High Complexity is a Next Generation Risk.

We Measure and Manage Complexity. Since 2005.

In 2018 Ontonix introduces the first Complexity Monitoring Chip.



Excessive Complexity = Risk


As the 2008 crisis has shown, conventional means of risk assessment, management and rating are not suited for a complex and turbulent economy. They are subjective and produce results that can be manipulated. There is a pressing need to devise more modern, objective and science-based means of dealing with uncertainty and complexity. This is exactly what we do and what we offer.

However, excessive complexity is not only a threat and source of risk in the economy. Modern software-packed products, such as cars, aircraft, IT systems, critical infrastructures, or the IoT, offer many examples of how complexity can become a nightmare. What makes these systems powerful, also makes them fragile. Complexity is a next generation risk which requires a next generation technology and approach.

How complex is the electronics in a car? how much more complexity can it handle? we can measure it.

How complex is the electronics in a car? how much more complexity can it handle? we can measure it.



Science, not Opinions


There is a proliferation of the so-called metrics and 'definitions' of complexity that have little to do with serious science.

A useful metric must be bounded - it cannot assume infinite values. Complexity links the functionality of a system with entropy, a measure of disorder as well as of information. Complexity is not about counting parts or interconnections between components. Our metric has units - 'complexity bits', or cbits.

In 2015, Ontonix has been the originator and principal author of the World's first 'Business Complexity Assessment' standard, published in Italy by UNI, 11613. The ISO 22375 standard on business complexity, which follows the UNI standard, has been published in 2018.

In 2018 Ontonix launched the World's first Complexity Monitoring Chip, developed in partnership with SAIC and with US DoD funding.

the COmplexity monitoring chip can be incorporated in cars, planes, ships or any critical equipment for real-time fragility early warnings.

Solutions For a Complex World


While the unprecedented challenges affecting the global economy are a source of both opportunities and threats, traditional analytics is unable to deal with the immense complexity of ICT systems or critical infrastructures.

Our solutions have been crafted specifically for a turbulent context, in which nothing stays in equilibrium and where things change with the speed of the internet:

  • pinpointing concentrations of vulnerability

  • reducing the impact of inefficiencies

  • improving profitability

  • extracting new knowledge from data

The new science is based on model-free methods, which allow us to concentrate on solving real problems not on building exotic mathematical constructs.

complexity helps discover where a system is most vulnerable and where collapse may commence.

complexity helps discover where a system is most vulnerable and where collapse may commence.




 Complexity X Uncertainty = Fragility™

The above equation is the Principle of Fragility, which has been coined by Ontonix in 2005. It reveals why in an uncertain context a highly sophisticated and complex business or infrastructure are more exposed, hence more vulnerable. As the uncertainty and turbulence of our World increases, simpler solutions are preferable as they are more resilient.

Over the past few decades new technologies have been accelerating the growth of complexity to levels which are threatening not just the sustainability of our global society but the governability of its critical infrastructures. This is why one cannot design a highly complex system without taking complexity into account.


our society depends on a network of networks of networks….


In order to counter the negative effects of rapid growth of complexity we first need to perform an in-depth analysis of a business, process or infrastructure. We resort to supercomputers to process hundreds of thousands of variables to deliver a truly systemic and holistic reflection of a business and of its state of health. This requires new technology, beyond statistics, neural nets, cluster analysis, Bayesian methods or Monte Carlo Simulation. Our tools are based on a radically innovative model-free approach which allows us to solve problems that are beyond the reach of traditional mathematics.


Serious Science Starts When You Begin To Measure

Examples of Complexity Maps, which reveal the structure of complexity and its key contributors.