Complexity and intransitivity in technological development

Klimenko, Alexander Y. (2014) Complexity and intransitivity in technological development. Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering, 23 2: 128-152. doi:10.1007/s11518-014-5245-x

Author Klimenko, Alexander Y.
Title Complexity and intransitivity in technological development
Journal name Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1004-3756
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11518-014-5245-x
Open Access Status
Volume 23
Issue 2
Start page 128
End page 152
Total pages 25
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract This paper investigates the existence of a fundamental link between two disciplines that emerged during last few decades: complexity science and advanced engineering. During this time many industries, especially those related to the high-tech end of technological development, have faced the problem of increasing complexity of design, production and operation. Industrial projects have grown to become multidisciplinary, tightly interconnected, costly and difficult to control and predict. Two trends can be identified in this respect: one is the consistent effort of systems engineering in reducing the uncertainties of complex industrial operations and the other is the effort undertaken in complexity studies to account for uncertainties present in the real world. In this work, we provide a brief overview of recent developments in advanced engineering and give a consistent interpretation of technological evolution from the perspective of complexity science in general and complex competitive systems (CCS) in particular. CCS is a general framework that was recently developed for analysis of complex systems involving competition. Transitivity of the decision-making process and the cyclic nature of technological progress are considered. Correctness of intransitive decisions is inherently relativistic: the same decisions can be seen as correct or incorrect when considered from different perspectives. When treated simplistically, intransitivity may seem to be illogical but, nevertheless, it is common in nature and needs to be studied. CCS provides a formalised scientific framework for analysis of intransitivity and establishes the existence of an important connection linking complexity and uncertainty with intransitivity. Implications of intransitivity for engineering decision-making and strategic planning are considered in the context of CCS. A working example of intransitivity in competition between major car manufacturers is presented.
Keyword Complex competitive systems
Industrial strategy and decision making
Systems engineering
Technology strategy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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