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Sean Devine, Research Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

An Algorithmic Information Theory Approach to the Emergence of Order Using Simple Replication Models (Evo Devo Universe 2008)

This paper applies Algorithmic Information Theory to simple examples of replication processes to illustrate how replicating structures can generate and maintain order in a non equilibrium system. Variation in replicating structures enhances the system's ability to maintain homeostasis in a changing environment by allowing it to evolve to a more restricted region of its state space. Stability is further enhanced when replicating systems develop dependencies, by sharing information or resources. Such systems co-evolve, becoming more independent of the external environment. Nested systems have a hierarchy of dependency but have low algorithmic entropy as they are in principle simpler to describe algorithmically. Nesting of replicating systems offsets the need for increased variety by allowing the structures to increase in organizational complexity with little increase in algorithmic entropy. Chaitin's d-diameter complexity provides a measure of the level of order in nested replicating systems.