The concepts of assembly theory and its respective quantities might spark some misconceptions. Here we clarify some of these conceptual misunderstandings.
The fundamental concepts are assembly index and copy number. Given a selective generating process, a complex object is formed with a high abundance. The quantities of assembly index and copy number attempt to capture the properties of complexity and abundance respectively.
No. Assembly index is a measure of the complexity of an object that was produced by selection in a combinatorial construction process and by doing so it captures key physical processes underlying living systems.
No. Assembly Index identifies objects that have a sparse representation for a combinatorial construction process and by doing so it captures key physical processes underlying living systems.
No. At its conceptual foundation, the assembly index is NOT trying to measure the compression of an object to its most efficient representation. The main idea of the assembly index is to quantify the minimum number of steps that are needed to construct an object given a set of elementary operations.
A highly complex object can in principle be formed by both undirected(random) and directed processes. However, the probability to find multiple copies of such complex object under an undirected process goes down extremely fast as the number of copies goes up. Therefore the abundance of that object is a signature of selection.
For more detailed information look at the papers page.