A situation or process in which the smaller scale structure or function is similar to the larger one.
Sir d'ARCY W. THOMPSON established the notion in his book "On growth and form"(1916).
Scaling furnishes the base for self-similarity at different levels and is closely related to fractals. It has been given a precise mathematical meaning through the WEIERSTRASS function and the renormalization group transformation.
B. MANDELBROT observes: "Scaling is… an ancient idea, thoroughly familiar to LEIBNIZ; and the scientific application of scaling is the work of many hands" (1982, p.108). He cites Julian HUXLEY's allometry; the work of Lewis FRY RICHARDSON in turbulence theory and the urbanists' central place theory.
According to J. GLEICK "…fractal scaling (is) not just common but universal in morphogenesis"(1987, p.110).
It provides a mode of space occupation allowing for optimum fine structuration at any level.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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