Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Complexity's Business Model," by Julie Wakefield. Scientific American, January 2001, pages 31-32.

This article describes how businesses have been using tools from the mathematical area of complexity research to improve efficiency. "[C]omplexologists resort to numerical simulations or models of one type or another, incorporating tools such as genetic algorithms, artificial and neural networks, and ant systems," the article says. One of the main purveyors of these techniques is the Bios Group, founded by Stuart Kauffman of the Santa Fe Institute, a hotbed of complexity research. The Bios Group is "modeling everything from supply chains to shop floors to battlefields," the article says.

--- Allyn Jackson