A.F. Lier,van, | Article | Publication date: 14 October 2015
ultra-large-scale systems, emergence and self-organisation
The years ahead will see the creation of a global ecosystem of industrial production processes and products linked in networks. Within this ecosystem, industrial products will be developed, produced/manufactured, monitored and maintained using available data and information. The characteristic of this new ecosystem will be that people, production processes, organisations and cyber-physical systems, interconnected in a socio-technical whole, will exchange and share information and will interact and produce on this basis. The scope of this worldwide ecosystem means it can be characterised as an ultra-large-scale system. Given the scope of this ecosystem as a new entity and the diversity of players linked within it, it is necessary to acquire new knowledge and insights applicable to the development and management of these enormous networks and the number of players present within them. This paper's central issue is to investigate whether complexity science can support the development and elaboration of an industrial Infosphere. Two of the characteristic elements arising from complexity theory, namely emergence and self-organisation, may constitute a crucial element in the development of this new and necessary knowledge.