Anomalous fluctuations in the dynamics of complex systems: from DNA and physiology to econophysics
We discuss examples of complex systems composed of many interacting subsystems. We focus on those systems displaying nontrivial long-range correlations. These include the one-dimensional sequence of base pairs in DNA, the sequence of flight times of the large seabird Wandering Albatross, and the annual fluctuations in the growth rate of business firms. We review formal analogies in the models that describe the observed long-range correlations, and conclude by discussing the possibility that behavior of large numbers of humans (as measured, e.g., by economic indices) might conform to analogs of the scaling laws that have proved useful in describing systems composed of large numbers of inanimate objects.