"A conceptual framework for mechanisms of self-organization"
The concept of self-organization is increasingly used to describe patterns arising in systems in many fields such as biology, physics, sociology and economics. However, no general theoretical understanding exists as to the mechanisms that lead to self-organization in systems. Some of the main reasons for this are that definitions of self-organization vary across different fields, and occurrence of self-organization is mainly demonstrated by examples. We examine current theories and models that deal with self-organization and synthesize them into a general conceptual framework. This framework allows us to examine a diverse collection of approaches from the same perspective and points to the mechanisms that generate self-organization.