Representing emergent phenomena


  • William Ananias Vallerio Dias Universidade de São Paulo



scientific representation, DEKI account, cellular automata, emergent properties


Representational models are used in scientific practice to represent different phenomena. The purpose of this work is to examine the use of cellular automata (CA) to represent emergent phenomena, that is, phenomena with global aspects that cannot be predicted only from their local aspects, seeking to understand how the representation in this modeling process takes place. A suggested approach is the DEKI account developed by Roman Frigg and James Nguyen, in which the representation process involves four aspects: denotation of the target system by the model under an interpretation, exemplification of relevant properties in the model, formulation of a key that relates model properties with target properties and inputation of properties given by the key to the target. In this account, CA would represent the denoted target systems as complex systems that can be interpreted in local level and global level, so that emergent properties are exemplified in global level.


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Special Issue: Models and Modeling in the Sciences