System dynamics and disruption and delay in complex projects

S.M. Howick, F. Ackermann, C. Eden, T.M. Williams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science provides an authoritative single source for understanding and applying the concepts of complexity theory together with the tools and measures for analyzing complex systems in all fields of science and engineering. The science and tools of complexity and systems science include theories of self-organization, complex systems, synergetics, dynamical systems, turbulence, catastrophes, instabilities, nonlinearity, stochastic processes, chaos, neural networks, cellular automata, adaptive systems, and genetic algorithms. Examples of near-term problems and major unknowns that can be approached through complexity and systems science include: The structure, history and future of the universe; the biological basis of consciousness; the integration of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics as systems biology; human longevity limits; the limits of computing; sustainability of life on earth; predictability, dynamics and extent of earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters; the dynamics of turbulent flows; lasers or fluids in physics, microprocessor design; macromolecular assembly in chemistry and biophysics; brain functions in cognitive neuroscience; climate change; ecosystem management; traffic management; and business cycles. All these seemingly quite different kinds of structure formation have a number of important features and underlying structures in common. These deep structural similarities can be exploited to transfer analytical methods and understanding from one field to another. This unique work will extend the influence of complexity and system science to a much wider audience than has been possible to date.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopaedia of complexity and systems science
EditorsRobert A Meyers
Number of pages10370
ISBN (Print)9780387758886
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2009


  • system dynamics
  • management science
  • systems science


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