Self-organization  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Self-organization is a process where some form of global order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between the components of an initially disordered system. This process is spontaneous: it is not directed or controlled by any agent or subsystem inside or outside of the system. It is often triggered by random fluctuations that are amplified by positive feedback. The resulting organization is wholly decentralized or distributed over all the components of the system. As such it is typically very robust and able to survive and self-repair substantial damage or perturbations.

Self-organization occurs in a variety of physical, chemical, biological, social and cognitive systems. Common examples are crystallization, the emergence of convection patterns in a liquid heated from below, chemical oscillators, the invisible hand of the market, swarming in groups of animals, and the way neural networks learn to recognize complex patterns.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Self-organization" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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