E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Complexity and Symmetry"

Quicklinks

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Klaus Mainzer

Lehrstuhl für Philosophie und Wissenschaftstheorie, Direktor der Carl von Linde-Akademie, Technische Universität München, Arcisstrasse 21, D-80333 München, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +49 (0)89 2 89 2 53 62
Interests: philosophy of science; symmetry and complexity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Symmetry and complexity determine the spirit of 21st century science. The expansion of the universe, the evolution of life and the globalization of human economies and societies lead from symmetry and simplicity to complexity and diversity. The emergence of new order and structure means symmetry breaking and transition from unstable to stable states of balance. It is explained by physical, chemical, biological, and social self-organization, according to the laws of complex dynamical systems. Atomic and molecular clusters, stars and clouds, organisms and brains, economies and societies, information, computation and communication networks (e.g., WWW) are only examples of complex dynamical systems. Thus, symmetry and complexity are the basic principles of a common systems science in the 21st century, overcoming traditional boundaries between natural, cognitive, and social sciences, mathematics, humanities and philosophy.
Symmetry also means unity. In physical science unified theories are explained by mathematical symmetries and invariance of fundamental laws. Are they only theoretical tools used in order to reduce the diversity of observations and measurements to some useful schemes of research or do they represent fundamental structures of reality? This has been a basic question of philosophy since Antiquity. Empirical results of modern science confirm that symmetries are not only mathematical imaginations of our mind. They dominated the universe long before mankind came into existence: in the beginning there was a dynamical symmetry expanding to the complex diversity of broken symmetries. Phase transitions involve the emergence of new phenomena on hierarchical levels of atoms, molecules, life, and mankind. They have not been determined from the beginning, but depend on changing conditions that happen more or less randomly. It is a challenge of systems science to explore their fascinating symmetry and complexity.

Literature:
1. Mainzer, K. Thinking in Complexity. The Computational Dynamics of Matter, Mind, and Mankind, 5th Ed.; Springer Verlag: Berlin - Heidelberg - New York, 2007.
2. Mainzer, K. Symmetry and Complexity. The Spirit and Beauty of Nonlinear Science; World Scientific Series on Nonlinear Science Series A: Singapore, 2005.
3. Mainzer, K. Symmetry and complexity in dynamical systems. European Review , 2005, 13, Supplement 2, 29-48.
4. Mainzer, K. Complexity. European Review , 2009, 17(2), 219-452.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Mainzer
Guest Editor

Published Papers (5 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-5
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle A Hypothesis for Self-Organization and Symmetry Reduction in the Synchronization of Organ-Level Contractions in the Human Uterus during Labor
Symmetry 2015, 7(4), 1981-1988; doi:10.3390/sym7041981
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 22 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2627 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present a hypothesis for a mechanism involving self-organization of small functional units that leads to organ-level synchronization of uterine contractions in human labor. This view is in contrast to the long-held presumption that the synchronized behavior of the uterus is subject to
[...] Read more.
We present a hypothesis for a mechanism involving self-organization of small functional units that leads to organ-level synchronization of uterine contractions in human labor. This view is in contrast to the long-held presumption that the synchronized behavior of the uterus is subject to well-defined internal organization (as is found in the heart) that exists prior to the onset of labor. The contractile units of the uterus are myocytes, which contract in response to both mechanical stretch and electrical stimulation. Throughout pregnancy progesterone maintains quiescence by suppression of “contraction-associated proteins” (CAPs). At the end of pregnancy a functional withdrawal of progesterone and an increasingly estrogenic environment leads to an increase in the production of CAPs. One CAP of particular importance is connexin 43, which creates gap junctions between the myocytes that cause them to become electrically coupled. The electrical connectivity between myocytes, combined with an increase in intrauterine pressure at the end of pregnancy shifts the uterus towards an increasingly unstable critical point, characterized by irregular, uncoordinated contractions. We propose that synchronous, coordinated contractions emerge from this critical point through a process of self-organization, and that the search for a uterine pacemaker has been unfruitful for the sole reason that it is non-existent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complexity and Symmetry)
Figures

Open AccessArticle An Application of Symmetry Approach to Finance: Gauge Symmetry in Finance
Symmetry 2010, 2(4), 1763-1775; doi:10.3390/sym2041763
Received: 19 September 2010 / Accepted: 17 October 2010 / Published: 21 October 2010
PDF Full-text (266 KB)
Abstract
The paper presents an application of symmetry approach to finance. This symmetry approach comes from the gauge field theory in Physics. We revise the pricing model of financial derivatives in a financial market in a gauge symmetry view, and rewrite  it as a
[...] Read more.
The paper presents an application of symmetry approach to finance. This symmetry approach comes from the gauge field theory in Physics. We revise the pricing model of financial derivatives in a financial market in a gauge symmetry view, and rewrite  it as a partial differential equation on a fiber bundle in covariant differential form so as to have invariance in form. The paper shows the form of the pricing equation can keep invariant under all the local num´eraire transformations, this symmetry behind the pricing equation of derivatives is revealed. In addition a  corresponding relationship between the curvature of the fiber bundle and the arbitrage in finance arises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complexity and Symmetry)
Open AccessArticle Will Science and Consciousness Ever Meat? Complexity, Symmetry and Qualia
Symmetry 2010, 2(3), 1250-1269; doi:10.3390/sym2031250
Received: 9 March 2010 / Revised: 25 May 2010 / Accepted: 23 June 2010 / Published: 25 June 2010
PDF Full-text (145 KB) | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Within recent discussions in the Philosophy of Mind, the nature of conscious phenomenal states or qualia (also called ‘raw feels’ or the feel of ‘what it is like to be’) has been an important focus of interest. Proponents of Mind-Body Type-Identity theories
[...] Read more.
Within recent discussions in the Philosophy of Mind, the nature of conscious phenomenal states or qualia (also called ‘raw feels’ or the feel of ‘what it is like to be’) has been an important focus of interest. Proponents of Mind-Body Type-Identity theories have claimed that mental states can be reduced to neurophysiological states of the brain. Others have denied that such a reduction is possible; for them, there remains an explanatory gap. In this paper, functionalist, physicalist, epiphenomenalist, and biological models of the mind are discussed and compared. Donald Davidson’s Anomalous Monism is proposed as a unifying framework for a non-reductive theory of qualia and consciousness. Downward Causation, Emergence through Symmetry-breaking, and Dynamical Systems Theory are used to show how consciousness and qualia emerge from their neural substrate and can also be causally efficacious. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complexity and Symmetry)
Open AccessArticle Engineering Life into Technology: the Application of Complexity Theory to a Potential Phase Transition in Intelligence
Symmetry 2010, 2(1), 150-183; doi:10.3390/sym2010150
Received: 30 December 2009 / Revised: 7 February 2010 / Accepted: 19 February 2010 / Published: 23 February 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (741 KB)
Abstract
Information optimization is a centerpiece phenomenon in the universe. It develops from simplicity, then continuously breaks symmetry and cycles through instability to progress to increasingly dense nodes of complexity and diversity. Intelligence has arisen as the information optimization node with the greatest complexity.
[...] Read more.
Information optimization is a centerpiece phenomenon in the universe. It develops from simplicity, then continuously breaks symmetry and cycles through instability to progress to increasingly dense nodes of complexity and diversity. Intelligence has arisen as the information optimization node with the greatest complexity. A contemporary imbalance is presented in that exponentially growing technology could be poised as a potential sole successor to human intelligence. A complex dynamical system is emerging in response, the engineering of life into technology. Numerous network elements are developing which could self-organize into the next node of symmetry, a phase transition in intelligence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complexity and Symmetry)
Figures

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview A Review of New Analytic Techniques for Quantifying Symmetry in Locomotion
Symmetry 2010, 2(2), 1135-1155; doi:10.3390/sym2021135
Received: 12 May 2010 / Revised: 9 June 2010 / Accepted: 10 June 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (656 KB)
Abstract
We present a review of novel techniques developed by our research group to improve quantitative assessment of human movement, especially assessments related to symmetric and asymmetric gait patterns. These new methods use motion capture data of the lower limb joints (e.g., joint and
[...] Read more.
We present a review of novel techniques developed by our research group to improve quantitative assessment of human movement, especially assessments related to symmetric and asymmetric gait patterns. These new methods use motion capture data of the lower limb joints (e.g., joint and body segment angular position and/or velocity, or joint center locations) and include: (1) Regions of Deviation (ROD) analysis, (2) complexity and variability of phase portraits, and (3) multivariate shape-alignment and decomposition. We provide example demonstrations of these techniques using data from infants, typical and atypically developing children, simulated injuries of a knee or ankle, and wheelchair propulsion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complexity and Symmetry)
Figures

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Partial Symmetries and Groupoids: Emergence in Systems of Systems
Type:
Article
Authors:
Eduardo Alonso*, Nicos Karcanias and Ali G. Hessami
Affiliation:
Systems and Control Research Centre, School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, City University London, London EC1V 0HB, UK
Abstract:
Systems of Systems, complex collections of autonomous sub-systems, are ubiquitous. Examples include cyber-physical, biological, and sociological systems such as the Internet, energy grids, traffic networks, the brain, eco-systems, supply chain management, and inter-court law relationships. Despite the increasing attention that such systems have recently attracted we are still missing a formal framework that characterises them rigorously. In this paper we propose an abstract model of Systems of Systems based on the notion of partial symmetry formalized in groupoids and n-categories. In so doing we characterise two defining characteristics of Systems of Systems, namely, emergence and their hierarchical nature.

Title: Relation of Origins of Primitive Chaos
Type:
Article
Author:
Yoshihito Ogasawara
Affiliation:
School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Ohkubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan
Abstract:
A new concept, primitive chaos, was proposed, as a concept closely related to the fundamental problems of sciences themselves such as determinism, causality, free will, predictability, and time asymmetry [J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 2014, 83, 1401]. This concept is literally a primitive chaos in such a sense that it leads to the characteristic properties of the conventional chaos under natural conditions. Then, two contrast concepts are known as the origins of the primitive chaos. In this study, the relation of these origins is investigated with the aid of a mathematical method, topology. Then, we can see the emergence of interesting concepts such as the relation of whole and part, and coarse graining, which imply the essence of our intrinsic recognition for phenomena.

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Symmetry Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
symmetry@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Symmetry
Back to Top