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Sensititivity to initial conditions. Anywhere there is a feedback
control and a cascading broadcast, the system can become unpredictable
in just a few hops. Look at Markov predictability.
From: Ian Graham [mailto:email@example.com]
My understanding is that complex systems have underlying deterministic
dynamics, just like a chaotic system, but that only certain aspects of a
complex system can be predicted in a reliable way (also just like chaotic
systems). Also, there are parameters that, when changed only slightly, may
make a complex system's properties change dramatically, so that
predictability is difficult to impossible.
For example, some have argued that the power grid is a complex system -
but small changes to it (as recently observed) led to highly unpredictable