About Sean Devine
This introduced me to the works of Gregory Chaitin and ultimately Li and Vitányi’s comprehensive book. While this book is a treasure trove, it is difficult for an outsider to master as the context of much of the development is not clear to a non mathematician. Nevertheless the book pointed to Kolmogorov's work on algorithmic complexity, probability theory and randomness. So while the application to economic systems is on the back burner, I realised that AIT provided a useful tool for scientists to look at natural systems.
In short, the developments in AIT, probability and randomness seemed to me to provide a valuable tool to apply to the kind of organised complex systems studied in the natural world. Unfortunately, these insights are not readily accessible to the scientific community, or in a form that is easy to apply. I found that the earlier work of Zurek and Bennett on algorithmic entropy provided rich understandings of non equilibrium systems- yet this work seems to have become lost in the mists of time.
A critical issue was how to apply AIT to strings, that specified structure in the real world but also embodied significant noise or variation. While I developed my own solution (Devine 2006). I later found that Kolmogorov’s Algorithmic Minimum Sufficient Statistic (AMSS) approach, outlined in Vereshchagin and Vitányi, had done it all. However as the AMSS approach addressed a different question, its application to specifying a microstate in a real world macrostate was not obvious. Nevertheless, because variation in similar strings can be handled, the approach is critical to real systems. However, I use the term provisional entropy rather than AMSS, as this entropy aligns with the traditional understandings of entropy and provides a path into discussing real non equilibrium systems. SeeJ. L. Casti. "Complexification:Explaining a Paradoxical World Through the Science of Surprise. Harpercollins (1995).
Li, Ming, and Paul M. B. Vit´anyi, “ An Introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its Applications”, 3rd. ed. New York: Springer-Verlag (2008).
S. D. Devine. The application of algorithmic information theory to noisy patterned strings. Complexity, 12(2):52–58 (2006).N. K. Vereshchagin and P. M. B. Vitányi. "Kolmogorov's structure functions and model selection". IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 50(12):3265–3290 (2004).