(1) A state of disorder or unpredictability. (Oxford English Dictionary)
(2) A chaotic system has elements which are not interconnected and behave randomly with no adaptation or control. (Oxford English Dictionary)
(3) Chaos theory is applied to certain types of dynamic system (e.g. the weather) which, although they have structure and relationships, exhibit un-predictable behavior. These systems are deterministic; their future behavior is fully determined by their initial conditions with no random elements involved. However, their structure is such that (un-measurably) small perturbations in inputs or environmental conditions may result in unpredictable changes in behavior. This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos. (Kellert, 1993)
(1) and (2) Oxford English Dictionary. s.v. "Chaos."
(3) Kellert, S. 1993. In the Wake of Chaos: Unpredictable Order in Dynamical Systems. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press. p. 32. ISBN 0-226-42976-8.
(1) and (2) are the general usage definitions in which chaos means random and unconnected, e.g. not a system.
(3) is a mathematical definitions of a class of natural systems which appear chaotic, but have underlying mathematical order them.
Please provide your comments and feedback on the SEBoK below. You will need to log in to DISQUS using an existing account (e.g. Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or create a DISQUS account. Simply type your comment in the text field below and DISQUS will guide you through the login or registration steps. Feedback will be archived and used for future updates to the SEBoK. If you provided a comment that is no longer listed, that comment has been adjudicated. You can view adjudication for comments submitted prior to SEBoK v. 1.0 at SEBoK Review and Adjudication. Later comments are addressed and changes are summarized in the Letter from the Editor and Acknowledgements and Release History.
If you would like to provide edits on this article, recommend new content, or make comments on the SEBoK as a whole, please see the SEBoK Sandbox.blog comments powered by Disqus