Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Thursday 2 August 2018

Understanding Complexity with Systems

I have today been watching the many butterflies flapping their wings around a Buddleia bush. The butterfly bush with its abundant deep violet-purple flowers attracts the butterflies, which surround the bush. I always wonder if this activity will cause a transformation round the globe with the much discussed 'butterfly effect'. The classic quote 'the notion that a butterfly stirring the air today in Peking can transform storm systems next month in New York [...] tiny differences in input could quickly become overwhelming differing in output' Glick (1987) . This is known as Chaos,  the term coined by Lorenz for a system with unpredictable outcomes.  The problem is that it is difficult to know the exact starting point of a situation accurately enough to put it into a mathematical formula. Thus each step in the process in the system moves further away from where you thought it should go. The errors or uncertainty multiply and can cause turbulent features. 

The natural world is unpredictable and has many patterns of behaviour. To understand any system well enough it is necessary to understand the inputs and outputs. To understand database systems there is much complexity that needs to be considered. This graph shows some of the theoretical components.

To apply this understanding and advance a system using artificial  intelligence (AI) you need to fully understand the system under investigation. For data and database systems people gain that experience and learning over many years. The art is to document the inputs and outputs and identify the best practices which have worked and those that have not. Also to create a method to connect the continuously evolving and changing best practice. Only then can you identify the opportunities within the system to improve management and create a state where AI is embedded within a helpful tool that could improve efficiency and performance.

My research examined the complexity of managing database systems and as such has the building blocks to begin to build an autonomous AI system to help manage database systems. Below shows the components that are interconnected in the the management of database systems.

Complexity is always changing and migrating with the passage of time and the trend will be from order to disorder, thus creating an autonomous system to help prevent that could be beneficial.The aim would be to create a self organizing system based on feedback from a persons behaviour, decisions, documentation, operational configuration, meetings and actions. 

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