Models and Concepts for Socio-Technical Complex Systems: Towards Fractal Social Organizations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • Vincenzo De Florio
  • Mohamed Bakhouya
  • Antonio Coronato
  • Giovanna Di Marzo

Research units

  • University of Antwerp
  • Aalto University
  • CNR-ENEA-EURATOM Association
  • Université de Genève


We introduce fractal social organizations-a novel class of socio-technical complex systems characterized by a distributed, bio-inspired, hierarchical architecture. Based on a same building block that is recursively applied at different layers, said systems provide a homogeneous way to model collective behaviors of different complexity and scale. Key concepts and principles are enunciated by means of a case study and a simple formalism. As preliminary evidence of the adequacy of the assumptions underlying our systems here, we define and study an algebraic model for a simple class of social organizations. We show how despite its generic formulation, geometric representations of said model exhibit the spontaneous emergence of complex hierarchical and modular patterns characterized by structured addition of complexity and fractal nature-which closely correspond to the distinctive architectural traits of our fractal social organizations. Some reflections on the significance of these results and a view to the next steps of our research conclude this contribution.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-772
Number of pages23
JournalSystems Research and Behavioral Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Collective adaptive systems, Distributed organizations, Fractal organizations, Social organizations, Socio-technical systems

ID: 10327411