reply to post by Indellkoffer
....trot off to the math department....
haha. i have little faith in the faculty at this school. i have found that, usually, i am better off learning non textbook stuff on my own.
Generally chaotic systems don't work well for biological systems, since there's feedback loops and everything's not completely random (even
the flight of birds.)
it is a common misconception that CHAOS=NOISE. this is not the case.
the very important distinction is that noise is random (and would be a terrible model for biological systems), while chaos has only the appearence of
randomness. in fact, a chaotic signal can be anlyzed using statistics and found to have very distinct regularities.
since starting this project, i keep seeing chaos everywhere i go. for example, last week i had my feet in a foot-massaging device while drinking a
cup of tea. the vibrations were being transmitted through my body into the cup and into the liquid. the surface of the water was observed to have
standing waves which appeared to be perfectly still.
so the point is that, rather than sloshing all about, the cup and the liquid were forming a 'system'. within this system exist certain parameters
(such as the amount of liquid, the shape of the cup, etc.) which cause the output of the system to feedback as an input, which forms the regularity.
but if you were to observe the motion of the water molecules at the molecular level, it would probably be indistinguishable from noise.
so a chaotic system can only be observed from a "higher level" than the components of the system. this feedback is a very real-world application of
a fractal system, and the emergent nature of the chaos is very much a popular theme in theoretical biology.
And isn't this backwards from the way biology works?
are you sharpshooting me? nice try.
in fact, there is a ton of emerging data showing that many (if not most (if not all)) biological processes are maintained by a chaotic oscillation of
some sort. the reason that they have been unrecognized up to this point is that, as you have, most researchers mistake a chaotic signal as merely
one of the real problems, though, is that there is no analytical foundation by which we might predict the characteristics that a biological chaotic
system might have. so they are very tough to spot, and even harder to figure out the parameters which form the 'system' for the chaos.
my attempt here in this project is, as a subset of the larger goal of my thesis, to familiarize myself with procedures in the generation and
representation of a chaotic signal. in this way, if during my observations i see a potential chaotic system, i will have the tools handy to enable
thanks for your comments.