Daisyworld. Exploring the mechanisms of planetary homeostasis.

James Dyke* and Inman Harvey*

James Dyke - Centre for Computational Robotics and Neuroscience, University of Sussex
Ralph Lorenz - Applied Physics Lab, Johns Hopkins University, USA
James Lovelock - Coombe Mill, St Giles on the Heath, Launceston, UK (to be confirmed)
Axel Kleidon - Biospheric Theory and Modelling Group, Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany


Daisyworld, invented by James Lovelock, is a simple mathematical model of a biosphere designed to demonstrate planetary homeostasis as consequence of the feedback between organisms and their environment. It has since been used as the basis of a significant amount of original research within atmospheric science, Gaia theory, evolutionary theory and artificial life. This tutorial will explain how Daisyworld works, what it tells us about homeostatic systems and how it may be applied in future research. It will be shown that the Daisyworld control system, whilst simple, contains features that have significant implications. These implications are of particular relevance to cybernetics, control theory and evolutionary theory. Attendees will also be introduced to thermodynamic approaches to the study of complex non-equilibrium systems (such as biospheres) via the principle of maximum entropy production. Research concerning solar and extra-solar planetary systems will be presented that will employ techniques that seek to significantly simplify planetary climate models.

*CCNR - Centre for Computational Robotics and Neuroscience, University of Sussex.

Schedule and other details to be announced

James Dyke