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[evolutionary-psychology] Understanding complex systems

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  • Peter Small
    I m nothing to do with evolutionary psychology as such. However, I m using all the tools and concepts in this field and applying them in other areas: namely
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 20, 1999
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      I'm nothing to do with evolutionary psychology as such. However, I'm using
      all the tools and concepts in this field and applying them in other areas:
      namely computer programming strategies and currently e-commerce strategies.

      In my work I make extensive use of what is known in computer programming as
      "object oriented design". This is the splitting up of complex systems into
      discrete modules which are each independent and completely self contained
      (known as encapsulation). The systems achieve complexity slely through the
      interaction of the modules sending messages to each other.

      I've found that the splitting up of an existing complex system into modules
      is extremely difficult (often impossible). However, from a design point of
      view, the creation of a system by progressively adding new (simple) modules
      very quickly leads to complex systems that are impossible to rationalise.

      In computer programming, this bottom up, object orieted approach often
      leads to a finished system which is beyond anything the designer's
      imagination could have envisaged at the start of the project. It also leads
      surprisingly quickly to unique and efficient solutions to problems
      (providing functions in the case of computer programming).

      The model I'm using for this is a Hilbert space to hold the system with its
      dimensions (system parameters) varied through a feedback loop provided by a
      genetic algorithm. The components of the genetic algorithm are the rules of
      an heuristic strategy.

      Does anyone know of any research projects using this approach to describe
      the evolution of behavior?

      peter small



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    • esther@servidor.unam.mx
      wrote: Original Article: http://www.egroups.com/group/evolutionary-psychology/?start=31 Peter, The approach you mention
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 20, 1999
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        <v04003a00b3923fe5ff5-@[158.152.26.28]> wrote:
        Original Article: http://www.egroups.com/group/evolutionary-psychology/?start=31

        Peter,

        The approach you mention is interesting, but as you say, the use of discrete modules in object oriented programming, keeps each module independent and SELF CONTAINED. The program acquires complexity through the interaction of moudles. The algorithms contained within each module remain the same, and the output varies depending upon the presence, absence or 'magnitude' of the input (variables). However in biological systems, this approximation might lead to confusion when interpreting resutls. The interactions among 'modules' is not just the 'adding' of modules and processing inputs with a constant SELF CONTAINED algorithm. In behavior, these 'algorithms' or strategies, change through learning and past experience. This makes these systems not only complex, but dynamic.

        Best regards
        Esther

        Esther Garcia Castells
        Dept. Physiology, Inst.Investigaciones Biomedicas
        Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
        Apdo 70228, Ciudad Universitaria
        04510, Mexico DF, Mexico
        Voice Phone (52)5622-38-79
        Fax (52)5550-0048
        e-mail: esther@...


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      • Peter Small
        Esther, The beauty of object oriented programming is that the objects *can* interact dynamically. They *can* change their own algorithms - and as adaptations
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 20, 1999
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          Esther,

          The beauty of object oriented programming is that the objects *can*
          interact dynamically. They *can* change their own algorithms - and as
          adaptations to external events. This is why object oriented programming
          techniques are so appropriate for modeling biological systems and providing
          examples for complexity theory.

          Here is a reply I have just sent to an off list response to my post:

          ---------

          "A computer program might be interupt driven but an object oriented system
          isn't (in exactly the same way that human behavior isn't driven by the
          pulsation of the human heart).

          An object oriented system is message driven. This can be a continuous on
          going activity, messages continuously prompting response messages, and not
          at all affected or controlled by low level system events.

          Objects respond to messages. Responses can be determined by a list of
          heuristic rules maintained by the object. Such rules can be modifiable
          through object interaction, allowing objects to adapt their responses to
          situtions or environments. This is not at all complicated to program.

          The system is kept in a state of activity by means of the objects sending
          each other (or themselves) messages. It is the messages triggering other
          messages which maintain the continual dynamic state of the system. After
          the intitial event message starts the system it runs independently of any
          further (system event) stimuli.

          This is exactly the way biological systems maintain their state of "being
          alive"

          I've covered the programming details in my previous two books. These are
          outlined on my web site at http:/www.avatarnets.com

          ---------

          Hope this answers your objections

          regards

          peter


          > <v04003a00b3923fe5ff5-@[158.152.26.28]> wrote:
          >Original Article:
          >http://www.egroups.com/group/evolutionary-psychology/?start=31
          >
          >Peter,
          >
          >The approach you mention is interesting, but as you say, the use of
          >discrete modules in object oriented programming, keeps each module
          >independent and SELF CONTAINED. The program acquires complexity through
          >the interaction of moudles. The algorithms contained within each module
          >remain the same, and the output varies depending upon the presence,
          >absence or 'magnitude' of the input (variables). However in biological
          >systems, this approximation might lead to confusion when interpreting
          >resutls. The interactions among 'modules' is not just the 'adding' of
          >modules and processing inputs with a constant SELF CONTAINED algorithm. In
          >behavior, these 'algorithms' or strategies, change through learning and
          >past experience. This makes these systems not only complex, but dynamic.
          >
          >Best regards
          >Esther
          >
          >Esther Garcia Castells
          >Dept. Physiology, Inst.Investigaciones Biomedicas
          >Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
          >Apdo 70228, Ciudad Universitaria
          >04510, Mexico DF, Mexico
          >Voice Phone (52)5622-38-79
          >Fax (52)5550-0048
          >e-mail: esther@...
          >
          >
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        • Michal Kulczycki
          ... Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 18:16:50 -0000 From: esther@servidor.unam.mx To: evolutionary-psychology@eGroups.com Subject: [evolutionary-psychology] Re:
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 21, 1999
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            --- Original message ---
            Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 18:16:50 -0000
            From: esther@...
            To: evolutionary-psychology@...
            Subject: [evolutionary-psychology] Re: Understanding complex systems

            > <v04003a00b3923fe5ff5-@[158.152.26.28]> wrote:
            >Original Article: http://www.egroups.com/group/evolutionary-psychology/?start=31

            >The approach you mention is interesting, but as you say, the use of
            >discrete modules in object oriented programming, keeps each module
            >independent and SELF CONTAINED.

            Being a OOP (Object Oriented Programmer), I believe Peter simplified this
            issue a bit in order to be understood. Mentioned independence of modules
            (objects) is not obligatory. Objects can be kept tightly connected to
            parent (eg. Pascal's TCollection) or "environment" (eg. through global
            variables, or higher-level parents like Delphi's TApplication). Level of
            object's independence does vary.

            Objects are self contained, but in very dynamic way. It is up to
            programmer's skill and imagination how much dynamic the structure is.
            Object can be easily designed to be nearly tabula rasa. By this I mean,
            that they don't have to have fixed number of methods (algorithms,
            operations), and methods' structure doesn't have to be "flat" (ie. they can
            dynamically arrange themselves in hierarchical structures). Such design
            enables development in terms of Piaget's theory.

            >The algorithms contained within each module remain
            >the same, and the output varies depending upon the presence, absence or
            >'magnitude' of the input (variables).

            I've once written a program (news/mail "browser") entirely in OOPascal. As
            Peter wrote, OO program can often amaze its very author. My "browser",
            among other things, was clearing header fields, removing unnecessary
            quotations, detecting & destroying "overquoted", too short and badly
            written answers, suggesting kill-fille candidates and so on... These are
            quite complex tasks which are not to be found in any widely available
            mail/news readers.
            The real point is, that I HAVEN'T coded several actions this program
            actually performed. Really. It just happened because there was such
            possibility and need - several objects were fighting for system resources
            and execution time, because I - Master of Puppets - designed them to strive
            for monopoly :-) Their objective was to save my time by deleting junk.

            >In behavior, these
            >'algorithms' or strategies, change through learning and past experience.
            >This makes these systems not only complex, but dynamic.

            This is exactly what OO system can do. In my program filtering objects were
            using quite complex statistical analyzes (eg. MR & ANOVA) to determine
            which part of e-mail (if not all of it) can be safely deleted. They ranked
            their methods and combined them in "proceedings" according to their
            usefulness. They were even able to steal methods from each other. The most
            important: filters received feedback from their Master of Puppets, and were
            developing NEW methods (or reviving old ones) according to my evaluation.
            Sometimes without it ;-)

            Peter Small wrote:
            >This is why object oriented programming
            >techniques are so appropriate for modeling biological systems and providing
            >examples for complexity theory.

            Indeed, there is nothing like OO programming :-) Dynamic structures plus
            statistical analyzes (or neural nets) of data are in my opinion very well
            fitted to implement bio-like systems.

            BTW This program did his job very well. Regretfully, it is now somewhere in
            the Land of Eternal Bytes due to HDD crash :'-(

            ---
            Regards

            Michal Kulczycki AKA Ronan

            E-Mail : ronan@...

            >> SALVE LUX POST TENEBRAS <<

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