Complex Adaptive System (CAS) (glossary)

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System where the individual elements act independently but jointly behave according to common constraints and goals. In the natural world, a flock of geese is a Complex Adaptive System (CAS). Human-intensive systems are also CASs since each human in the system is independent. (Weaver 1948, 536; Jackson, Hitchins, and Eisner 2010, 41; Flood and Carson 1993; Lawson 2010)


Jackson, S., D. Hitchins, and H. Eisner. 2010. "What is the systems approach?" INCOSE Insight 13:(1) (March 2010): 41.

Flood, R.L., and E.R. Carson. 1993. Dealing with complexity: An Introduction to the Theory and Application of Systems Science. 2nd ed. New York, NY, USA: Plenum Press.

Lawson, H.W. 2010. A Journey through the Systems Landscape. London, UK: College Publications, Kings College.



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