An ensemble approach to the evolution of complex systems

J Biosci. 2014 Apr;39(2):259-80. doi: 10.1007/s12038-013-9394-8.


Adaptive systems frequently incorporate complex structures which can arise spontaneously and which may be nonadaptive in the evolutionary sense. We give examples from phase transition and fractal growth to develop the themes of cooperative phenomena and pattern formation. We discuss RNA interference and transcriptional gene regulation networks, where a major part of the topological properties can be accounted for by mere combinatorics. A discussion of ensemble approaches to biological systems and measures of complexity is presented, and a connection is established between complexity and fitness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Thermodynamics