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This article discusses the evolution of institutional rules, the prescriptions that humans use to shape their collective activities. Four aspects of the rules are discussed: coding, creation, selection, and memory. The immune system provides us a useful metaphor to relate these four aspects into a coherent framework. For each aspect, the relevant dynamics in social systems and immune systems are discussed. Finally, a framework for a computational model to study the evolution of rules is sketched.
How do systems respond to disturbances? The capacity of a system to respond to disturbances varies for different types of disturbance regimes. We distinguish two types of responses: one that enables the system to absorb disturbances from an existing disturbance regime, and one that enables a system to reconstruct itself after a fundamental change in a disturbance regime. We use immune systems as a model for how systems can deal with disturbances, and use this model to derive insights in adaptive capacity of social-ecological systems. We identify a tension between the two types of responses where one benefits from learning and memory while the other requires fast-turnover of experience. We discuss how this may affect building up adaptive capacity of social-ecological systems.
Keywords: disturbance regimeadaptive capacitysocial-ecological systemsimmune systemsresilience
A new perspective for studying the complex interactions between human activities and ecosystems is proposed. It is argued that biological immune systems share a number of similarities with ecological economic systems in terms of function. These similarities include the system’s ability to recognize harmful invasions, design measures to control and destroy these invasions, and remember successful response strategies. Studying both the similarities and the differences between immune systems and ecological economic systems can provide new insights on ecosystem management.
Keywords: adaptive systems, artificial immune systems, biological invasions, ecological economic systems, ecosystem management, immune systems, institutions, models.
This paper discusses the evolution of rules between people for the management of ecosystems. Four aspects of the rules are discussed: coding, creation, selection and memory. The immune system provides us a useful metaphor to relate these four aspects into a coherent framework. We sketch a framework for a computational model to study the evolution of rules for the management of ecosystems.