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Scientific Data Has Become So Complex, We Have to Invent New Math to Deal With It

Scientific Data Has Become So Complex, We Have to Invent New Math to Deal With It | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

Simon DeDeo, a research fellow in applied mathematics and complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute, had a problem. He was collaborating on a new project analyzing 300 years’ worth of data from the archives of London’s Old Bailey, the central criminal court of England and Wales. Granted, there was clean data in the usual straightforward Excel spreadsheet format, including such variables as indictment, verdict, and sentence for each case. But there were also full court transcripts, containing some 10 million words recorded during just under 200,000 trials.

 

“How the hell do you analyze that data?” DeDeo wondered. It wasn’t the size of the data set that was daunting; by big data standards, the size was quite manageable. It was the sheer complexity and lack of formal structure that posed a problem. This “big data” looked nothing like the kinds of traditional data sets the former physicist would have encountered earlier in his career, when the research paradigm involved forming a hypothesis, deciding precisely what one wished to measure, then building an apparatus to make that measurement as accurately as possible.

 

“In physics, you typically have one kind of data and you know the system really well,” said DeDeo. “Now we have this new multimodal data [gleaned] from biological systems and human social systems, and the data is gathered before we even have a hypothesis.” The data is there in all its messy, multi-dimensional glory, waiting to be queried, but how does one know which questions to ask when the scientific method has been turned on its head?


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Arjen ten Have's curator insight, October 9, 2013 2:48 PM

This is not as much work for math, here is where it gets interesting, where it really becomes INTERdisciplinary rather than MULTI. The same for Bioinformatics. We are developing tools to correct for instance MSAs, very simple tricks that deal with the complexity. The biologist has to explain the math guy what he wants. It is not about new math, it is about flexibility!

Mark Waser's curator insight, October 10, 2013 4:53 PM

I dislike the title and the initial thrust but the article is well worth reading by the end.

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Rescooped by Vasileios Basios from Amazing Science
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From decisions to disorders: how neuroscience is changing what we know about ourselves

From decisions to disorders: how neuroscience is changing what we know about ourselves | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

People have wanted to understand our motivations, thoughts and behaviors since the ancient Greeks inscribed “know thyself” on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. And understanding the brain’s place in health and disease is one of this century’s greatest challenges – take Alzheimer’s, dementia and depression for example.


There are many exciting contributions from neuroscience that have given insight into our thoughts and actions. Three neuroscientists have just been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for their discoveries of cells that act as a positioning system in the brain – in other words, the mechanism that allows us to navigate spaces using spatial information and memory at a cellular level.


There are many exciting contributions from neuroscience that have given insight into our thoughts and actions. For example, the neural basis of how we make fast and slow decisions and decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. There is also an understanding how the brain is affected by stress and how these stresses might switch our brains into habit mode, for example operating on “automatic pilot” and forgetting to carry out planned tasks, or the opposite goal-directed system, which would see you going out of your usual routine, for example, popping into a different supermarket to get special ingredients for a recipe.


Disruption in the balance between the two is evident in neuro-psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, and recent evidence suggests that lower grey matter volumes in the brain can bias towards habit formation. Neuroscience is also demonstrating commonalities in disorders of compulsivity, methamphetamine abuse and obese subjects with eating disorders.


Neuroscience can challenge previously accepted views. For example, major abnormalities in dopamine function were thought the main cause of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, recent work suggests that the main cause of the disorder may instead be associated with structural differences in grey matter in the brain.


What neuroscience has made evidently clear is that changes in the brain cause changes in your thinking and actions, but the relationship is two-way. Environmental stressors, including psychological and substance abuse, can also change the brain. We also now know our brains continue developing into late adolescence or early young adulthood, it is not surprising that these environmental influences are particularly potent in a number of disorders during childhood and adolescence including autism.



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Top-Down Causation and the Rise of Information in the Emergence of Life

Biological systems represent a unique class of physical systems in how they process and manage information. This suggests that changes in the flow and distribution of information played a prominent role in the origin of life. Here I review and expand on an emerging conceptual framework suggesting that the origin of life may be identified as a transition in causal structure and information flow, and detail some of the implications for understanding the early stages chemical evolution.

 

Top-Down Causation and the Rise of Information in the Emergence of Life
Sara Imari Walker

Information 2014, 5(3), 424-439; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/info5030424


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Eli Levine's curator insight, October 11, 5:17 PM

If this is the case, then it confirms a lot of what I've been hypothesizing about government and its role in shaping the legal landscape of our social world (which then influences our ecological, social, environmental, and political world).  Government is always beholden to the natural laws of physics, biology, psychology/neurology, sociology, and economics.  However, government can play a significant role in determining the effects that we experience in our world, based on their obedience to natural laws and limits.

 

We can make a better, healthier, more sustainable, and more resilient world for ourselves within the context of our environment, social, ecological, and cosmological.  The question is, do we have the will, intelligence, wisdom, sense, and accuracy of perception to do anything with it?

 

We'll see, I guess.

 

Here's hoping for a permanent leap forward for humanity.  One that will not end until the universe itself comes to an end (it always does).

 

 

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Top-Down Causation and the Rise of Information in the Emergence of Life

Biological systems represent a unique class of physical systems in how they process and manage information. This suggests that changes in the flow and distribution of information played a prominent role in the origin of life. Here I review and expand on an emerging conceptual framework suggesting that the origin of life may be identified as a transition in causal structure and information flow, and detail some of the implications for understanding the early stages chemical evolution.

 

Top-Down Causation and the Rise of Information in the Emergence of Life
Sara Imari Walker

Information 2014, 5(3), 424-439; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/info5030424


Via Complexity Digest
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Eli Levine's curator insight, October 11, 5:17 PM

If this is the case, then it confirms a lot of what I've been hypothesizing about government and its role in shaping the legal landscape of our social world (which then influences our ecological, social, environmental, and political world).  Government is always beholden to the natural laws of physics, biology, psychology/neurology, sociology, and economics.  However, government can play a significant role in determining the effects that we experience in our world, based on their obedience to natural laws and limits.

 

We can make a better, healthier, more sustainable, and more resilient world for ourselves within the context of our environment, social, ecological, and cosmological.  The question is, do we have the will, intelligence, wisdom, sense, and accuracy of perception to do anything with it?

 

We'll see, I guess.

 

Here's hoping for a permanent leap forward for humanity.  One that will not end until the universe itself comes to an end (it always does).

 

 

Rescooped by Vasileios Basios from Complexity - Complex Systems Theory
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▶ Cities as complex adaptative systems. Luis Bettencourt

http://youtu.be/vp6eKjQHNl0

Via Complexity Digest, Bernard Ryefield
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The Outlaw Spirit: Giordano Bruno

The Outlaw Spirit: Giordano Bruno | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it
By coincidence, an article by Brian Logan appeared this morning in The Guardian newspaper that very much illustrates what I wrote about yesterday in “The Outlaw Spirit” in connection with Francis Bacon’s fateful question whether science or magic (that is, Natural Philosophy or Hermetic Philosophy) were best for the mind’s mastery of its circumstances. The end result, after four centuries, has been that “scientia” is now equated with “rationalism” (therefore “realist” and truthful) and “magic” trivialised as illusionism and trickery.

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Eva Rider's curator insight, October 4, 10:41 PM

More on the enigmatic philosopher Giordano Bruno

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War: Origins and Effects

The International System is a self-organized system and shows emergent behavior. During the timeframe (1495 - 1945), a finite-time singularity and four accompanying accelerating log-periodic cycles shaped the dynamics of the International System. The accelerated growth of the connectivity of the regulatory network of the International System, in combination with its anarchistic structure, produce and shape the war dynamics of the system. Accelerated growth of the connectivity of the International system is fed by population growth and the need for social systems to fulfill basic requirements. The finite-time singularity and accompanying log-periodic oscillations were instrumental in the periodic reorganization of the regulatory network of the International System, and contributed to a long-term process of social expansion and integration in Europa. The singularity dynamic produced a series of organizational innovations. At the critical time of the singularity (1939) the connectivity of the system reached a critical threshold, resulting in a critical transition. This critical transition caused a fundamental reorganization of the International System: Europe transformed from an anarchistic system to cooperative security community. This critical transition also marks the actual globalization of the International System. During the life span of cycles, the war dynamics show chaotic characteristics. Various early-warning signals can be identified, and can probably be used in the current International System. These findings have implications for the social sciences and historical research.

 

War: Origins and Effects
Ingo Piepers

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.6163


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Eli Levine's curator insight, September 26, 11:31 AM

Thus we delve closer into the hidden language of our social world.

 

Way cool science!

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Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 5: A New Ethics

Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 5: A New Ethics | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

Bruno desired to place truth into the hands of the human race. He may not have completely seen the ramifications of an acentric universe, that this would lead humanity to question its own self-worth in the face of nihilism. Humanity believed it dwelt in the center of God’s universe. After Bruno, this delusion was banished. Humanity lived on a planet that was just another speck in a vast, infinite ocean of other specks. Eventually, this truth, among others, would lead many to discouragement, anxiety, and despair. But now that the lies had been dispelled, mankind could focus on its true nature, to become conscious of its affinity with the cosmic mind, to copulate with it, and to bring forth truth in abundance.


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Not too fast, but not too slow: searching strategies to beat a majority group of interacting walkers

We introduce a model of interacting random walkers on a finite one-dimensional chain with absorbing boundaries or targets at the ends. Walkers are of two types: informed particles that move ballistically towards a given target, and diffusing uniformed particles that are biased towards close informed particles. This model mimics the dynamics of animals searching for food, where an informed individual knows the location of a food target and tries to persuade close-by uninformed conspecifics to go to that target. We characterize the success of this persuasion by the first-passage probability of the uniformed particle to the target, and we interpret the speed of the informed particle as a strategic parameter that the particle tunes to maximize its success. We find that the success probability is non-monotonic, reaching its maximum at an intermediate speed that increases with the diffusing rate of the uniformed particle. When two different groups of informed particles traveling in opposite directions compete, usually the largest group is the most successful. However, the minority can reverse this situation and become the most probable winner by following two different strategies: increasing its attraction strength and adjusting its speed to an optimal value relative to the majority's speed.

  


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A Neuroscientist’s Radical Theory of How Networks Become Conscious | Science | WIRED

A Neuroscientist’s Radical Theory of How Networks Become Conscious | Science | WIRED | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it
It's a question that's perplexed philosophers for centuries and scientists for decades: Where does consciousness come from? Neuroscientist Christof Koch, chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, thinks he has an answer.

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Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 4: Epistemology

Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 4: Epistemology | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

Bruno was one who fully utilized the imagination in his work. It took him a mere ten years of traversing the imaginal world to reach a more accurate picture of the universe than Galileo’s, who spent several decades calculating and experimenting. Even after those many years, when Galileo was ready to die, he still believed the Sun to be the center of the universe. Bruno accurately saw the universe to be without a center almost sixty years prior to this. Galileo had much better technology, some he invented himself. Bruno used, primarily, his imagination, along with astute observation, to reach these revolutionary conclusions. This brings to mind Albert Einstein’s success, using his “thought-experiments” to reach equally monumental developments.


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Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 1: Religion

Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 1: Religion | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

Giordano Bruno was a rare revolutionary, whose intellectual powers only occasionally arise among humans.  The ideas he espoused during those days of religious oppression and intellectual suppression demonstrated a tremendous amount of courage. Even during the expanded intellectual and artistic freedom of the European Renaissance, the terrors of The Inquisition hung over his head like the sword of Damocles. But, unlike Damocles, he bore the tortures, suffering, and finally the flames. He left behind a legacy that is with us to this day.


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Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 4: Epistemology

Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 4: Epistemology | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

Bruno was one who fully utilized the imagination in his work. It took him a mere ten years of traversing the imaginal world to reach a more accurate picture of the universe than Galileo’s, who spent several decades calculating and experimenting. Even after those many years, when Galileo was ready to die, he still believed the Sun to be the center of the universe. Bruno accurately saw the universe to be without a center almost sixty years prior to this. Galileo had much better technology, some he invented himself. Bruno used, primarily, his imagination, along with astute observation, to reach these revolutionary conclusions. This brings to mind Albert Einstein’s success, using his “thought-experiments” to reach equally monumental developments.


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Complex Systems Science: From Cell Regulation to the Global Food Crisis

Insights and methods of complex systems science are transforming science and providing clarity about the impact of policies to address major societal problems. These conceptual and mathematical advances allow us to study interdependence, patterns, networks, multiscale behaviors, and “big data.” Here I focus on the application of these advances to real-world concerns. I discuss case studies from global socioeconomic systems and immune cell regulation. Our analysis of the global food crisis exposes the causes and consequences of rapidly increasing and volatile food prices. Food price spikes in 2007–2008 and 2010–2011 triggered food riots across the world and precipitated the Arab Spring. Our quantitative models of nonequilibrium markets show that the food price increases are due to (1) US biofuel quotas increasing the amount of corn to ethanol conversion and (2) deregulation of commodity trading enabling speculator trend-following to cause bubbles and crashes. Policy action by the US and the European Union could alleviate or even resolve these problems. Our analysis of cell regulation makes use of gene expression data to obtain whole-cell regulatory models describing the response of immune cells to dynamic perturbations. Moreover, we have shown that cell dynamics are controlled by attractor states with implications for understanding biological development and treating cancer. Our analyses demonstrate the opportunity for complex systems science to inform both social policy decisions and medical advances.

 

Bar-Yam Y (2014) Complex Systems Science: From Cell Regulation to the Global Food Crisis   ISCS 2013: Interdisciplinary Symposium on Complex Systems Emergence, Complexity and Computation Volume 8, 2014, pp 19-28

 


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Controlling extreme events on complex networks

Extreme events, a type of collective behavior in complex networked dynamical systems, often can have catastrophic consequences. To develop effective strategies to control extreme events is of fundamental importance and practical interest. Utilizing transportation dynamics on complex networks as a prototypical setting, we find that making the network “mobile” can effectively suppress extreme events. A striking, resonance-like phenomenon is uncovered, where an optimal degree of mobility exists for which the probability of extreme events is minimized. We derive an analytic theory to understand the mechanism of control at a detailed and quantitative level, and validate the theory numerically. Implications of our finding to current areas such as cybersecurity are discussed.

 

Controlling extreme events on complex networks
• Yu-Zhong Chen, Zi-Gang Huang & Ying-Cheng Lai

Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 6121 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep06121


Via Claudia Mihai, Complexity Digest, Bernard Ryefield
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Complexity and Dynamical Depth

Complexity and Dynamical Depth | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it
We argue that a critical difference distinguishing machines from organisms and computers from brains is not complexity in a structural sense, but a difference in dynamical organization that is not well accounted for by current complexity measures. We propose a measure of the complexity of a system that is largely orthogonal to computational, information theoretic, or thermodynamic conceptions of structural complexity. What we call a system’s dynamical depth is a separate dimension of system complexity that measures the degree to which it exhibits discrete levels of nonlinear dynamical organization in which successive levels are distinguished by local entropy reduction and constraint generation. A system with greater dynamical depth than another consists of a greater number of such nested dynamical levels. Thus, a mechanical or linear thermodynamic system has less dynamical depth than an inorganic self-organized system, which has less dynamical depth than a living system. Including an assessment of dynamical depth can provide a more precise and systematic account of the fundamental difference between inorganic systems (low dynamical depth) and living systems (high dynamical depth), irrespective of the number of their parts and the causal relations between them.

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Rescooped by Vasileios Basios from Complexity - Complex Systems Theory
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Towards a Global Systems Science

Dirk Helbing, ETH Zurich

 

Talk given at the European Conference on Complex Systems 2014 in Lucca, Italy

 

http://youtu.be/UHp0lV6ppQQ

Via Complexity Digest, Bernard Ryefield
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Complexity and Dynamical Depth

Complexity and Dynamical Depth | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it
We argue that a critical difference distinguishing machines from organisms and computers from brains is not complexity in a structural sense, but a difference in dynamical organization that is not well accounted for by current complexity measures. We propose a measure of the complexity of a system that is largely orthogonal to computational, information theoretic, or thermodynamic conceptions of structural complexity. What we call a system’s dynamical depth is a separate dimension of system complexity that measures the degree to which it exhibits discrete levels of nonlinear dynamical organization in which successive levels are distinguished by local entropy reduction and constraint generation. A system with greater dynamical depth than another consists of a greater number of such nested dynamical levels. Thus, a mechanical or linear thermodynamic system has less dynamical depth than an inorganic self-organized system, which has less dynamical depth than a living system. Including an assessment of dynamical depth can provide a more precise and systematic account of the fundamental difference between inorganic systems (low dynamical depth) and living systems (high dynamical depth), irrespective of the number of their parts and the causal relations between them.

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Strategic Islands in Economic Games: Isolating Economies From Better Outcomes

Many of the issues we face as a society are made more problematic by the rapidly changing context in which important decisions are made. For example buying a petrol powered car is most advantageous when there are many petrol pumps providing cheap petrol whereas buying an electric car is most advantageous when there are many electrical recharge points or high capacity batteries available. Such collective decision-making is often studied using economic game theory where the focus is on how individuals might reach an agreement regarding the supply and demand for the different energy types. But even if the two parties find a mutually agreeable strategy, as technology and costs change over time, for example through cheaper and more efficient batteries and a more accurate pricing of the total cost of oil consumption, so too do the incentives for the choices buyers and sellers make, the result of which can be the stranding of an industry or even a whole economy on an island of inefficient outcomes. In this article we consider the issue of how changes in the underlying incentives can move us from an optimal economy to a sub-optimal economy while at the same time making it impossible to collectively navigate our way to a better strategy without forcing us to pass through a socially undesirable “tipping point”. We show that different perturbations to underlying incentives results in the creation or destruction of “strategic islands” isolated by disruptive transitions between strategies. The significant result in this work is the illustration that an economy that remains strategically stationary can over time become stranded in a suboptimal outcome from which there is no easy way to put the economy on a path to better outcomes without going through an economic tipping point.

 

Entropy 2014, 16(9), 5102-5121; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/e16095102


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Eagle's Wings Inspire More Fuel Efficient Planes

Eagle's Wings Inspire More Fuel Efficient Planes | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

"[...] The wing tips of steppe eagles are an ideal shape to maximize lift with a minimal wingspan. The curvature at the end of the wing reduces drag. Engineers designing the A380 copied that design, resulting in fuel savings of up to 3%, depending on if it is a long or short distance flight."


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The Jupiter and Uranus Cycle

The Jupiter and Uranus Cycle | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it
Symbol Reader:This writing is permeated with fiery energy urging to open the gates of our consciousness so that caravans loaded with spiritual gifts from the farther lands may enter. Right now this creative energy of fire is very palpable to me.

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Team develops ultra sensitive biosensor from molybdenite semiconductor

Team develops ultra sensitive biosensor from molybdenite semiconductor | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it
Move over, graphene. An atomically thin, two-dimensional, ultrasensitive semiconductor material for biosensing developed by researchers at UC Santa Barbara promises to push the boundaries of biosensing technology in many fields, from health care to environmental protection to forensic industries.

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Official AndreasCY's curator insight, September 5, 4:06 AM

Seems like something out of Star Trek.

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Synchronization in human musical rhythms and mutually interacting complex systems

Synchronization in human musical rhythms and mutually interacting complex systems | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

Though the statistical properties of musical compositions have been widely studied, little is known about the statistical nature of musical interaction—a foundation of musical communication. The goal of this study was to uncover the general statistical properties underlying musical interaction by observing two individuals synchronizing rhythms. We found that the interbeat intervals between individuals exhibit scale-free cross-correlations, i.e., the next beat played by an individual is dependent on the entire history (up to several minutes) of their partner’s interbeat intervals. To explain this surprising observation, we introduce a general stochastic model that can also be used to study synchronization phenomena in econophysics and physiology. The scaling laws found in musical interaction are directly applicable to audio production.

 


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Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 3: Atomic Theory of Matter

Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 3: Atomic Theory of Matter | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

We hear much about Bruno’s contributions to cosmology, especially in the first episode of the new Cosmos series, starring host, Neil deGrasse Tyson Indeed, his cosmological ideas were revolutionary and amazing prescient, but his primary contributions to humanity were philosophical and ontological, as we will see. I believe his theory of matter is most important. It influences all his other accomplishments.


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Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 2: Cosmology

Soul Spelunker » The Brunian Revolution, Part 2: Cosmology | collectibles from scoop.it | Scoop.it

Giordano Bruno had his eyes steadfastly fixed on the future of mankind. He desired more than anything that humanity be led out of the despotic morass of the Christian religion, with its chains of hierarchy, intolerance, dogmatism, and downright tyranny. Not only that, but he wanted to provide all peoples of all nations and religions an intellectual and spiritual infrastructure that they could wholeheartedly accept without reservation.


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Controlling extreme events on complex networks

Extreme events, a type of collective behavior in complex networked dynamical systems, often can have catastrophic consequences. To develop effective strategies to control extreme events is of fundamental importance and practical interest. Utilizing transportation dynamics on complex networks as a prototypical setting, we find that making the network “mobile” can effectively suppress extreme events. A striking, resonance-like phenomenon is uncovered, where an optimal degree of mobility exists for which the probability of extreme events is minimized. We derive an analytic theory to understand the mechanism of control at a detailed and quantitative level, and validate the theory numerically. Implications of our finding to current areas such as cybersecurity are discussed.

 

Controlling extreme events on complex networks
• Yu-Zhong Chen, Zi-Gang Huang & Ying-Cheng Lai

Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 6121 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep06121


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