Is the whole different from the sum of its parts? A proposed procedure for measuring divergence from additivity

Yair Neuman, Denis Noble, Yochai Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The behaviour of many small systems, such as a family or a football team, epitomizes the famous Gestalt slogan of a “Whole which is different from the sum of its parts”. However, and in the context of these small cognitive systems, conceptualizing and measuring the extent and the way in which a whole is different from the sum of its parts is a non-trivial challenge. One possible direction for addressing this challenge involves measuring the extent in which the entropy of the whole is non-additive, meaning different from the sum of the entropy of its parts. However, measuring divergence from additivity is far from trivial. In this short paper, we propose a simple procedure for measuring divergence from additivity and illustrate the procedure by analysing the behaviour of a soccer team.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-678
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of General Systems
Volume47
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • General systems approach
  • category theory
  • modelling
  • multiscale system
  • non-additivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications

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