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JBI
2006

Granularity, scale and collectivity: When size does and does not matter

13 years 5 months ago
Granularity, scale and collectivity: When size does and does not matter
Bridging levels of ``granularity'' and ``scale'' are frequently cited as key problems for biomedical informatics. However, detailed accounts of what is meant by these terms are sparse in the literature. We argue for distinguishing two notions: ``size range,'' which deals with physical size, and ``collectivity,'' which deals with aggregations of individuals into collections, which have emergent properties and effects. We further distinguish these notions from ``specialisation,'' ``degree of detail,'' ``density,'' and ``connectivity.'' We argue that the notion of ``collectivity''--molecules in water, cells in tissues, people in crowds, stars in galaxies--has been neglected but is a key to representing biological notions, that it is a pervasive notion across size ranges--micro, macro, cosmological, etc.--and that it provides an account of a number of troublesome issues including the most important c...
Alan L. Rector, Jeremy Rogers, Thomas Bittner
Added 13 Dec 2010
Updated 13 Dec 2010
Type Journal
Year 2006
Where JBI
Authors Alan L. Rector, Jeremy Rogers, Thomas Bittner
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