Complexity & Systems
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Homophily and the Speed of Social Mobilization: The Effect of Acquired and Ascribed Traits

Large-scale mobilization of individuals across social networks is becoming increasingly prevalent in society. However, little is known about what affects the speed of social mobilization. Here we use a framed field experiment to identify and measure properties of individuals and their relationships that predict mobilization speed. We ran a global social mobilization contest and recorded personal traits of the participants and those they recruited. We studied the effects of ascribed traits (gender, age) and acquired traits (geography, and information source) on the speed of mobilization. We found that homophily, a preference for interacting with other individuals with similar traits, had a mixed role in social mobilization. Homophily was present for acquired traits, in which mobilization speed was faster when the recuiter and recruit had the same trait compared to different traits. In contrast, we did not find support for homophily for the ascribed traits. Instead, those traits had other, non-homophily effects: Females mobilized other females faster than males mobilized other males. Younger recruiters mobilized others faster, and older recruits mobilized slower. Recruits also mobilized faster when they first heard about the contest directly from the contest organization, and decreased in speed when hearing from less personal source types (e.g. family vs. media). These findings show that social mobilization includes dynamics that are unlike other, more passive forms of social activity propagation. These findings suggest relevant factors for engineering social mobilization tasks for increased speed.

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Complexity & Systems
Complex systems present problems both in mathematical modelling and philosophical foundations. The study of complex systems represents a new approach to science that investigates how relationships between parts give rise to the collective behaviors of a system and how the system interacts and forms relationships with its environment. The equations from which models of complex systems are developed generally derive from statistical physics, information theory and non-linear dynamics, and represent organized but unpredictable behaviors of natural systems that are considered fundamentally complex.  wikipedia (en)
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The Physics behind Systems Biology

The Physics behind Systems Biology | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it


Systems Biology is a young and rapidly evolving research field, which combines experimental techniques and mathematical modeling in order to achieve a mechanistic understanding of processes underlying the regulation and evolution of living systems. Systems Biology is often associated with an Engineering approach: The purpose is to formulate a data-rich, detailed simulation model that allows to perform numerical (‘in silico’) experiments and then draw conclusions about the biological system. While methods from Engineering may be an appropriate approach to extending the scope of biological investigations to experimentally inaccessible realms and to supporting data-rich experimental work, it may not be the best strategy in a search for design principles of biological systems and the fundamental laws underlying Biology. Physics has a long tradition of characterizing and understanding emergent collective behaviors in systems of interacting units and searching for universal laws. Therefore, it is natural that many concepts used in Systems Biology have their roots in Physics. With an emphasis on Theoretical Physics, we will here review the ‘Physics core’ of Systems Biology, show how some success stories in Systems Biology can be traced back to concepts developed in Physics, and discuss how Systems Biology can further benefit from its Theoretical Physics foundation.


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The Future of Economics: From Complexity to Commons

The Future of Economics: From Complexity to Commons | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
Complexity science shows us not only what to do, but also how to do it: build shared infrastructure, improve information flow, enable rapid innovation, encourage participation, support diversity and citizen empowerment.

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Natural Complexity: A Modeling Handbook (Primers in Complex Systems) by Paul Charbonneau

Natural Complexity: A Modeling Handbook (Primers in Complex Systems)

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This book provides a short, hands-on introduction to the science of complexity using simple computational models of natural complex systems--with models and exercises drawn from physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. By working through the models and engaging in additional computational explorations suggested at the end of each chapter, readers very quickly develop an understanding of how complex structures and behaviors can emerge in natural phenomena as diverse as avalanches, forest fires, earthquakes, chemical reactions, animal flocks, and epidemic diseases.

Natural Complexity provides the necessary topical background, complete source codes in Python, and detailed explanations for all computational models. Ideal for undergraduates, beginning graduate students, and researchers in the physical and natural sciences, this unique handbook requires no advanced mathematical knowledge or programming skills and is suitable for self-learners with a working knowledge of precalculus and high-school physics.

Self-contained and accessible, Natural Complexity enables readers to identify and quantify common underlying structural and dynamical patterns shared by the various systems and phenomena it examines, so that they can form their own answers to the questions of what natural complexity is and how it arises.


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PAFit: An R Package for Modeling and Estimating Preferential Attachment and Node Fitness in Temporal Complex Networks

Many real-world systems are profitably described as complex networks that grow over time. Preferential attachment and node fitness are two ubiquitous growth mechanisms that not only explain certain structural properties commonly observed in real-world systems, but are also tied to a number of applications in modeling and inference. While there are standard statistical packages for estimating the structural properties of complex networks, there is no corresponding package when it comes to the estimation of growth mechanisms. This paper introduces the R package PAFit, which implements well-established statistical methods for estimating preferential attachment and node fitness, as well as a number of functions for generating complex networks from these two mechanisms. The main computational part of the package is implemented in C++ with OpenMP to ensure good performance for large-scale networks. In this paper, we first introduce the main functionalities of PAFit using simulated examples, and then use the package to analyze a collaboration network between scientists in the field of complex networks.

 

PAFit: An R Package for Modeling and Estimating Preferential Attachment and Node Fitness in Temporal Complex Networks
Thong Pham, Paul Sheridan, Hidetoshi Shimodaira


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Chaos - A mathematical adventure

Chaos - A mathematical adventure | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it

From Jos Leys, Étienne Ghys and Aurélien Alvarez, the makers of Dimensions, comes CHAOS. It is a film about dynamical systems, the butterfly effect and chaos theory, intended for a wide audience.


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Transdisciplinarity Needs Systemism

Transdisciplinarity Needs Systemism | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
The main message of this paper is that systemism is best suited for transdisciplinary studies. A description of disciplinary sciences, transdisciplinary sciences and systems sciences is given, along with their different definitions of aims, scope and tools. The rationale for transdisciplinarity is global challenges, which are complex. The rationale for systemism is the concretization of understanding complexity. Drawing upon Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s intention of a General System Theory, three items deserve attention—the world-view of a synergistic systems technology, the world picture of an emergentist systems theory, and the way of thinking of an integrationist systems method.
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Science and Complexity - Warren Weaver 1948

Weaver differentiates “disorganized complexity”, and “organized complexity”.
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Systems approach as teleological concordance

Systems approach as teleological concordance | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
A complete concise understanding of the systems approach When I started this blog (CSL4D, i.e. Concept & Systems Learning for Design) almost 5 years ago (January 8, 2012), I had just discovered concept mapping as a great learning tool. At the same time I had a great interest in systems thinking, but found it hard…
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Visual Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems: Chaos, Fractals, Self-Similarity and the Limits of Prediction

Visual Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems: Chaos, Fractals, Self-Similarity and the Limits of Prediction | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it

Nearly all nontrivial real-world systems are nonlinear dynamical systems. Chaos describes certain nonlinear dynamical systems that have a very sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Chaotic systems are always deterministic and may be very simple, yet they produce completely unpredictable and divergent behavior. Systems of nonlinear equations are difficult to solve analytically, and scientists have relied heavily on visual and qualitative approaches to discover and analyze the dynamics of nonlinearity. Indeed, few fields have drawn as heavily from visualization methods for their seminal innovations: from strange attractors, to bifurcation diagrams, to cobweb plots, to phase diagrams and embedding. Although the social sciences are increasingly studying these types of systems, seminal concepts remain murky or loosely adopted. This article has three aims. First, it argues for several visualization methods to critically analyze and understand the behavior of nonlinear dynamical systems. Second, it uses these visualizations to introduce the foundations of nonlinear dynamics, chaos, fractals, self-similarity and the limits of prediction. Finally, it presents Pynamical, an open-source Python package to easily visualize and explore nonlinear dynamical systems’ behavior.

 

Visual Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems: Chaos, Fractals, Self-Similarity and the Limits of Prediction
Geoff Boeing

Systems 2016, 4(4), 37; doi:10.3390/systems4040037


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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, December 3, 2016 12:02 PM
Though not directly related to Constructal Law, it s a very interesting tool to communicate studies in complexity.
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Jay Forrester: the man who saw the future

Jay Forrester: the man who saw the future | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it

Jay Forrester, one of the great minds of the 20th century, died at 98, a few days ago. His career was long and fruitful, and we can say that his work changed the intellectual story of humankind in various ways, in particular for the role he had in the birth of the Club of Rome's report "The Limits to Growth"

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Complex systems: physics beyond physics

Complex systems are characterized by specific time-dependent interactions among their many constituents. As a consequence they often manifest rich, non-trivial and unexpected behavior. Examples arise both in the physical and non-physical world. The study of complex systems forms a new interdisciplinary research area that cuts across physics, biology, ecology, economics, sociology, and the humanities. In this paper we review the essence of complex systems from a physicist's point of view, and try to clarify what makes them conceptually different from systems that are traditionally studied in physics. Our goal is to demonstrate how the dynamics of such systems may be conceptualized in quantitative and predictive terms by extending notions from statistical physics and how they can often be captured in a framework of co-evolving multiplex network structures. We mention three areas of complex-systems science that are currently studied extensively, the science of cities, dynamics of societies, and the representation of texts as evolutionary objects. We discuss why these areas form complex systems in the above sense. We argue that there exists plenty of new land for physicists to explore and that methodical and conceptual progress is needed most.

 

Complex systems: physics beyond physics

Yurij Holovatch, Ralph Kenna, Stefan Thurner


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War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies

How did human societies evolve from small groups, integrated by face-to-face cooperation, to huge anonymous societies of today, typically organized as states? Why is there so much variation in the ability of different human populations to construct viable states? Existing theories are usually formulated as verbal models and, as a result, do not yield sharply defined, quantitative predictions that could be unambiguously tested with data. Here we develop a cultural evolutionary model that predicts where and when the largest-scale complex societies arose in human history. The central premise of the model, which we test, is that costly institutions that enabled large human groups to function without splitting up evolved as a result of intense competition between societies—primarily warfare. Warfare intensity, in turn, depended on the spread of historically attested military technologies (e.g., chariots and cavalry) and on geographic factors (e.g., rugged landscape). The model was simulated within a realistic landscape of the Afroeurasian landmass and its predictions were tested against a large dataset documenting the spatiotemporal distribution of historical large-scale societies in Afroeurasia between 1,500 BCE and 1,500 CE. The model-predicted pattern of spread of large-scale societies was very similar to the observed one. Overall, the model explained 65% of variance in the data. An alternative model, omitting the effect of diffusing military technologies, explained only 16% of variance. Our results support theories that emphasize the role of institutions in state-building and suggest a possible explanation why a long history of statehood is positively correlated with political stability, institutional quality, and income per capita.

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Preliminary Steps Toward a Universal Economic Dynamics for Monetary and Fiscal Policy | NECSI

Preliminary Steps Toward a Universal Economic Dynamics for Monetary and Fiscal Policy | NECSI | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
Abstract We consider the relationship between economic activity and intervention, including monetary and fiscal policy, using a universal monetary and response dynamics framework. Central bank policies are designed for economic growth without excess inflation. However, unemployment, investment, consumption, and inflation are interlinked. Understanding dynamics is crucial to assessing the effects of policy, especially in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis. Here we lay out a program of research into monetary and economic dynamics and preliminary steps toward its execution. We use general principles of response theory to derive specific implications for policy. We find that the current approach, which considers the overall supply of money to the economy, is insufficient to effectively regulate economic growth. While it can achieve some degree of control, optimizing growth also requires a fiscal policy balancing monetary injection between two dominant loop flows, the consumption and wages loop, and investment and returns loop. The balance arises from a composite of government tax, entitlement, subsidy policies, corporate policies, as well as monetary policy. We further show that empirical evidence is consistent with a transition in 1980 between two regimes—from an oversupply to the consumption and wages loop, to an oversupply of the investment and returns loop. The imbalance is manifest in savings and borrowing by consumers and investors, and in inflation. The latter followed an increasing trend until 1980, and a decreasing one since then, resulting in a zero interest rate largely unrelated to the financial crisis. Three recessions and the financial crisis are part of this dynamic. Optimizing growth now requires shifting the balance. Our analysis supports advocates of greater income and / or government support for the poor who use a larger fraction of income for consumption. This promotes investment due to the growth in expenditures. Otherwise, investment has limited opportunities to gain returns above inflation so capital remains uninvested, and does not contribute to the growth of economic activity.
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How complex systems fail

How complex systems fail | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
1) Complex systems are intrinsically hazardous systems. All of the interesting systems (e.g. transportation, healthcare, power generation) are inherently and unavoidably hazardous by the own nature. The frequency of hazard exposure can sometimes be changed but the processes involved in the system are themselves intrinsically and irreducibly hazardous. It is the presence of these hazards that drives the creation of defenses against hazard that characterize these systems. 2) Complex systems are heavily and successfully defended against failure. The high consequences of failure lead over time to the construction of multiple layers of defense against failure. These defenses include obvious technical components (e.g. backup systems, 'safety' features of equipment) and human components (e.g. training, knowledge) but also a variety of organizational, institutional, and regulatory defenses (e.g. policies and procedures, certification, work rules, team training). The effect of these measures is to provide a series of shields that normally divert operations away from accidents. 3) Catastrophe requires multiple failures – single point failures are not enough.. Discover the world's research How complex systems fail (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228797158_How_complex_systems_fail [accessed Aug 13, 2017].
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A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts

A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than does the sum of their microscopic components.

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Why Is 'Systems Thinking' So Rare?

Center for Collective Dynamics of Complex Systems (CoCo) Seminar Series
April 27, 2017
Mark Sellers (Systems Science, Binghamton University / Northrop Grumman Laser Systems)
"Why Is 'Systems Thinking' So Rare?"
Slides are available at http://bit.ly/2p51VEc

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Complexity Theory and Dynamical Systems | Demetri Kofinas Interviews W. Brian Arthur of the Santa Fe Institute on Complexity Science and Chaos

Complexity Theory and Dynamical Systems | Demetri Kofinas Interviews W. Brian Arthur of the Santa Fe Institute on Complexity Science and Chaos | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
Complexity Theory is an emerging field of scientific study that seeks to offer a better framework for understanding dynamic, complex adaptive systems.

Via Jürgen Kanz, Complexity Digest
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‘Digital Alchemist’ Seeks Rules of Emergence | Quanta Magazine

‘Digital Alchemist’ Seeks Rules of Emergence |  Quanta Magazine | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
Computational physicist Sharon Glotzer is uncovering the rules by which complex collective phenomena emerge from simple building blocks.
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THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE | Edge.org - A Talk with Stuart A. Kauffman

THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE | Edge.org - A Talk with Stuart A. Kauffman | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it

An autonomous agent is something that can both reproduce itself and do at least one thermodynamic work cycle. It turns out that this is true of all free-living cells, excepting weird special cases. They all do work cycles, just like the bacterium spinning its flagellum as it swims up the glucose gradient. The cells in your body are busy doing work cycles all the time.

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Why should students study System Dynamics?

In this video, Jay Forrester talked about why students should study System Dynamics. Please find the transcript here: http://www.systemdynamics.org/upload/...


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An Introduction to Transfer Entropy: Information Flow in Complex Systems

An Introduction to Transfer Entropy: Information Flow in Complex Systems | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it

T. Bossomaier, L. Barnett, M. Harré, J.T. Lizier
"An Introduction to Transfer Entropy: Information Flow in Complex Systems"
Springer, 2016.

This book considers a relatively new measure in complex systems, transfer entropy, derived from a series of measurements, usually a time series. After a qualitative introduction and a chapter that explains the key ideas from statistics required to understand the text, the authors then present information theory and transfer entropy in depth. A key feature of the approach is the authors' work to show the relationship between information flow and complexity. The later chapters demonstrate information transfer in canonical systems, and applications, for example in neuroscience and in finance.
 
The book will be of value to advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers in the areas of computer science, neuroscience, physics, and engineering.

 

SpringerLink access to PDFs: http://bit.ly/te-book-2016

Springer hard copy listing: http://bit.ly/te-book-2016-hardcopy

Amazon listing: http://amzn.to/2f5YdYW


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An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions

An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it

The emergence in the United States of large-scale “megaregions” centered on major metropolitan areas is a phenomenon often taken for granted in both scholarly studies and popular accounts of contemporary economic geography. This paper uses a data set of more than 4,000,000 commuter flows as the basis for an empirical approach to the identification of such megaregions. We compare a method which uses a visual heuristic for understanding areal aggregation to a method which uses a computational partitioning algorithm, and we reflect upon the strengths and limitations of both. We discuss how choices about input parameters and scale of analysis can lead to different results, and stress the importance of comparing computational results with “common sense” interpretations of geographic coherence. The results provide a new perspective on the functional economic geography of the United States from a megaregion perspective, and shed light on the old geographic problem of the division of space into areal units.

 

Dash Nelson G, Rae A (2016) An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166083. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166083


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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, December 3, 2016 12:16 PM
Could economy be organized otherwise ? Multi-scale activity covering an area.
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Scaling Law of Urban Ride Sharing

Sharing rides could drastically improve the efficiency of car and taxi transportation. Unleashing such potential, however, requires understanding how urban parameters affect the fraction of individual trips that can be shared, a quantity that we call shareability. Using data on millions of taxi trips in New York City, San Francisco, Singapore, and Vienna, we compute the shareability curves for each city, and find that a natural rescaling collapses them onto a single, universal curve. We explain this scaling law theoretically with a simple model that predicts the potential for ride sharing in any city, using a few basic urban quantities and no adjustable parameters. Accurate extrapolations of this type will help planners, transportation companies, and society at large to shape a sustainable path for urban growth.

 

Scaling Law of Urban Ride Sharing

Remi Tachet, Oleguer Sagarra, Paolo Santi, Giovanni Resta, Michael Szell, Steven Strogatz, Carlo Ratti


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Evidence of Shared Aspects of Complexity Science and Quantum Phenomena

Complexity science concepts of emergence, self-organization, and feedback suggest that descriptions of systems and events are subjective, incomplete, and impermanent-similar to what we observe in quantum phenomena. Complexity science evinces an increasingly compelling alternative to reductionism for describing physical phenomena, now that shared aspects of complexity science and quantum phenomena are being scientifically substantiated. Establishment of a clear connection between chaotic complexity and quantum entanglement in small quantum systems indicates the presence of common processes involved in thermalization in large and small-scale systems. Recent findings in the fields of quantum physics, quantum biology, and quantum cognition demonstrate evidence of the complexity science characteristics of sensitivity to initial conditions and emergence of self-organizing systems. Efficiencies in quantum superposition suggest a new paradigm in which our very notion of complexity depends on which information theory we choose to employ.

 

Evidence of Shared Aspects of Complexity Science and Quantum Phenomena
Cynthia Larson

Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 12, No 2 (2016)


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A Reliability Test of a Complex System Based on Empirical Likelihood

A Reliability Test of a Complex System Based on Empirical Likelihood | Complexity & Systems | Scoop.it
To analyze the reliability of a complex system described by minimal paths, an empirical likelihood method is proposed to solve the reliability test problem when the subsystem distributions are unknown. Furthermore, we provide a reliability test statistic of the complex system and extract the limit distribution of the test statistic. Therefore, we can obtain the confidence interval for reliability and make statistical inferences. The simulation studies also demonstrate the theorem results.
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