Paper abstract

The structure of autocatalytic sets: Evolvability, enablement, and emergence

Wim Hordijk, Mike Steel and Stuart Kauffman

Acta Biotheoretica 60(4):379-392, 2012.

This paper presents new results from a detailed study of the structure of autocatalytic sets. We show how autocatalytic sets can be decomposed into smaller autocatalytic subsets, and how these subsets can be identified and classified. We then argue how this has important consequences for the evolvability, enablement, and emergence of autocatalytic sets. We end with some speculation on how all this might lead to a generalized theory of autocatalytic sets, which could possibly be applied to entire ecologies or even economies.