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Self-organization

Process of creating order by local interactions / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Self-organization, also called spontaneous order in the social sciences, is a process where some form of overall order arises from local interactions between parts of an initially disordered system. The process can be spontaneous when sufficient energy is available, not needing control by any external agent. It is often triggered by seemingly random fluctuations, amplified by positive feedback. The resulting organization is wholly decentralized, distributed over all the components of the system. As such, the organization is typically robust and able to survive or self-repair substantial perturbation. Chaos theory discusses self-organization in terms of islands of predictability in a sea of chaotic unpredictability.

Self-organization in micron-sized Nb3O7(OH) cubes during a hydrothermal treatment at 200 °C. Initially amorphous cubes gradually transform into ordered 3D meshes of crystalline nanowires as summarized in the model below.[1]

Self-organization occurs in many physical, chemical, biological, robotic, and cognitive systems. Examples of self-organization include crystallization, thermal convection of fluids, chemical oscillation, animal swarming, neural circuits, and black markets.