Growth equations: A general equation and a survey of special cases

Michael A. Savageau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Although growth in its various manifestations has been studied for centuries and although there are a large number of well-established growth "laws," that work is almost entirely empirical and lacks a theoretical foundation with which macroscopic aspects of growth might be related to underlying, microscopic determinants. Recent work on the analysis of complex systems, however, has provided just such a foundation. It has been shown that an important class of complex systems can be accurately described by a formalism involving simple nonlinear approximations. This formalism leads naturally to a general growth equation in differential form for complex systems. The survey of well-established growth equations presented here demonstrates that each of these is a special case of the general growth equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-278
Number of pages12
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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