Bits and Bucks: Modeling complex systems by information flow
This paper presents a general method for modeling and characterizing complex systems in terms of flows of information together with flows of conserved or quasi-conserved quantities such as energy or money. Using mathematical techniques borrowed from statistical mechanics and from physics of computation, a framework is constructed that allows general systems to be modeled in terms of how information, energy, money, etc. flow between subsystems. Physical, chemical, biological, engineering, and commercial systems can all be analyzed within this framework.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
ESD Working Papers;ESD-WP-2003-01.17-ESD Internal Symposium