Complex system dynamics

Despite the apparent lack of control, research has shown that a simple form of shared vocabularies emerges in social bookmarking systems. Collaborative tagging exhibits a form of complex systems dynamics, (or self organizing dynamics). Thus, even if no central controlled vocabulary constrains the actions of individual users, the distribution of tags that describe different resources (e.g., websites) converges over time to stable power law distributions. Once such stable distributions form, simple vocabularies can be extracted by examining the correlations that form between different tags. This informal collaborative system of tag creation and management has been called a folksonomy.