Complexity as a Form of Transition From Dynamics to Thermodynamics: Application to Sociological and Biological Processes.
Description: This dissertation addresses the delicate problem of establishing the statistical mechanical foundation of complex processes. These processes are characterized by a delicate balance of randomness and order, and a correct paradigm for them seems to be the concept of sporadic randomness. First of all, we have studied if it is possible to establish a foundation of these processes on the basis of a generalized version of thermodynamics, of non-extensive nature. A detailed account of this attempt is reported in Ignaccolo and Grigolini (2001), which shows that this approach leads to inconsistencies. It is shown that there is no need to generalize the Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy by means of a non-extensive indicator, and that the anomaly of these processes does not rest on their non-extensive nature, but rather in the fact that the process of transition from dynamics to thermodynamics, this being still extensive, occurs in an exceptionally extended time scale. Even, when the invariant distribution exists, the time necessary to reach the thermodynamic scaling regime is infinite. In the case where no invariant distribution exists, the complex system lives forever in a condition intermediate between dynamics and thermodynamics. This discovery has made it possible to create a new method of analysis of non-stationary time series which is currently applied to problems of sociological and physiological interest.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Ignaccolo, Massimiliano
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation