Chapter 3 Recent applications of entropy in social and environmental sciences
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Entropy-type measures, popular in the 1970s geography and environment literature, have enjoyed resurgence in recent decades’ research. Reviewing selected developments since the ‘70s, with emphasis on the most recent, we find that with few exceptions, applications now rely on probabilistic and statistical constructions of entropy, with fewer confusing analogies to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Applications now appear in a wider range of social science, business, engineering and environmental journals. Some of the methodologies can be regarded as mature for the moment, pending unexpected advances. Others, like the “resilience” applications treated at length here, are still in flux, with agreement on standard measures yet to be finalized.

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