Thursday, May 23, 2013

1305.5090 (T. Aste et al.)

Self-Referential Order    [PDF]

T. Aste, P. Butler, T. Di Matteo
We introduce the concept of {\it self-referential order} which provides a way to quantify structural organization in non crystalline materials. The key idea consists in the observation that, in a disordered system, where there is no ideal, reference, template structure, each sub-portion of the whole structure can be taken as reference for the rest and the system can be described in terms of its parts in a self-referential way. Some of the parts carry larger information about the rest of the structure and they are identified as {\it motifs}. We discuss how this method can efficiently reduce the amount of information required to describe a complex disordered structure by encoding it in a set of motifs and {\it matching rules}. We propose an information-theoretic approach to define a {\it self-referential-order-parameter} and we show that, by means of entropic measures, such a parameter can be quantified explicitly. A proof of concept application to equal disk packing is presented and discussed.
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