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Predictability refers to the degree that a correct forecast of a system's state can be made either qualitatively or quantitatively. While the second law of thermodynamics can tell us about the equilibrium state that a system will evolve to, and steady states in dissipative systems can sometimes be predicted, there exists no general rule to predict the time evolution of systems far from equilibrium, etc. chaotic systems, if they do not approach some kind of equilibrium. Their predictability usually deteriorates with time. To quantify predictability, the rate of divergence of system trajectories in phase space can be measured (Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy, Lyapunov exponents).

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