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Published October 2011 | public
Journal Article

Inevitable randomness in discrete mathematics [Book Review]


Complex systems arise naturally throughout mathematics, computer science, economics and the physical sciences. However, when faced with such intricate systems, we are often powerless to understand their behaviour. Without simplifying assumptions, such as that of the rational agent in economics, the size of the space of possibilities and its apparent lack of order can become overwhelming. In this book, József Beck explores this issue, suggesting that discrete systems which are not simple should always behave in a random-like fashion, even when different parts of the system do not behave independently. The central focus of the book is, to use the author's own term, the following 'vague' metaconjecture.

Additional Information

© 2011 London Mathematical Society. Issue online 17 July 2011; version of record online 17 July 2011. Book review of: Inevitable randomness in discrete mathematics (University Lecture Series 49) by József Beck: 250 pp., ISBN 978‐0‐8218‐4756‐5 (American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 2009).

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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023