Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scale Free, Zipf Law and Christopher Alexander living structures

OK - so this is just a brain dump. Some analysis from Software Libraries and Their Reuse: Entropy, Kolmogorov Complexity, and Zipf’s Law suggests that the reuse of software components follow the Zipf law (that is the nth most popular component is reused in c*n^(-1) other places). My intuition is that this is not just a law about software - but about just any system - the economy in the program length would have a direct analogy in the economy of physical system parts. And I would guess that Christopher Alexander patterns and structure preserving transformations are result of the same entropy maximizing principles.

1 comment:

phil jones said...

Fascinating point.

Unless Alexandrian patterns are more like grammatical types than individual word tokens.

Often his patterns fit together and imply each other rather like verbs, nouns, adjectives etc. If the patterns are more like that, then they wouldn't necessarily be in the kind of *competitive* relationship with each other that words are.

Having said that, clearly sometimes patterns are rival solutions to the same problems, in which case, what you say seems pretty plausible.