Guided Self-Organization - Making the Invisible Hand Work (Chapter 4 of Digital Society)

24 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2014  

Dirk Helbing

ETH Zürich - Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (GESS)

Date Written: October 28, 2014

Abstract

What makes complex systems so difficult to control is that they have a natural tendency to self-organize, driven by the inherent forces between the system components. Self-organization may have favorable results or undesirable ones, depending on the kinds of interactions and institutional settings. But slightly modifying the interactions mechanisms, or interfering in the right moment in a minimally invasive way is able to create desired outcomes. Such "guided self-organization" utilizes the hidden forces acting in complex systems rather than opposing them.

Keywords: guided self-organization, complex system, emergence, invisible hand, Internet of Things, traffic assistance system, self-organized traffic light control, self-organized production, mechanism design

JEL Classification: A00

Suggested Citation

Helbing, Dirk, Guided Self-Organization - Making the Invisible Hand Work (Chapter 4 of Digital Society) (October 28, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2515686 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2515686

Dirk Helbing (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich - Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (GESS) ( email )

ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Clausiusstrasse 50
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.coss.ethz.ch

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