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Emergence of collective behaviour and problem solving

Müller J.P.. 2004. In : Omicini Andrea (ed.), Petta Paolo (ed.), Pitt Jeremy (ed.). Engineering societies in the agents world IV, 4th International Workshop, ESAW 2003, London, UK, October 29-31, 2003 : revised selected and invited papers. Heidelberg : Springer [Allemagne], p. 1-21. (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 3071). International Workshop on engineering societies in the agents world (ESAW 2003). 4, 2003-10-29/2003-10-31, Londres (Royaume-Uni).

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-25946-6_1

The goal of this paper is to explore the notion of complex system and, in particular the emergence phenomenon, in order to see which lessons could be learned for both understanding and designing complex software systems. Complex systems are described as sets of non-linearly interacting components making multi-agent systems particularly suitable for modelling and designing such systems. The notion of emergence is explicited and used to derive ways of understanding and designing such complex systems. We conclude by discussing the pros and cons of the emergentist approaches and the research perspectives.

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