Greater than the parts: a review of the information decomposition approach to causal emergence

Mediano, Pedro A M, Rosas, Fernando E, Luppi, Andrea I, Jensen, Henrik J, Seth, Anil K, Barrett, Adam B, Carhart-Harris, Robin L and Bor, Daniel (2022) Greater than the parts: a review of the information decomposition approach to causal emergence. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 380 (2227). ISSN 1364-503X

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Emergence is a profound subject that straddles many scientific disciplines, including the formation of galaxies and how consciousness arises from the collective activity of neurons. Despite the broad interest that exists on this concept, the study of emergence has suffered from a lack of formalisms that could be used to guide discussions and advance theories. Here we summarise, elaborate on, and extend a recent formal theory of causal emergence based on information decomposition, which is quantifiable and amenable to empirical testing. This theory relates emergence with information about a system’s temporal evolution that cannot be obtained from the parts of the system separately. This article provides an accessible but rigorous introduction to the framework, discussing the merits of the approach in various scenarios of interest. We also discuss several interpretation issues and potential misunderstandings, while highlighting the distinctive benefits of this formalism.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 08:30
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 16:15

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind and Consciousness - Senior FellowshipG2112CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED RESEARCHFL-000316
The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science 2019-2021 Leading-edge consciousness science and its application to psychological and neurological healthG2608SACKLER-DR MORTIMER AND THERESA SACKLER FOUNDATIONUnset