Complexity, Information and Robustness: The Role of Information ‘Barriers’ in Boolean Networks
Last modified: August 15, 2006
In this supposed ‘information age’ a high premium is put on the widespread availability of information. Access to as much information as possible is often cited as key to the making of effective decisions. Whilst it would be foolish to deny the central role that information and its flow has in effective decision making, this paper explores the equally important role of ‘barriers’ to information flows for the robustness of complex systems. The analysis demonstrates that (for simple Boolean networks at least) a complex system’s ability to filter out, i.e., block, certain information flows is essential if it is not to be beholden to every external signal. The reduction of information is as important as the availability of information.