Snowflakes forming complex symmetrical patterns is an example of emergence in a physical system.
A termite "cathedral" mound produced by a termite colony: a classic example of emergence in nature
In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems.
The concept has been in use since at least the time of Aristotle. John Stuart Mill and Julian Huxley are just some of the historical luminaries who have written on the concept.
The term "emergent" was coined by the pioneer psychologist G. H. Lewes, who wrote:
"Every resultant is either a sum or a difference of the co-operant forces; their sum, when their directions are the same -- their difference, when their directions are contrary. Further, every resultant is clearly traceable in its components, because these are homogeneous and commensurable. It is otherwise with emergents, when, instead of adding measurable motion to measurable motion, or things of one kind to other individuals of their kind, there is a co-operation of things of unlike kinds. The emergent is unlike its components insofar as these are incommensurable, and it cannot be reduced to their sum or their difference."
Jeffrey Goldstein in the School of Business at Adelphi University provides a current definition of emergence in the journal, Emergence . Goldstein initially defined emergence as: "the arising of novel and coherent structures, patterns and properties during the process of self-organization in complex systems".
Goldstein's definition can be further elaborated to describe the qualities of this definition in more detail:
"The common characteristics are: (1) radical novelty (features not previously observed in systems); (2) coherence or correlation (meaning integrated wholes that maintain themselves over some period of time); (3) A global or macro "level" (i.e. there is some property of "wholeness"); (4) it is the product of a dynamical process (it evolves); and (5) it is "ostensive" (it can be perceived). For good measure, Goldstein throws in supervenience -- downward causation."
Corning's definition of emergence:
"Rules, or laws, have no causal efficacy; they do not in fact generate anything. They serve merely to describe regularities and consistent relationships in nature. These patterns may be very illuminating and important, but the underlying causal agencies must be separately specified (though often they are not). But that aside, the game of chess illustrates precisely why any laws or rules of emergence and evolution are insufficient. Even in a chess game, you cannot use the rules to predict history i.e., the course of any given game. Indeed, you cannot even reliably predict the next move in a chess game. Why? Because the system involves more than the rules of the game. It also includes the players and their unfolding, moment-by-moment decisions among a very large number of available options at each choice point. The game of chess is inescapably historical, even though it is also constrained and shaped by a set of rules, not to mention the laws of physics. Moreover, and this is a key point, the game of chess is also shaped by teleonomic, cybernetic, feedback-driven influences. It is not simply a self-ordered process; it involves an organized, purposeful activity."
Strong and weak emergence
The usage of the notion "emergence" may generally be subdivided into two perspectives, that of "weak emergence" and "strong emergence". Weak emergence describes new properties arising in systems as a result of the interactions at an elemental level. Emergence, in this case, is merely part of the language, or model that is needed to describe a system's behaviour.
But if, on the other hand, systems can have qualities not directly traceable to the system's components, but rather to how those components interact, and one is willing to accept that a system supervenes on its components, then it is difficult to account for an emergent property's cause. These new qualities are irreducible to the system's constituent parts . The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This view of emergence is called strong emergence. Some fields in which strong emergence is more widely used include etiology, epistemology and ontology.
Regarding strong emergence, Mark A. Bedau observes:
"Although strong emergence is logically possible, it is uncomfortably like magic. How does an irreducible but supervenient downward causal power arise, since by definition it cannot be due to the aggregation of the micro-level potentialities? Such causal powers would be quite unlike anything within our scientific ken. This not only indicates how they will discomfort reasonable forms of materialism. Their mysteriousness will only heighten the traditional worry that emergence entails illegitimately getting something from nothing."
However, "the debate about whether or not the whole can be predicted from the properties of the parts misses the point. Wholes produce unique combined effects, but many of these effects may be co-determined by the context and the interactions between the whole and its environment(s)." Along that same thought, Arthur Koestler stated, "it is the synergistic effects produced by wholes that are the very cause of the evolution of complexity in nature" and used the metaphor of Janus to illustrate how the two perspectives (strong or holistic vs. weak or reductionistic) should be treated as perspectives, not exclusives, and should work together to address the issues of emergence. Further,
"The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe.The constructionist hypothesis breaks down when confronted with the twin difficulties of scale and complexity. At each level of complexity entirely new properties appear. Psychology is not applied biology, nor is biology applied chemistry. We can now see that the whole becomes not merely more, but very different from the sum of its parts."
Objective or subjective quality
The properties of complexity and organization of any system are considered by Crutchfield to be subjective qualities determined by the observer.
"Defining structure and detecting the emergence of complexity in nature are inherently subjective, though essential, scientific activities. Despite the difficulties, these problems can be analysed in terms of how model-building observers infer from measurements the computational capabilities embedded in non-linear processes. An observer s notion of what is ordered, what is random, and what is complex in its environment depends directly on its computational resources: the amount of raw measurement data, of memory, and of time available for estimation and inference. The discovery of structure in an environment depends more critically and subtly, though, on how those resources are organized. The descriptive power of the observer s chosen (or implicit) computational model class, for example, can be an overwhelming determinant in finding regularity in data."
On the other hand, Peter Corning argues "Must the synergies be perceived/observed in order to qualify as emergent effects, as some theorists claim? Most emphatically not. The synergies associated with emergence are real and measurable, even if nobody is there to observe them." These are not necessarily incompatible, however, since while an observer is free to choose the definition of order that they wish to take, once it is chosen that definition applies objectively to any system independently of observation.
Emergence in philosophy, religion, art and human sciences
In philosophy, emergence is often understood to be a much stronger claim about the etiology of a system's properties. An emergent property of a system, in this context, is one that is not a property of any component of that system, but is still a feature of the system as a whole. Nicolai Hartmann, one of the first modern philosophers to write on emergence, termed this categorial novum (new category).
In religion, emergence grounds expressions of religious naturalism in which a sense of the sacred is perceived in the workings of entirely naturalistic processes by which more complex forms arise or evolve from simpler forms. Examples are detailed in a 2006 essay titled 'The Sacred Emergence of Nature' by Ursula Goodenough and Terrence Deacon and a 2006 essay titled 'Beyond Reductionism: Reinventing the Sacred' by Stuart Kauffman.
In art, emergence is use to explore the origins of novelty, creativity, and authorship. Some art/literary theorists (Wheeler, 2006; Alexander, 2011) have proposed alternatives to postmodern understandings of "authorship" using the complexity sciences and emergence theory. They contend that artistic selfhood and meaning are emergent, relatively objective phenomena. The concept of emergence has also been applied to the theory of literature and art, history, linguistics, cognitive sciences, etc. by the teachings of Jean-Marie Grassin et the University of Limoges (v. esp.: J. Fontanille, B. Westphal, J. Vion-Dury, ds. L' mergence Po tique de l' mergence, en r ponse aux travaux de Jean-Marie Grassin, Bern, Berlin, etc., 2011; and: the article "Emergence" in the International Dictionary of Literary Terms (DITL).
In postcolonial studies, the term "Emerging Literature" refers to a contemporary body of texts that gaining momentum in the global literary landscape (v. esp.: J.M. Grassin, ed. Emerging Literatures, Bern, Berlin, etc. : Peter Lang, 1996). By opposition, "emergent literature" is rather a concept used in the theory of literature.
Emergent properties and processes
An emergent behavior or emergent property can appear when a number of simple entities (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviors as a collective. If emergence happens over disparate size scales, then the reason is usually a causal relation across different scales. In other words there is often a form of top-down feedback in systems with emergent properties. The processes from which emergent properties result may occur in either the observed or observing system, and can commonly be identified by their patterns of accumulating change, most generally called 'growth'. Why emergent behaviours occur include: intricate causal relations across different scales and feedback, known as interconnectivity. The emergent property itself may be either very predictable or unpredictable and unprecedented, and represent a new level of the system's evolution. The complex behaviour or properties are not a property of any single such entity, nor can they easily be predicted or deduced from behaviour in the lower-level entities: they are irreducible. The shape and behaviour of a flock of birds http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11679-flying-in-vformation-gives-best-view-for-least-effort.html or school of fish are also good examples.
One reason why emergent behaviour is hard to predict is that the number of interactions between components of a system increases combinatorially with the number of components, thus potentially allowing for many new and subtle types of behaviour to emerge. For example, the possible interactions between groups of molecules grows enormously with the number of molecules such that it is impossible for a computer to even list the arrangements for a system as small as 20 molecules.
On the other hand, merely having a large number of interactions is not enough by itself to guarantee emergent behaviour; many of the interactions may be negligible or irrelevant, or may cancel each other out. In some cases, a large number of interactions can in fact work against the emergence of interesting behaviour, by creating a lot of "noise" to drown out any emerging "signal"; the emergent behaviour may need to be temporarily isolated from other interactions before it reaches enough critical mass to be self-supporting. Thus it is not just the sheer number of connections between components which encourages emergence; it is also how these connections are organised. A hierarchical organisation is one example that can generate emergent behaviour (a bureaucracy may behave in a way quite different from that of the individual humans in that bureaucracy); but perhaps more interestingly, emergent behaviour can also arise from more decentralized organisational structures, such as a marketplace. In some cases, the system has to reach a combined threshold of diversity, organisation, and connectivity before emergent behaviour appears.
Unintended consequences and side effects are closely related to emergent properties. Luc Steels writes: "A component has a particular functionality but this is not recognizable as a subfunction of the global functionality. Instead a component implements a behaviour whose side effect contributes to the global functionality [...] Each behaviour has a side effect and the sum of the side effects gives the desired functionality" . In other words, the global or macroscopic functionality of a system with "emergent functionality" is the sum of all "side effects", of all emergent properties and functionalities.
Systems with emergent properties or emergent structures may appear to defy entropic principles and the second law of thermodynamics, because they form and increase order despite the lack of command and central control. This is possible because open systems can extract information and order out of the environment.
Emergence helps to explain why the fallacy of division is a fallacy.
Emergent structures in nature
Ripple patterns in a sand dune created by wind or water is an example of an emergent structure in nature.
Emergent structures are patterns that cannot result from a small set of rules or events; however, there are those who disagree. Rules are not causal commands natural systems obey. Rather, the interaction of each part with its immediate surroundings causes a complex chain of processes leading to order in some form. One might conclude, per Aristotle, that emergent structures are more than the sum of their parts because the emergent order will not arise if the various parts are simply coexisting; the interaction of these parts is central. Emergent structures can be found in many natural phenomena, from the physical to the biological domain. For example, the shape of weather phenomena such as hurricanes are emergent structures. The development and growth of complex, orderly crystals, as driven by the random motion of water molecules within a conducive natural environment, is another example of an emergent process, where randomness can give rise to complex and deeply attractive, orderly structures.
Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland is an example of a complex emergent structure created by natural processes
However, crystalline structure and hurricanes are said to have a self-organizing phase.
Water crystals forming on glass demonstrate an emergent natural process, where a high level of organizational structure is crafted directly by the random motion of water molecules.
It is useful to distinguish three forms of emergent structures. A first-order emergent structure occurs as a result of shape interactions (for example, hydrogen bonds in water molecules lead to surface tension). A Second-order emergent structure involves shape interactions played out sequentially over time (for example, changing atmospheric conditions as a snowflake falls to the ground build upon and alter its form). Finally, a third-order emergent structure is a consequence of shape, time, and heritable instructions. For example, an organism's genetic code sets boundary conditions on the interaction of biological systems in space and time.
Non-living, physical systems
In physics, emergence is used to describe a property, law, or phenomenon which occurs at macroscopic scales (in space or time) but not at microscopic scales, despite the fact that a macroscopic system can be viewed as a very large ensemble of microscopic systems.
An emergent property need not be more complicated than the underlying non-emergent properties which generate it. For instance, the laws of thermodynamics are remarkably simple, even if the laws which govern the interactions between component particles are complex. The term emergence in physics is thus used not to signify complexity, but rather to distinguish which laws and concepts apply to macroscopic scales, and which ones apply to microscopic scales.
Some examples include:
- Classical mechanics: The laws of classical mechanics can be said to emerge as a limiting case from the rules of quantum mechanics applied to large enough masses. This may be puzzling, because quantum mechanics is generally thought of as more complicated than classical mechanics.
- Colour: Elementary particles do not absorb or emit specific wavelengths of light and thus have no colour; it is only when they are arranged in groups of some multiplicity of atoms that they absorb or emit specific wavelengths of light and can thus be said to have a colour.
- Friction: Forces between elementary particles are conservative. However, friction emerges when considering more complex structures of matter, whose surfaces can convert mechanical energy into heat energy when rubbed against each other. Similar considerations apply to other emergent concepts in continuum mechanics such as viscosity, elasticity, tensile strength, etc.
- Patterned ground: the distinct, and often symmetrical geometric shapes formed by ground material in periglacial regions.
- Statistical mechanics was initially derived using the concept of a large enough ensemble that fluctuations about the most likely distribution can be all but ignored. However, small clusters do not exhibit sharp first order phase transitions such as melting, and at the boundary it is not possible to completely categorize the cluster as a liquid or solid, since these concepts are (without extra definitions) only applicable to macroscopic systems. Describing a system using statistical mechanics methods is much simpler than using a low-level atomistic approach.
Temperature is sometimes used as an example of an emergent macroscopic behaviour. In classical dynamics, a snapshot of the instantaneous momenta of a large number of particles at equilibrium is sufficient to find the average kinetic energy per degree of freedom which is proportional to the temperature. For a small number of particles the instantaneous momenta at a given time are not statistically sufficient to determine the temperature of the system. However, using the ergodic hypothesis, the temperature can still be obtained to arbitrary precision by further averaging the momenta over a long enough time.
Convection in a liquid or gas is another example of emergent macroscopic behaviour that makes sense only when considering differentials of temperature. Convection cells, particularly B nard cells, are an example of a self-organizing system (more specifically, a dissipative system) whose structure is determined both by the constraints of the system and by random perturbations: the possible realizations of the shape and size of the cells depends on the temperature gradient as well as the nature of the fluid and shape of the container, but which configurations are actually realized is due to random perturbations (thus these systems exhibit a form of symmetry breaking).
In some theories of particle physics, even such basic structures as mass, space, and time are viewed as emergent phenomena, arising from more fundamental concepts such as the Higgs boson or strings. In some interpretations of quantum mechanics, the perception of a deterministic reality, in which all objects have a definite position, momentum, and so forth, is actually an emergent phenomenon, with the true state of matter being described instead by a wavefunction which need not have a single position or momentum. Most of the laws of physics themselves as we experience them today appear to have emerged during the course of time making emergence the most fundamental principle in the universe and raising the question of what might be the most fundamental law of physics from which all others emerged. Chemistry can in turn be viewed as an emergent property of the laws of physics. Biology (including biological evolution) can be viewed as an emergent property of the laws of chemistry. Finally, psychology could at least theoretically be understood as an emergent property of neurobiological laws.
Living, biological systems
Emergence and evolution
Life is a major source of complexity, and evolution is the major process behind the varying forms of life. In this view, evolution is the process describing the growth of complexity in the natural world and in speaking of the emergence of complex living beings and life-forms, this view refers therefore to processes of sudden changes in evolution.
Regarding causality in evolution Peter Corning observes:
"Synergistic effects of various kinds have played a major causal role in the evolutionary process generally and in the evolution of cooperation and complexity in particular... Natural selection is often portrayed as a mechanism , or is personified as a causal agency... In reality, the differential selection of a trait, or an adaptation, is a consequence of the functional effects it produces in relation to the survival and reproductive success of a given organism in a given environment. It is these functional effects that are ultimately responsible for the trans-generational continuities and changes in nature.
Per his definition of emergence, Corning also address emergence and evolution:
"[In] evolutionary processes, causation is iterative; effects are also causes. And this is equally true of the synergistic effects produced by emergent systems. In other words, emergence itself... has been the underlying cause of the evolution of emergent phenomena in biological evolution; it is the synergies produced by organized systems that are the key.
Swarming is a well-known behaviour in many animal species from marching locusts to schooling fish to flocking birds. Emergent structures are a common strategy found in many animal groups: colonies of ants, mounds built by termites, swarms of bees, shoals/schools of fish, flocks of birds, and herds/packs of mammals.
An example to consider in detail is an ant colony. The queen does not give direct orders and does not tell the ants what to do. Instead, each ant reacts to stimuli in the form of chemical scent from larvae, other ants, intruders, food and build up of waste, and leaves behind a chemical trail, which, in turn, provides a stimulus to other ants. Here each ant is an autonomous unit that reacts depending only on its local environment and the genetically encoded rules for its variety of ant. Despite the lack of centralized decision making, ant colonies exhibit complex behavior and have even been able to demonstrate the ability to solve geometric problems. For example, colonies routinely find the maximum distance from all colony entrances to dispose of dead bodies.
Organization of life
A broader example of emergent properties in biology is viewed in the biological organisation of life, ranging from the subatomic level to the entire biosphere. For example, individual atoms can be combined to form molecules such as polypeptide chains, which in turn fold and refold to form proteins, which in turn create even more complex structures. These proteins, assuming their functional status from their spatial conformation, interact together and with other molecules to achieve higher biological functions and eventually create an organism. Another example is how cascade phenotype reactions, as detailed in chaos theory, arise from individual genes mutating respective positioning. At the highest level, all the biological communities in the world form the biosphere, where its human participants form societies, and the complex interactions of meta-social systems such as the stock market.
Emergence in humanity
Groups of human beings, left free to each regulate themselves, tend to produce spontaneous order, rather than the meaningless chaos often feared. This has been observed in society at least since Chuang Tzu in ancient China. A classic traffic roundabout is a good example, with cars moving in and out with such effective organization that some modern cities have begun replacing stoplights at problem intersections with traffic circles http://www.terrain.org/articles/2/siegman.htm, and getting better results.
Emergent processes or behaviours can be seen in many places, such as traffic patterns, cities, political systems of governance, cabal and market-dominant minority phenomena in politics and economics, organizational phenomena in computer simulations and cellular automata. Whenever you have a multitude of individuals interacting with one another, there often comes a moment when disorder gives way to order and something new emerges: a pattern, a decision, a structure, or a change in direction (Miller 2010, 29).
The stock market (or any market for that matter) is an example of emergence on a grand scale. As a whole it precisely regulates the relative security prices of companies across the world, yet it has no leader; there is no one entity which controls the workings of the entire market. Agents, or investors, have knowledge of only a limited number of companies within their portfolio, and must follow the regulatory rules of the market and analyse the transactions individually or in large groupings. Trends and patterns emerge which are studied intensively by technical analysts.
World Wide Web and the Internet
The World Wide Web is a popular example of a decentralized system exhibiting emergent properties. There is no central organization rationing the number of links, yet the number of links pointing to each page follows a power law in which a few pages are linked to many times and most pages are seldom linked to. A related property of the network of links in the World Wide Web is that almost any pair of pages can be connected to each other through a relatively short chain of links. Although relatively well known now, this property was initially unexpected in an unregulated network. It is shared with many other types of networks called small-world networks.
Internet traffic can also exhibit some seemingly emergent properties. In the congestion control mechanism, TCP flows can become globally synchronized at bottlenecks, simultaneously increasing and then decreasing throughput in coordination. Congestion, widely regarded as a nuisance, is possibly an emergent property of the spreading of bottlenecks across a network in high traffic flows which can be considered as a phase transition (see review of related research in ).
Another important example of emergence in web-based systems is social bookmarking (also called collaborative tagging). In social bookmarking systems, users assign tags to resources shared with other users, which gives rise to a type of information organisation that emerges from this crowdsourcing process. Recent research which analyzes empirically the complex dynamics of such systems has shown that consensus on stable distributions and a simple form of shared vocabularies does indeed emerge, even in the absence of a central controlled vocabulary. One believe that this could be because users who contribute tags all use the same language, and they share similar semantic structures underlying the choice of words. The convergence in social tags may therefore be interpreted as the emergence of structures as people who have similar semantic interpretation collaboratively index online information, a process called semantic imitation.  
Architecture and cities
Emergent structures appear at many different levels of organization or as spontaneous order. Emergent self-organization appears frequently in cities where no planning or zoning entity predetermines the layout of the city. The interdisciplinary study of emergent behaviors is not generally considered a homogeneous field, but divided across its application or problem domains.
Bangkok can be seen as an example of spontaneous order
Architects and Landscape Architects may not design all the pathways of a complex of buildings. Instead they might let usage patterns emerge and then place pavement where pathways have become worn in.
The on-course action and vehicle progression of the 2007 Urban Challenge could possibly be regarded as an example of cybernetic emergence. Patterns of road use, indeterministic obstacle clearance times, etc. will work together to form a complex emergent pattern that can not be deterministically planned in advance.
Architecture firms that work specifically with the concept of Emergence as it relates to the built environment include Emergent Architecture, founded by Tom Wiscombe in 1999. The architectural school of Christopher Alexander takes a deeper approach to emergence attempting to rewrite the process of urban growth itself in order to affect form, establishing a new methodology of planning and design tied to traditional practices, an Emergent Urbanism. Urban emergence has also been linked to theories of urban complexity and urban evolution .
Building ecology is a conceptual framework for understanding architecture and the built environment as the interface between the dynamically-interdependent elements of buildings, their occupants, and the larger environment. Rather than viewing buildings as inanimate or static objects, building ecologist Hal Levin views them as interfaces or intersecting domains of living and non-living systems. The microbial ecology of the indoor environment is strongly dependent on the building materials, occupants, contents, environmental context and the indoor and outdoor climate. The strong relationship between atmospheric chemistry and indoor air quality and the chemical reactions occurring indoors. The chemicals may be nutrients, neutral or biocides for the microbial organisms. The microbes produce chemicals that affect the building materials and occupant health and well being. Humans manipulate the temperature and humidity to achieve comfort with the concomitant effects on the microbes that populate and evolve.
Eric Bonabeau's attempt to define emergent phenomena is through traffic: "traffic jams are actually very complicated and mysterious. On an individual level, each driver is trying to get somewhere and is following (or breaking) certain rules, some legal (the speed limit) and others societal or personal (slow down to let another driver change into your lane). But a traffic jam is a separate and distinct entity that emerges from those individual behaviors. Gridlock on a highway, for example, can travel backward for no apparent reason, even as the cars are moving forward." He has also likened emergent phenomena to the analysis of market trends and employee behavior. 
Some artificially intelligent computer applications utilize emergent behavior for animation. One example is Boids, which mimics the swarming behavior of birds.
It has been argued that language, or at least language change, is an emergence phenomenon. While each speaker merely tries to reach her or his own communicative goals, she or he uses language in a particular way. If enough speakers behave in that way, language is changed . In a wider sense, the norms of a language, i.e. the linguistic conventions of its speech society, can be seen as a system emerging from long-time participation in communicative problem-solving in various social circumstances.
Emergent change processes
Within the field of group facilitation and organization development, there have been a number of new group processes that are designed to maximize emergence and self-organization, by offering a minimal set of effective initial conditions. Examples of these processes include Appreciative Inquiry, Future Search, the World Cafe or Knowledge Cafe, Open Space Technology, and others. (Holman, 2010)
Emergence in political philosophy
Economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek wrote about emergence in the context of law, politics, and markets. His theories set out the difference between cosmos or "grown order" (that is, emergence), and taxis or "made order". Hayek dismisses philosophies that do not adequately recognize the emergent nature of society, and which describe it as the conscious creation of a rational agent (be it God, the Sovereign, or any kind of personified body politic, such as Hobbes's Leviathan). The most important social structures, including the laws ("nomos") governing the relations between individual persons, are emergent, according to Hayek. While the idea of laws and markets as emergent phenomena comes fairly naturally to an economist, and was indeed present in the works of early economists such as Bernard Mandeville, David Hume, and Adam Smith, Hayek traces the development of ideas based on spontaneous-order throughout the history of Western thought, occasionally going as far back as the presocratics. In this, he follows Karl Popper, who blamed the idea of the state as a made order on Plato in The Open Society and its Enemies. Emergentism is a rejection of the state on the grounds that it is a perversion of the emergent rules that societies form spontaneously. Some 19th-century classical liberals, notably Gustave de Molinari and Fr d ric Bastiat, were known advocates of an emergent society and wrote about the concepts in detail. See The Production of Security and The Law, respectively.
- Agent-based model
- Anthropic principle
- Chaos theory
- Constructal theory
- Dynamical system
- Deus ex machina
- Emergent algorithm
- Emergent gameplay
- Emergent organization
- Flocking (behaviour)
- Free will
- Generative sciences
- Innovation butterfly
- Irreducible complexity
- Mass action
- Neural networks
- Society of Mind theory
- Swarm intelligence
- System of Systems
- Systems intelligence
- Bedau, Mark A. (1997)."Weak Emergence". http://academic.reed.edu/philosophy/faculty/bedau/pdf/emergence.pdf
- Blitz, David. (1992). Emergent Evolution: Qualitative Novelty and the Levels of Reality. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
- Chalmers, David J. (2002). "Strong and Weak Emergence" http://consc.net/papers/emergence.pdf Republished in P. Clayton and P. Davies, eds. (2006) The Re-Emergence of Emergence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Philip Clayton (2005). Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness Oxford: OUP, ISBN 978-0199272525
- Philip Clayton & Paul Davies (eds.) (2006). The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Felipe Cucker and Stephen Smale (2007), The Japanese Journal of Mathematics, ''The Mathematics of Emergence''
- Haag, James W. (2008). Emergent Freedom: Naturalizing Free Will Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ISBN 978-3-525-56988-7
- Holman, Peggy. (2010). Engaging Emergence: Turning upheaval into opportunity. San Francisco: Barrett-Koehler. ISBN 978-1-60509-521-9
- Ignazio Licata & Ammar Sakaji (eds) (2008). ''Physics of Emergence and Organization'', ISBN 13 978-981-277-994-6, World Scientific and Imperial College Press.
- Jackie (Jianhong) Shen (2008), ''Cucker Smale Flocking Emergence under Hierarchical Leadership'' In: SIAM J. Applied Math., 68:3,
- Sol , Ricard and Goodwin, Brian (2000) Signs of life: how complexity pervades biology, Basic Books, New York.
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