Aim of this paper is to introduce the complex system perspective into retail market analysis. Currently, to understand the retail market means to search for local patterns at the micro level, involving the segmentation, separation and profiling of diverse groups of consumers. In other contexts, however, markets are modelled as complex systems. Such strategy is able to uncover emerging regularities and patterns that make markets more predictable, e.g. enabling to predict how much a country’s GDP will grow. Rather than isolate actors in homogeneous groups, this strategy requires to consider the system as a whole, as the emerging pattern can be detected only as a result of the interaction between its self-organizing parts. This assumption holds also in the retail market: each customer can be seen as an independent unit maximizing its own utility function. As a consequence, the global behaviour of the retail market naturally emerges, enabling a novel description of its properties, complementary to the local pattern approach. Such task demands for a data-driven empirical framework. In this paper, we analyse a unique transaction database, recording the micro-purchases of a million customers observed for several years in the stores of a national supermarket chain. We show the emergence of the fundamental pattern of this complex system, connecting the products’ volumes of sales with the customers’ volumes of purchases. This pattern has a number of applications. We provide three of them. By enabling us to evaluate the sophistication of needs that a customer has and a product satisfies, this pattern has been applied to the task of uncovering the hierarchy of needs of the customers, providing a hint about what is the next product a customer could be interested in buying and predicting in which shop she is likely to go to buy it.
The retail market as a complex system Pennacchioli D, Coscia M, Rinzivillo S, Giannotti F, Pedreschi D EPJ Data Science 2014, 3 :33 (11 December 2014)
Explain Everything is a whiteboard and screencasting app that makes creating interactive lessons a simple proposition. Its full-featured editing options and its import/export functions allow it to stand apart from the other competitors
Via Baiba Svenca
This paper presents an idealized design for a legislative system. The concept of idealized design is explained. The paper critiques two critical (and often taken for granted) features of the legislative branches of most contemporary democratic governments: legislators are chosen by election, and the same bodies perform all legislative and meta-legislative functions, for all laws. Seven problems with these two features are described. A new model of lawmaking is proposed, based on three concepts from ancient Athenian democracy — random selection, dividing legislative functions among multiple bodies, and the use of temporary bodies (like contemporary juries) for final decision making. The benefits of the model are laid out, and likely objections are addressed.
Via Bernard Ryefield
Though it may be true that we are moving toward a society where computer science knowledge will be as integrated as math and English in the primary school system, coding literacy is even more important for university undergraduates as they prepare for the competitive, technologically advanced, and evolving job market. It’s difficult for students to make sense of the hype around computer science, programming, and ‘hacking.’ Long-standing barriers between technical and non-technical folks create misunderstandings that conceal the true breadth of technology and its essential applications across all academic fields. University students should be encouraged to harness the potential of programming to expand opportunities in their fields. Even beyond practical usage, coding provides an alternate way of thinking. Employing logic through the mind of a computer forces rationality, brevity, and accuracy. Strong leaders harness interdisciplinary critical thinking by considering problems from within different mindsets (creative, mathematical, emotional, etectera) to form an optimized solution.
Via Susan Einhorn
Commerce knits the modern world together in a way that nothing else quite does. Almost anything you own these days is the result of a complicated web of global interactions. And there's no better way to depict those interactions than some maps.
Via Luca Baptista
In 12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall, it fulfills the latest mandates for high-intensity effort, which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort — all of it based on science.
Via Luca Baptista
Alan Turing, the British mathematician (1912-1954), is famous for a number of breakthroughs, which altered the course of the 20th century. In 1936 he published a paper, which laid the foundation of computer science, providing the first formal concept of a computer algorithm. He next played a pivotal role in the Second World War, designing the machines which cracked the German military codes, enabling the Allies to defeat the Nazis in several crucial battles. And in the late 1940's he turned his attention to artificial intelligence and proposed a challenge, now called the Turing test, which is still important to the field today. His contribution to mathematical biology is less famous, but was no less profound. He published just one paper (1952), but it triggered a whole new field of mathematical enquiry into pattern formation. He discovered that a system with just 2 molecules could, at least in theory, create spotty or stripy patterns if they diffused and chemically interacted in just the right way. His mathematical equations showed that starting from uniform condition (ie. a homogeneous distribution – no pattern) they could spontaneously self-organise their concentrations into a repetitive spatial pattern. This theory has come to be accepted as an explanation of fairly simple patterns such as zebra stripes and even the ridges on sand dunes, but in embryology it has been resisted for decades as an explanation of how structures such as fingers are formed. Now a group of researchers from the Multicellular Systems Biology lab at the CRG, led by ICREA Research Professor James Sharpe, has provided the long sought-for data which confirms that the fingers and toes are patterned by a Turing mechanism. "It complements their recent paper (Science 338:1476, 2012), which provided evidence that Hox genes and FGF signaling modulated a hypothetical Turing system. However, at that point the Turing molecules themselves were still not identified, and so this remained as the critical unsolved piece of the puzzle. The new study completes the picture, by revealing which signaling molecules act as the Turing system" says James Sharpe, co-author of the study.
Via Claudia Mihai
The annual European Conferences on Complex Systems (ECCS) have become a major venue for the Complex Systems Community since they were started in 2003. For the first time, this year, the conference will be held in North America to foster and multiply contacts between the European, North American and Asian communities working in this domain. CCS’15 will be a major international conference and event in the area of complex systems and interdisciplinary science in general. The conference will offer unique opportunities to study novel scientific approaches in a multitude of application areas, as reflected by the conference tracks:Conference Main Tracks - Foundations of Complex Systems (complex networks, self-organization, nonlinear dynamics, statistical physics, mathematical modeling, simulation) - Information and Communication Technologies (Internet, WWW, search, semantic web) - Language, Linguistics, Cognition and Social Systems (evolution of language, social consensus, artificial intelligence, cognitive processes) - Economics and Finance (social networks, game theory, stock market, crises) - Infrastructure, Planning and Environment (critical infrastructures, urban planning, mobility, transport, energy) - Biological Complexity (biological networks, systems biology, evolution, natural science, medicine and physiology) - Social Ecological Systems (global environmental change, green growth, sustainability, resilience) Important Dates15 April, 2015: Deadline for submission of satellite session proposals. 30 April, 2015: Deadline for submission of abstracts for papers, ignites, and posters.15 May, 2015: Notification to satellite session organizers. 1 June, 2015: Notification to authors of papers, ignites, and posters.15 August, 2015: Final abstracts due in electronic form.28 September - 2 October, 2015: Conference in Tempe, Arizonahttp://www.ccs2015.org
Via Complexity Digest
“ The Economy. Everyone’s talking about it, but who can explain it? 20 award-winning directors and 10 of our most respected economists add their voice to the chorus with a thought-provoking short-film series.”
Via Chris Gardner, jon inge, Bruce Fellowes
“Sway is a novel tool for building cloud based presentations. Sway offers a rapid design experience, focusing on the collation of images, text, and video, sourced from the web or your computer. It's a canvas for your ideas, quick to create, and easy to share. Sway is still in closed preview, but we were lucky enough to have been pulled out…”
Via Baiba Svenca
Complexity, Governance, and Networks aims to contribute to the philosophical, theoretical, methodological, and empirical developments in complexity, governance, and network studies in public administration, public policy, politics, and non-governmental organizations. The journal publishes primarily theoretical essays and original research papers. http://www.cgnj.infoFirst Issue at http://www.cgnj.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=164%3Atoc-cgn-01-2014&catid=49%3Acomplexity-governance-networks&Itemid=213〈=en
Via Complexity Digest
Tired of sending out the same old static PDFs, spreadsheets or links from Google Docs? Use Silk to make a fully interactive site that engages users and encourages them to play with your data.
Via Baiba Svenca
Last fall, Caltech and The Feynman Lectures Website joined forces to create an online edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. They started with Volume 1. And now they've followed up with Volume 2 and Volume 3, making the collection complete.
Via Luca Baptista
“Office Mix: Intro, by Office Mix, Welcome to Office Mix! This is the first in a series of How-To videos designed to walk you through creating your very first Mix. In this video you will learn where to download the PowerPoint Add-In and how to get started. Happy Mixing!”
Via Baiba Svenca
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