The Automated Mathematician (AM) of Douglas Lenat1  has discovered a very useful way of generalising concepts which is applicable in many circonstances:

If a concept is expressed as a conjunction of two or more other concepts, try to examine the new concept built by replacing the conjunction with a disjunction.1 

The application of this heuristic has allowed AM to discover the concept of "prime number". Applied to the description of a complex system, this rule of thumb may be interpreted as: replace an exhaustive and sequential presentation of a complex system with a set of short views on that system.

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