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  1. OMG Issue

UML14 — Incorrect usage/definition of "emergence" in Common Behavior Chapter

  • Key: UML14-431
  • Legacy Issue Number: 6527
  • Status: closed  
  • Source: Thematix Partners LLC ( James Odell)
  • Summary:

    PROBLEM STATEMENT

    In section 13.1 of the Common Behaviors chapter, the following paragraph is
    contains an incorrect definition of "emergent behavior":
    "Emergent behavior results from the interaction of one or more participant
    objects. If the participating objects are parts of a larger composite
    object, an emerging behavior can be seen as indirectly describing the
    behavior of the container object also. Nevertheless, an emergent behavior is
    simply the sum of the executing behaviors of the participant objects."

    The current area of scientific study know as Complex Adaptive Systems, or
    Complexity Science", describes emergent behavior as "the appearance of a
    coherent pattern that arises out of interactions among simpler objects, that
    is MORE than just their summed behavior." (emphasis mine) Furthermore,
    Complexity Science expressly states that a behavior that is limited to the
    sum of its behavior is NOT emergent. (See references, below.)

    Emergence is a primary area of study at the Santa Fe Institute and has Nobel
    Laureates and MacArthur geniuses studying the effect. Therefore, I think
    that the use of the terms "emergence" (used once) and "emergent behavior"
    (used 9 times) are not correct for Common Behavior chapter. If left in,
    they will cause confusion, because the terminology is already
    well-established in both science and industry.

    PROPOSED SOLUTION
    1) Common Behavior Domain Model (Fig. 306) to contain the classed called
    BehaviorEmergence. Therefore, the class should wither be removed or another
    tem substituted.
    2) Remove, or rename, all 9 usages of "emergent behavior" if the chapter and
    appendix.

    References (to name a few) :

    Holland, J.H., Emergence: From Chaos to Order. 1998, Reading, MA:
    Addison-Wesley. (MacArthur Fellowship Genius Award)

    Gell-Mann, M., The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the
    Complex. 1994, New York: W. H. Freeman. (Nobel Laureate in Physics)

    Kauffman, S., At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of
    Self-Organization and Complexity. 1995, New York: Oxford University Press.
    (Professor, Santa Fe Institute)

    Coveney, P. and R. Highfield, Frontiers of Complexity: The Search for Order
    in a Chaotic World. 1995, New York: Fawcett Columbine.

    Waldrop, M.M., Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and
    Chaos. 1992, New York: Simon and Schuster. (PhD in elementary particle
    physics)

    The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex
    by Harold J. Morowitz

    Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software – by
    Steven Johnson

    A New Kind of Science by Steve Wolfram

  • Reported: UML 1.5 — Sun, 9 Nov 2003 05:00 GMT
  • Disposition: Resolved — UML 1.4.2
  • Disposition Summary:

    see above

  • Updated: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 20:58 GMT