Letter | Published:

Will a Large Complex System be Stable?

Naturevolume 238pages413414 (1972) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Gardner and Ashby1 have suggested that large complex systems which are assembled (connected) at random may be expected to be stable up to a certain critical level of connectance, and then, as this increases, to suddenly become unstable. Their conclusions were based on the trend of computer studies of systems with 4, 7 and 10 variables.

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References

  1. 1

    Gardner, M. R., and Ashby, W. R., Nature, 228, 784 (1970).

  2. 2

    Margalef, R., Perspectives in Ecological Theory (University of Chicago, 1968).

  3. 3

    May, R. M., Math. Biosci., 12, 59 (1971).

  4. 4

    Wigner, E. P., Proc. Fourth Canad. Math. Cong., Toronto, 174 (1959).

  5. 5

    Mehta, M. L., Random Matrices, 12 (Academic Press, New York, 1967).

  6. 6

    Ginibre, J., J. Math. Phys., 6, 44 (1965).

  7. 7

    Margalef, R., Perspectives in Ecological Theory, 7 (University of Chicago, 1968).

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Author notes

    • ROBERT M. MAY

    Present address: School of Physics, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW

Affiliations

  1. Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540

    • ROBERT M. MAY

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https://doi.org/10.1038/238413a0

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