Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 21, Iss. 4, October, 2017, pp. 407-440
@2017 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


Modeling Stochastic Complexity in Complex Adaptive Systems: Non-Kolmogorov Probability and the Process Algebra Approach

William H. Sulis, McMaster University, Ontario, Canad

Abstract: Walter Freeman III pioneered the application of nonlinear dynamical systems theories and methodologies in his work on mesoscopic brain dynamics.Sadly, mainstream psychology and psychiatry still cling to linear correlation based data analysis techniques, which threaten to subvert the process of experimentation and theory building. In order to progress, it is necessary to develop tools capable of managing the stochastic complexity of complex biopsychosocial systems, which includes multilevel feedback relationships, nonlinear interactions, chaotic dynamics and adaptability. In addition, however, these systems exhibit intrinsic randomness, non-Gaussian probability distributions, non-stationarity, contextuality, and non-Kolmogorov probabilities, as well as the absence of mean and/or variance and conditional probabilities. These properties and their implications for statistical analysis are discussed. An alternative approach, the Process Algebra approach, is described. It is a generative model, capable of generating non-Kolmogorov probabilities. It has proven useful in addressing fundamental problems in quantum mechanics and in the modeling of developing psychosocial systems.

Keywords: intrinsic randomness, nonstationarity, non-Kolmogorov probability, contextuality, process algebras