chaos
<mathematics> A property of some nonlinear dynamic systems which exhibit
sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This means that there are initial
states which evolve within some finite time to states whose separation in one or
more dimensions of state space depends, in an average sense, exponentially on
their initial separation.
Such systems may still be completely deterministic in that any future state of
the system depends only on the initial conditions and the equations describing
the change of the system with time. It may, however, require arbitrarily high
precision to actually calculate a future state to within some finite precision.
["On defining chaos", R. Glynn Holt
<rgholt@voyager.jpl.nasa.gov> and D. Lynn Holt
<lholt@seraph1.sewanee.edu>.
ftp://mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu/pub/etext/ippe/preprints/Phil_of_Science/Holt_and_Holt.On_Defining_Chaos]
Fixed precision floatingpoint arithmetic, as used by most computers, may
actually introduce chaotic dependence on initial conditions due to the
accumulation of rounding errors (which constitutes a nonlinear system).
(19950207)
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