Simon DeDeo

Paper #: 11-09-47

Abstracting an effective theory from a complicated process is central to the study of complexity. Even when the underlying mechanisms are understood, or at least measurable, the presence of dissipation and irreversibility in biological, computational and social systems makes the problem harder. Here we demonstrate the construction of effective theories in the presence of both irreversibility and noise, in a dynamical model with underlying feedback. We use the Krohn-Rhodes theorem to show how the composition of underlying mechanisms can lead to innovations in the emergent effective theory. We show how dissipation and irreversibility fundamentally limit the lifetimes of these emergent structures, even though, on short timescales, the group properties may be enriched compared to their noiseless counterparts.