the dynamics of correlated novelties

Novelties are a familiar part of daily life. They are also fundamental to the evolution of biological systems, human society, and technology. By opening new possibilities, one novelty can pave the way for others in a process that Kauffman has called ‘‘expanding the adjacent possible’’. The dynamics of correlated novelties, however, have yet to be quantified empirically or modeled mathematically. Here we propose a simple mathematical model that mimics the process of exploring a physical, biological, or conceptual space that enlarges whenever a novelty occurs. Our results provide a starting point for a deeper understanding of the adjacent possible and its role in biological, cultural, and technological evolution.

Do you want to read more?

Francesca Tria, Vittorio Loreto, Vito Domenico Pietro Servedio, Steven H. Strogatz

In: Nature Scientific Reports, 4 (5890), 2014.