[Next] [Previous] [Up] [Top] [Contents]

3 Practical limits to modelling

3.3 Complexity

Computational Complexity is concerned with the computational resources required, once the program is provided. It does not take into account the difficulty of writing the program in the first place. Experience leads me to believe that frequently it is the writing of this program that is the more difficult step.

More fundamental is what I would call "analytic complexity". This is the difficulty of analysing (producing a top-down model) of something, given a synthetic (bottom-up) model [4]. Whether or not this difficulty is sometimes ultimate, few people would deny that such difficulties exist and that the exist arbitrary levels. Given that our analytic capabilities will always be limited (see above in Section 3.2), such complexity will always be a practical barrier to us*1.

Pragmatic Holism - Bruce Edmonds - 22 FEB 96
[Next] [Previous] [Up] [Top] [Contents]

Generated with CERN WebMaker