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Table 1 example of different complexity measures from an example sequence of reasons for consultation (RfE)

From: Statistical complexity of reasons for encounter in high users of out of hours primary care: analysis of a national service

  Count (RfE) Herfindahl Indexa State Entropy Transition Entropy
AAABAAAB 2 0.78 0.5 1.1
AAABAAAC 3 0.59 1.1 1.7
AAABBBCC 3 0.34 1.6 2.2
AABCCABBb 3 0.34 1.6 2.8
  1. aFormulae for calculating Herfindahl Index and State and Transition Entropies are in Additional file 2: Data 2
  2. bNote the bottom two rows are equivalent for Herfindahl index and state entropy (both contain 3A’s 3B’s and 2C’s. For the transition entropy the bottom row contains only one repeated transition (AB), the others all occur only once (AA, BC,CC,CA, BB).