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Understanding Complex Ecosystem Dynamics: A Systems and Engineering Perspective

  • Provides a fresh interdisciplinary perspective, offers a broad integrated development, and contains many new ideas
  • Clearly explains the elements of the systems approach and applies them throughout the book
  • Takes on the challenging and open issues of complex system network dynamics
  • Develops and utilizes a new, innovative ecosystem dynamics modeling approach
  • Contains over 135 graphic illustrations to help the reader visualize and understand important concepts

By: William S Yackinous(Author)

416 pages, 135+ colour & b/w illustrations

Academic Press

Paperback | Jul 2015 | #225562 | ISBN-13: 9780128020319
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £95.99 $122/€107 approx

About this book

Understanding Complex Ecosystem Dynamics: A Systems and Engineering Perspective takes a fresh, interdisciplinary perspective on complex system dynamics, beginning with a discussion of relevant systems and engineering skills and practices, including an explanation of the systems approach and its major elements. From this perspective, the author formulates an ecosystem dynamics functionality-based framework to guide ecological investigations. Next, because complex system theory (across many subject matter areas) is crucial to the work of Understanding Complex Ecosystem Dynamics, relevant network theory, nonlinear dynamics theory, cellular automata theory, and roughness (fractal) theory is covered in some detail. This material serves as an important resource as the book proceeds. In the context of all of the foregoing discussion and investigation, a view of the characteristics of ecological network dynamics is constructed. This view, in turn, is the basis for the central hypothesis of Understanding Complex Ecosystem Dynamics, i.e., ecological networks are ever-changing networks with propagation dynamics that are punctuated, local-to-global, and perhaps most importantly fractal. To analyze and fully test this hypothesis, an innovative ecological network dynamics model is defined, designed, and developed. The modeling approach, which seeks to emulate features of real-world ecological networks, does not make a priori assumptions about ecological network dynamics, but rather lets the dynamics develop as the model simulation runs. Model analysis results corroborate the central hypothesis. Additional important insights and principles are suggested by the model analysis results and by the other supporting investigations of Understanding Complex Ecosystem Dynamics – and can serve as a basis for going-forward complex system dynamics research, not only for ecological systems but for complex systems in general.



Part I The Systems and Engineering Perspective
Chapter 1 A Systems Engineer’s Perspective
Chapter 2 More Views on Systems Thinking
Chapter 3 The Major Elements of the Systems Approach
Chapter 4 Reductionism and Information Loss

Part II A Function-Structure-Process Framework for Ecological System Dynamics
Chapter 5 Overview of an Ecological System Dynamics Framework
Chapter 6 Regulation/Adaptation: Control Aspects of Ecological Systems
Chapter 7 Evolution and Universal Development Concepts

Part III Complex Systems Theory: Networks, Nonlinear Dynamics, Cellular Automata, and Fractals (Roughness)
Chapter 8 Network Theory: The Structure of Complex Networks
Chapter 9 Network Theory: The Dynamics of Complex Networks
Chapter 10 Fundamentals of Nonlinear Dynamics
Chapter 11 Cellular Automata Investigations and Emerging Complex System Principles
Chapter 12 Fractals: The Theory of Roughness

Part IV A View of the Characteristics of Ecological Network Dynamics
Chapter 13 Issues of Human Perception
Chapter 14 The Nature of Order and Complexity in Ecological Systems
Chapter 15 Characteristics of Ecological Network Dynamics

Part V Modeling Ecological Network Dynamics and the Generation and Analysis of Results
Chapter 16 A New Approach to Modeling Ecological Network Dynamics
Chapter 17 Model Software Design and Development
Chapter 18 Ecological Network Dynamics Results

Part VI Pulling It All Together
Chapter 19 An Increased Understanding of Complex System Dynamics

Appendix Selections from the Dynamics Model Programming Code

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Bill Yackinous has had a distinguished 34-year career as a systems engineer at Bell Laboratories. Throughout his career he worked to solve systems problems for Bell Labs and for its clients – both domestically and internationally. Bill has earned the highest technical honors at Bell Labs. He was named a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 1986, a Bell Labs Fellow in 1992, and a Consulting Member of Technical Staff in 2000. Bell Labs Fellow is the most prestigious technical honor at Bell Labs – and among the most prestigious across research and development institutions throughout the world. At Bell Labs, Bill acquired a very significant breadth and depth of systems and engineering knowledge. He made important and innovative contributions to systems thinking and engineering system development. Bill's global perspective has taken him around the world – supporting the local Bell Labs teams and their clients. He has served as a systems engineering consultant for both executive-level and working-level groups in Japan, England, Malaysia, France, and Canada. After earning a PhD in Ecology at the University of Georgia's Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology, Bill is now pursuing his goal of beneficially applying the skills, perspectives, methods, and techniques of the systems approach and systems engineering to increase understanding of complex ecological systems.

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