Friday, 6 April 2012

Requisite Complexity: Too much is as as bad as too little!

Requisite Complexity is the idea that in any model of reality there is just the right amount of  (requisite) complexity to achieve the purpose of the model and such models become worse as they complexify and not better. The animation below is what happens when you lose control of complexity!

Animation Source: WHY WOMEN CAN’T SLEEP November 17, 2008 by Froggie 

Requisite Complexity is related to the cybernetics concept of "Requisite Variety" formulated in 1963 by Ross Ashby which exists in naturewhen the variety or complexity of the environment exceeds the capacity of a system (natural or artificial) the environment will dominate and ultimately destroy that system.  The law tells us that a "system" only has "requisite variety" if its repertoire of responses is at least as big as the number of different stimuli it may encounter in its environmentRead more about Requisite Variety.

Ken Thompson (aka The BumbleBee) blogs about bioteams, virtual collaboration  and business simulation at