Emergence is a concept widely used in the sciences, the arts, and engineering. Some effort has been made to formalize it, but it is used in various contexts with different meanings, and a unified theory of emergence is still distant. The ultimate goal of a theory of emergence should include using emergence to model, design, or predict the behavior of multiagent systems. The author proposes a formal definition of a basic type of emergence using a language-theoretic and grammar systems approach. It is shown which types of phenomena can be modeled in this sense and what the consequences are for other more complex phenomena.

This content is only available as a PDF.