Aggregation and emergence in hierarchically organized systems: Population dynamics

Acta Biotheoretica 44 (3-4):301-316 (1996)
The aim of this work is to present aggregation methods of hierarchically organized systems allowing one to replace the initial micro-system by a macro-system described by a few global variables. We also study the relations between the fast micro-dynamics and the slow macro-dynamics which can produce global properties. Emergence corresponds to a bottom-up coupling that is the result effected by a micro-level at a macro-level. As an example, we present prey-predator models with different time scales in an heterogeneous environment. A fast time scale is associated to the migration process on spatial patches and a slow time scale is associated to growth and interactions between the populations. Preys must go on spatial patches where resources are located and where predators can attack them. The efficiency of the predators to catch preys is patch dependent. Perturbation methods allow us to aggregate the initial system of differential equations for the patch sub-populations into a macro-system of two differential equations governing the total population densities. We study the case of density independent and density dependent migrations. In the latter case, we show that different functional responses can emerge in the macro prey-predator model as a result of the coupling between the slow and fast systems
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DOI 10.1007/BF00046535
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Herbert A. Simon (1962). The Architecture of Complexity. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 106.

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