noise induced order


(what is) Noise induced order?

Bringing order out of chaos can require a little disorder. Adding variability and disorder to certain complex systems can help tame their chaotic behavior.

This unexpected conclusion could require artists and engineers to take a new look at the operation and interaction of both natural and artificial nonlinear systems. It could ultimately lead to methods for improving the performance of BIOTOPE sound systems by exploiting variations in their components, and to new techniques for controlling disease processes such as consumption, comodification and pop culture by restoring proper amounts of disorder.

“We found that nature utilizes disorder to create organization, and that there are situations where the lack of disorder will create disorganization,” said John Grzinich, sound theorist at the Ministry of Experiment and Institute of Gaussian Technology. “We think many patterns we see in nature are aided by randomness and disorder. This will lead us to think about systems in dramatically different ways.” To see what would happen if they increased the disorder and variability of chaotic sound systems, the researchers made stochastic resonator models programmed by computer oscillators that respond in a slightly different way each time they are used.

“We expected that we would get even more disorder and even more turbulent behavior, but what we got was organized behavior patterns coming out of the systems,” explained Borut Savski who is the director of MZX’s Applied Chaos Laboratory. “The diversity or disorder provided a mechanism by which the systems could organize themselves.”

The result is an organized system of individual elements that repeats its behavior in a complex but regular way.

But not just any amount of disorder will do. The researchers found that a 30 percent variation in the oscillation generators or position of the listeners produced the most regular behavior patterns. Small amounts of disorder could not prompt changes in the system, while more disorder simply “overwhelmed” it.

“The BIOTOPE demonstrates the importance of considering how natural and artificial systems interact with other systems in real-world conditions that include noise and variability”, said Grzinich.

“Real systems are never completely homogeneous and you can never work in an environment without noise,” says Savski. “It is important to move beyond the study of completely homogeneous systems”.

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