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Structural Stability


The notion of structural stability was first introduced by the Russian math- ematicians Alexandr Andronov and Lev Pontryagin (cf. Andronov and Potryangin 1937). However, there are traces of such a concept in the work of the French math- ematician Henry Poincaré (cf. Poincaré 1880). In more recent years, interesting developments about structural stability included writings of important math- ematicians like Mauricìo Peixoto (cf. at least Peixoto 1960), Stephen Smale (cf. at least Smale 1971) and René Thom (1972, 1980) (see structural morpho- dynamics). From an intuitive point of view, structural stability refers to a particular systemic property known as robustness. Put in general terms, a system is robust “if it is invariant with respect to a set of perturbations” (Alderson and Doyle 2010: 840; Whitacre 2012: 3).