vary abruptly. This book is a clear and concise introduction to the field of self-organized criticality, and contains an overview of the main research results. The author presents and analyzes computer models to describe a number of systems, and he explains the different mathematical formalisms developed to understand SOC. The final chapter assesses the impact of this field of study, and highlights some key areas of new research.

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First Sentence
Consider a collection of electrons, or a pile of sand grains, a bucket of fluid, an elastic network of springs, an ecosystem, or the community of stock-market dealers. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and honest Feb. 25 2000
Format:Paperback
This book deserves 5 stars because it gives crystal-clear, precise, brutally honest and unbiased coverage of what "Self-Organized Criticality" is and what it is not. Don't waste your time reading Bak's book, read this one instead.
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Format:Paperback
This book is the first attempt to condense in a single text a mathematical introduction to the emergent field of self organized criticality (SOC). The author describes the main general ideas of SOC in the first two chapters. In the third chapter there are a presentation of some systems that can exhibit SOC. The fourth chapter is a presentation and a study of "toy models" in the spirit of SOC. The fifth chapter is about the search of a general mathematical formalism for SOC, which is still an open question. The author presents in this chapter some formalisms developed to explain SOC. In the last chapter, the author discusses essentialy to what extent we can observe SOC behaviour in real systems. There are five appendices, and the first three of these appendices present FORTRAN codes for three distinct toy models. I did not rate this book as five stars because in my opinion the author is very concise in some parts of the text. But this is a good book, and can be recommended to all those interested in the field of self organized criticality.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Self Organized Criticality April 9 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
From the caracteristics of systems exhibiting SOC to their simulation and modelling as well as many classical and new examples of SOC systems.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD FORMAL INTRODUCTION TO SELF ORGANIZED CRITICALITY. Nov. 18 1999
By Paulo (paulovol@convex.com.br) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is the first attempt to condense in a single text a mathematical introduction to the emergent field of self organized criticality (SOC). The author describes the main general ideas of SOC in the first two chapters. In the third chapter there are a presentation of some systems that can exhibit SOC. The fourth chapter is a presentation and a study of "toy models" in the spirit of SOC. The fifth chapter is about the search of a general mathematical formalism for SOC, which is still an open question. The author presents in this chapter some formalisms developed to explain SOC. In the last chapter, the author discusses essentialy to what extent we can observe SOC behaviour in real systems. There are five appendices, and the first three of these appendices present FORTRAN codes for three distinct toy models. I did not rate this book as five stars because in my opinion the author is very concise in some parts of the text. But this is a good book, and can be recommended to all those interested in the field of self organized criticality.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and honest Feb. 25 2000
By "krolique" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book deserves 5 stars because it gives crystal-clear, precise, brutally honest and unbiased coverage of what "Self-Organized Criticality" is and what it is not. Don't waste your time reading Bak's book, read this one instead.
0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Self Organized Criticality April 9 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
From the caracteristics of systems exhibiting SOC to their simulation and modelling as well as many classical and new examples of SOC systems.
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