Frozen accidents
This page describes the organizational forces that limit change.  It explains how to overcome them when necessary. 

Power& tradition holding back progress
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  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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This page uses the example of HP's printer organization freeing itself from its organizational constraints to sell a printer targeted at the IBM pc user. 
The constraints are described. 
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Chance events become initiators of emergence

Summary
This page discusses the impact of random events which once they occur encourage a particular direction forward for a complex adaptive system (
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
). 
Introduction
The
Agents use sensors to detect events in their environment.  This page reviews how these events become signals associated with beneficial responses in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  CAS signals emerge from the Darwinian information model.  Signals can indicate decision summaries and level of uncertainty. 
sensors
in adaptive systems react to a '
Flows of different kinds are essential to the operation of complex adaptive systems (CAS). 
Example flows are outlined.  Constraints on flows support the emergence of the systems.  Examples of constraints are discussed. 
stream
' of events.  Sometimes the response of the adaptive system is
This page discusses the mechanisms and effects of emergence underpinning any complex adaptive system (CAS).  Key research is reviewed. 
emergent
.  The event becomes a foundation for the future direction of development of the system. 

Through chance, events compete for the direction that the system will take.  Depending on the order of events the system will adapt differently.  A 'frozen accident' in effect sets the direction of the system. 

A frozen accident initially referred to quantum mechanical events providing a far greater contribution to the future direction than the fundamental rules of a
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
complex adaptive system (CAS)


Each quantum mechanical alternate history of the universe depends on the results of an inconceivably large number of accidents.  The accidents have chance outcomes as required by quantum mechanics.  The effective complexity, M. Mitchell Waldrop describes a vision of complexity via:
  • Rich interactions that allow a system to undergo spontaneous self-organization
  • Systems that are adaptive
  • More predictability than chaotic systems by bringing order and chaos into
  • Balance at the edge of chaos 
of the universe receives only a small contribution from the
This page discusses the physical foundations of complex adaptive systems (CAS).  A small set of rules is obeyed.  New [epi]phenomena then emerge.  Examples are discussed. 
fundamental laws
.  The rest comes from the numerous regularities resulting from frozen accidents.  These are chance events to which the particular outcomes have a multiplicity of long-term consequences, all related by their common ancestry. 

A specific class of frozen accidents
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
Darwinian pre-adaptations
, are incidental features of an adaptive
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agent
with no selection significance in one environment which turn out to have selective significance in another environment. 

The chance nature of frozen accidents means that the progressive adaptation in evolutionary biology is a trait that increased the number of surviving offspring in an organism's ancestral lineage.  In Deacon's conception of evolution an adaptation is the realization of a set of constraints on candidate mechanisms, and so long as these constraints are maintained, other features are arbitrary. 
of a CAS is highly specific.  It is the realized outcome of a huge number of potential alternative combinations that de-cohered as course-grained, averaged, histories. 

The effect of frozen accidents limits the usefulness of
The agents in complex adaptive systems (CAS) must model their environment to respond effectively to it.  Samuel modeling is described as an approach. 
models
that attempt to represent all outcomes, to characterizing those systems that have a very limited set of combinations.  For example in integrated circuit design the use of
This page discusses the strategy of modularity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The benefits, mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
design rules
that require designs to use rectangular layouts etc. reduces the combinatorial explosion. 
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integrating quality appropriate for each market
 
This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
Strategy
| Design |
This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
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