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Measuring synergy using entropy
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1  Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela


Synergy is phenomenon found everywhere in nature at all levels of organization in physics, chemistry, biology, social sciences, and the arts. The English Wikipedia defines Synergy as "the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. The term synergy comes from the Attic Greek word συνεργία synergia from synergos, συνεργός, meaning working together". Synergy is an important concept that is difficult to define precisely and even more difficult to quantify. Entropy on the other hand has been used as a way to measure order or complexity. Here I explore the changes in entropy induced by diverse process described as synergistic. The paper uses seven examples reported in the literature to quantify synergy in different settings. The result shows that synergistic processes are associated to decreases in entropy in the system where they occur, opening the door to use entropy measures to identify and classify synergistic processes.

Keywords: complexity, energy, synergy, order, social structure, entropy, evolution