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What is a Complex Adaptive System?

During the last three decades a leap has been made from the application of computing to help scientists 'do' science to the integration of computer science concepts, tools and theorems into the very fabric of science. The modeling of complex adaptive systems (CAS) is an example of such an integration of computer science into the very fabric of science; models of complex systems are used to understand, predict and prevent the most daunting problems we face today; issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, energy consumption and virulent disease affect us all. The study of complex adaptive systems, has come to be seen as a scientific frontier, and an increasing ability to interact systematically with highly complex systems that transcend separate disciplines will have a profound affect on future science, engineering and industry as well as in the management of our planet's resources (Emmott et al., 2006).

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