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Probably Approximately Correct: Nature's Algorithms for Learning and Prospering in a Complex World (by Leslie Valiant)

Probably Approximately Correct: Nature's Algorithms for Learning and Prospering in a Complex World

~ Leslie Valiant (author) More about this product
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How does life prosper in a complex and erratic world? While we know that nature follows patterns—such as the law of gravity—our everyday lives are beyond what known science can predict. We nevertheless muddle through even in the absence of theories of how to act. But how do we do it?

In Probably Approximately Correct, computer scientist Leslie Valiant presents a masterful synthesis of learning and evolution to show how both individually and collectively we not only survive, but prosper in a world as complex as our own. The key is “probably approximately correct” algorithms, a concept Valiant developed to explain how effective behavior can be learned. The model shows that pragmatically coping with a problem can provide a satisfactory solution in the absence of any theory of the problem. After all, finding a mate does not require a theory of mating. Valiant’s theory reveals the shared computational nature of evolution and learning, and sheds light on perennial questions such as nature versus nurture and the limits of artificial intelligence.

Offering a powerful and elegant model that encompasses life’s complexity, Probably Approximately Correct has profound implications for how we think about behavior, cognition, biological evolution, and the possibilities and limits of human and machine intelligence.

 

 

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Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself (by Jamie A. Davies)

Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself

~ Jamie A. Davies (author) More about this product
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Where did I come from? Why do I have two arms but just one head? How is my left leg the same size as my right one? Why are the fingerprints of identical twins not identical? How did my brain learn to learn? Why must I die?

Questions like these remain biology's deepest and most ancient challenges. They force us to confront a fundamental biological problem: how can something as large and complex as a human body organize itself from the simplicity of a fertilized egg? A convergence of ideas from embryology, genetics, physics, networks, and control theory has begun to provide real answers. Based on the central principle of 'adaptive self-organization,' it explains how the interactions of many cells, and of the tiny molecular machines that run them, can organize tissue structures vastly larger than themselves, correcting errors as they go along and creating new layers of complexity where there were none before.

Life Unfolding tells the story of human development from egg to adult, from this perspective, showing how our whole understanding of how we come to be has been transformed in recent years. Highlighting how embryological knowledge is being used to understand why bodies age and fail, Jamie A. Davies explores the profound and fascinating impacts of our newfound knowledge.

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Reliability of Large and Complex Systems, Second Edition (by Krzysztof Kolowrocki)

Reliability of Large and Complex Systems, Second Edition

~ Krzysztof Kolowrocki (author) More about this product
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Reliability of Large and Complex Systems, previously titled Reliability of Large Systems, is an innovative guide to the current state and reliability of large and complex systems.

In addition to revised and updated content on the complexity and safety of large and complex mechanisms, this new edition looks at the reliability of nanosystems, a key research topic in nanotechnology science. The author discusses the importance of safety investigation of critical infrastructures that have aged or have been exposed to varying operational conditions. This reference provides an asymptotic approach to reliability; its methodology, whilst largely mathematical, is designed to help the reader understand and construct general models of large and systems in a wide range of engineering fields.

  • A complete and innovative guide to the reliability of large and complex systems
  • Provides the reader with a strong foundational knowledge of safety investigation into critical infrastructures; the main research area in the world of safety science
  • Explains how to construct large, reliable and safe systems in variable operation conditions
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The First Brain: The Neuroscience of Planarians (by Oné R. Pagán)

The First Brain: The Neuroscience of Planarians

~ Oné R. Pagán (author) More about this product
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Planarians, a class of flatworm, are extraordinary: they possess the remarkable ability to regenerate lost body parts, including complete regeneration of the nervous system. If cut into pieces, each piece of the planarian can regenerate into a complete organism. They are also unique among invertebrates in that they display addiction-like behaviors to many drugs abused by humans. Because of these distinct neurological traits, the planarian is often used as an animal model in neurological research, being used most recently for developments in neuropharmacology.
The First Brain is a discussion of how planarians have been used in neuropharmacology, and what role they have played in scientific developments that have a high impact on our culture. Planarians have been the animal models for research in drug addiction, antidepressant development, and various other topics in biology, neurobiology, and even zoology. Pagán uses these flatworms as a framework to explore the history of biological research. The book provides accessible background information on how biomedical research is impacted by evolution, and defines neurobiology and neuropharmacology in ways that are easy to understand. At the same time, Pagán provides enough detail for the book to useful for scientists working in various subsections of biology.
The planarian has played a key role in the history biological, neuropharmacological, and zoological research, and has even made appearances in a few unexpected places in popular culture. Oné Pagán explores all these roles, and shows us why the planarian truly is one of the most extraordinary and influential organisms in scientific research today.

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Directed Information Measures in Neuroscience (Understanding Complex Systems) (edited by Michael Wibral et al.)

Analysis of information transfer has found rapid adoption in neuroscience, where a highly dynamic transfer of information continuously runs on top of the brain's slowly-changing anatomical connectivity. Measuring such transfer is crucial to understanding how flexible information routing and processing give rise to higher cognitive function. Directed Information Measures in Neuroscience reviews recent developments of concepts and tools for measuring information transfer, their application to neurophysiological recordings and analysis of interactions. Written by the most active researchers in the field the book discusses the state of the art, future prospects and challenges on the way to an efficient assessment of neuronal information transfer. Highlights include the theoretical quantification and practical estimation of information transfer, description of transfer locally in space and time, multivariate directed measures, information decomposition among a set of stimulus/responses variables and the relation between interventional and observational causality. Applications to neural data sets and pointers to open source software highlight the usefulness of these measures in experimental neuroscience. With state-of-the-art mathematical developments, computational techniques and applications to real data sets, this book will be of benefit to all graduate students and researchers interested in detecting and understanding the information transfer between components of complex systems.

 

 

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Simplicity in Vision: A Multidisciplinary Account of Perceptual Organization (by Peter A. van der Helm)

Simplicity in Vision: A Multidisciplinary Account of Perceptual Organization

~ Peter A. van der Helm (author) More about this product
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Perceptual organization is the neuro-cognitive process that enables us to perceive scenes as structured wholes consisting of objects arranged in space. Simplicity in Vision explores the intriguing idea that these perceived wholes are given by the simplest organizations of the scenes. Peter A. van der Helm presents a truly multidisciplinary approach to answer fundamental questions such as: Are simplest organizations sufficiently reliable to guide our actions? What is the nature of the regularities that are exploited to arrive at simplest organizations? To account for the high combinatorial capacity and speed of the perceptual organization process, he proposes transparallel processing by hyperstrings. This special form of distributed processing not only gives classical computers the extraordinary computing power that seemed reserved for quantum computers, but also explains how neuronal synchronization relates to flexible self-organizing cognitive architecture in between the relatively rigid level of neurons and the still elusive level of consciousness.

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Urban Complexity and Planning by Shih-Kung Lai and Haoying Han

Urban Complexity and Planning by Shih-Kung Lai and Haoying Han | CxBooks | Scoop.it
Based on the emergent paradigm of complexity, the book provides an innovative set of arguments about how we can gain a better understanding of how cities emerge and function through computer simulations, and how plans affect the evolution of complex urban systems in a way distinct from what we used to think they should. Empirical case studies focus on the development of a compact urban hierarchy in Taiwan, China, and the USA, but derive more generalizable principles and relationships among cities, complexity, and planning.

Via FuturICT
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FuturICT's curator insight, April 10, 4:18 AM

Foreword, Michael Batty; Foreword, Lewis D. Hopkins;

Eli Levine's curator insight, April 14, 2:30 PM

The more we understand how the micro-levels of societies work and function on the empirical level, the better able we'll be at adjusting and tempering our policies, attitudes and perspectives on the macro level to conform with the lower level base laws of the universe.  It is only through understanding how the baseline architecture works that we are able to develop designs which work in our fully benefits from on high.  It's top down knowledge and law production, with actual obedience towards lower level behavior, attitudes, needs, actions and reactions.  It's understanding the physics of societies, economies and polities.

 

Eventually, it can all add up to the totality of the planet (although, once again, there will be no functional top-down global level governance without obedience and deference to local conditions, needs and problems.  It's actually going to be about coordination and different macro level behaviors and attitudes that are subservient to the laws and functions of micro-level phenomena and conditions.

 

Think about it.

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Signals and Boundaries: Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems (by John H. Holland)

Signals and Boundaries: Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems

~ John H. Holland (author) More about this product
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Complex adaptive systems (cas), including ecosystems, governments, biological cells, and markets, are characterized by intricate hierarchical arrangements of boundaries and signals. In ecosystems, for example, niches act as semi-permeable boundaries, and smells and visual patterns serve as signals; governments have departmental hierarchies with memoranda acting as signals; and so it is with other cas. Despite a wealth of data and descriptions concerning different cas, there remain many unanswered questions about "steering" these systems. In Signals and Boundaries, John Holland argues that understanding the origin of the intricate signal/border hierarchies of these systems is the key to answering such questions. He develops an overarching framework for comparing and steering cas through the mechanisms that generate their signal/boundary hierarchies.

Holland lays out a path for developing the framework that emphasizes agents, niches, theory, and mathematical models. He discusses, among other topics, theory construction; signal-processing agents; networks as representations of signal/boundary interaction; adaptation; recombination and reproduction; the use of tagged urn models (adapted from elementary probability theory) to represent boundary hierarchies; finitely generated systems as a way to tie the models examined into a single framework; the framework itself, illustrated by a simple finitely generated version of the development of a multi-celled organism; and Markov processes.

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Costas Bouyioukos's curator insight, March 18, 1:41 PM

John Holland's new book!

António F Fonseca's curator insight, March 23, 5:23 AM

Why communicate, why not, for example, just command?

june holley's curator insight, March 23, 7:43 AM

Just got this. His stuff is usually excellent so I have high hopes.

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The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day (by David J. Hand)

The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day

~ David J. Hand (author) More about this product
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In The Improbability Principle, the renowned statistician David J. Hand argues that extraordinarily rare events are anything but. In fact, they’re commonplace. Not only that, we should all expect to experience a miracle roughly once every month.

 

But Hand is no believer in superstitions, prophecies, or the paranormal. His definition of “miracle” is thoroughly rational. No mystical or supernatural explanation is necessary to understand why someone is lucky enough to win the lottery twice, or is destined to be hit by lightning three times and still survive. All we need, Hand argues, is a firm grounding in a powerful set of laws: the laws of inevitability, of truly large numbers, of selection, of the probability lever, and of near enough.

 

Together, these constitute Hand’s groundbreaking Improbability Principle. And together, they explain why we should not be so surprised to bump into a friend in a foreign country, or to come across the same unfamiliar word four times in one day.

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Chaos Theory in Politics (by Santo Banerjee et al.)

Chaos Theory in Politics (Understanding Complex Systems)

~ More about this product
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The present work investigates global politics and political implications of social science and management with the aid of the latest complexity and chaos theories. Until now, deterministic chaos and nonlinear analysis have not been a focal point in this area of research. This book remedies this deficiency by utilizing these methods in the analysis of the subject matter. The authors provide the reader a detailed analysis on politics and its associated applications with the help of chaos theory, in a single edited volume.

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Questioning Life and Cognition: Some Foundational Issues in the Paradigm of Enaction

John Stewart's book is a life achievement. It looks at three foundational issues for Enaction envisaged as a tenable paradigm for Cognitive Science: at first, the question of a “missing link” between the first living organisms – which, logically, have been dissipative structures simple enough to arise by spontaneous generation – and the simplest extant organisms that exhibit too complex a DNA-based genetic system to have arisen in that way; secondly, a relatively specific area with the cardinal virtue of being open to empirical refutation, i.e. the primitive immune system of vertebrates. Finally, the author tackles the social dimension of human cognition, presenting some of the basic concepts of sociology that typically need to be integrated into a potential paradigm of Enaction.


http://www.enactionseries.com/library/bookjs/co/Original_book_JS.html

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Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science by Joshua M. Epstein

The Final Volume of the Groundbreaking Trilogy on Agent-Based Modeling
In this pioneering synthesis, Joshua Epstein introduces a new theoretical entity: Agent_Zero. This software individual, or "agent," is endowed with distinct emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded in contemporary neuroscience, these internal components interact to generate observed, often far-from-rational, individual behavior. When multiple agents of this new type move and interact spatially, they collectively generate an astonishing range of dynamics spanning the fields of social conflict, psychology, public health, law, network science, and economics.
Epstein weaves a computational tapestry with threads from Plato, Hume, Darwin, Pavlov, Smith, Tolstoy, Marx, James, and Dostoevsky, among others. This transformative synthesis of social philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, and agent-based modeling will fascinate scholars and students of every stripe. Epstein's computer programs are provided in the book or on its Princeton University Press website, along with movies of his "computational parables."
Agent_Zero is a signal departure in what it includes (e.g., a new synthesis of neurally grounded internal modules), what it eschews (e.g., standard behavioral imitation), the phenomena it generates (from genocide to financial panic), and the modeling arsenal it offers the scientific community.
For generative social science, Agent_Zero presents a groundbreaking vision and the tools to realize it.

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Networks of Networks: The Last Frontier of Complexity (by Gregorio D'Agostino and Antonio Scala)

The present work is meant as a reference to provide an organic and comprehensive view of the most relevant results in the exciting new field of Networks of Networks (NetoNets). Seminal papers have recently been published posing the basis to study what happens when different networks interact, thus providing evidence for the emergence of new, unexpected behaviors and vulnerabilities. From those seminal works, the awareness on the importance understanding Networks of Networks (NetoNets) has spread to the entire community of Complexity Science. The reader will benefit from the experience of some of the most well-recognized leaders in this field. The contents have been aggregated under four headings; General Theory, Phenomenology, Applications and Risk Assessment. The reader will be impressed by the different applications of the general paradigm that span from physiology, to financial risk, to transports. We are currently making the first steps to reduce the distance between the language and the way of thinking of the two communities of experts in real infrastructures and the complexity scientists. Although this path may prove to be long, it is extremely promising, both in extending our understanding of complex systems and in finding concrete applications that can enhance the life quality of millions of people.

 

 

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It's a Jungle in There: How Competition and Cooperation in the Brain Shape the Mind (by David A. Rosenbaum)

It's a Jungle in There: How Competition and Cooperation in the Brain Shape the Mind

~ David A. Rosenbaum (author) More about this product
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The saying "It's a jungle out there" refers to a competitive environment in which you'd better hone your skills if you hope to survive. And you'd better do what you can to keep a roof over your head, food in your belly, a leaf on your loins, and a mate who'll help pass on your genes to the next generation of jungle Jims and Janes.
Distinguished professor and cognitive psychologist David Rosenbaum takes this metaphor of surviving in the wild and applies it to the competitive arena within the brain. He argues that the overarching theory of biology, Darwin's theory, should be the overarching theory of cognitive psychology, the science of mental functioning. He explores this new and intriguing idea by showing how neural elements compete and cooperate in a kind of inner jungle, where only the fittest survive. Competition within your brain does as much to shape who you are as the physical and figurative competition you face externally.
Just as the jungle night seethes with noisy creatures beckoning their mates, issuing their warnings, and settling their arguments, you might have trouble falling asleep at night because the thoughts in your head are fighting for their chance at survival. Rosenbaum's pursuit of this bold idea explains why we are shaped into who we are, for better or worse, because we are the hosts of inner battlefields.
Written in a light-hearted tone and with reference to hypothetical neural "creatures" making their way in a tough environment, Rosenbaum makes cognitive psychology and his theory easy to understand and exciting to ponder. Rather than rely on the series of disconnected phenomena and collection of curiosities that often constitute cognitive psychology, It's a Jungle in There provides a fascinating way to place all cognitive phenomena under one flourishing tree.

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The Improbable Primate: How Water Shaped Human Evolution (by Clive Finlayson)

The Improbable Primate: How Water Shaped Human Evolution

~ Clive Finlayson (author) More about this product
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In this book, Clive Finlayson takes an ecological approach to our evolution, considering the origins of modern humans within the context of a drying climate and changing landscapes. Finlayson argues that environmental change, particularly availability of water, played a critical role in shaping the direction of human evolution, contributing to our spread and success. He asserts that our ancestors carved a niche for themselves by leaving the forest and forcing their way into a long-established community of carnivores in a tropical savannah as climate changes opened up the landscape. They took their chance at high noon, when most other predators were asleep. Adapting to this new lifestyle by shedding their hair and developing an active sweating system to keep cool, being close to fresh water was vital. As the climate dried, our ancestors, already bipedal, became taller and slimmer, more adept at travelling farther in search of water. The challenges of seeking water in a drying landscape moulded the minds and bodies of early humans, and directed their migrations and eventual settlements.

In this fresh and provocative view of a seven-million-year evolutionary journey, Finlayson demonstrates the radical implications for the interpretation of fossils and technologies and shows that understanding humans within an ecological context provides insights into the emergence and spread of Homo sapiens worldwide.

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Networks of Echoes: Imitation, Innovation and Invisible Leaders (by Bruce J. West et al.)

Networks of Echoes: Imitation, Innovation and Invisible Leaders (Computational Social Sciences)

~ Paolo Grigolini (author) More about this product
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Networks of Echoes: Imitation, Innovation and Invisible Leaders is a mathematically rigorous and data rich book on a fascinating area of the science and engineering of social webs. There are hundreds of complex network phenomena whose statistical properties are described by inverse power laws. The phenomena of interest are not arcane events that we encounter only fleetingly, but are events that dominate our lives. We examine how this intermittent statistical behavior intertwines itself with what appears to be the organized activity of social groups. The book is structured as answers to a sequence of questions such as: How are decisions reached in elections and boardrooms? How is the stability of a society undermined by zealots and committed minorities and how is that stability re-established? Can we learn to answer such questions about human behavior by studying the way flocks of birds retain their formation when eluding a predator? These questions and others are answered using a generic model of a complex dynamic network—one whose global behavior is determined by a symmetric interaction among individuals based on social imitation. The complexity of the network is manifest in time series resulting from self-organized critical dynamics that have divergent first and second moments, are non-stationary, non-ergodic and non-Poisson. How phase transitions in the network dynamics influence such activity as decision making is a fascinating story and provides a context for introducing many of the mathematical ideas necessary for understanding complex networks in general. The decision making model (DMM) is selected to emphasize that there are features of complex webs that supersede specific mechanisms and need to be understood from a general perspective. This insightful overview of recent tools and their uses may serve as an introduction and curriculum guide in related courses.

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The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences (by Herbert Gintis)

The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences

~ Herbert Gintis (author) More about this product
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Game theory is central to understanding human behavior and relevant to all of the behavioral sciences--from biology and economics, to anthropology and political science. However, as The Bounds of Reason demonstrates, game theory alone cannot fully explain human behavior and should instead complement other key concepts championed by the behavioral disciplines. Herbert Gintis shows that just as game theory without broader social theory is merely technical bravado, so social theory without game theory is a handicapped enterprise. This edition has been thoroughly revised and updated.

Reinvigorating game theory, The Bounds of Reason offers innovative thinking for the behavioral sciences.

 

 

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The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch (by Lewis Dartnell)

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch

~ Lewis Dartnell (author) More about this product
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If our technological society collapsed tomorrow, perhaps from a viral pandemic or catastrophic asteroid impact, what would be the one book you would want to press into the hands of the postapocalyptic survivors? What crucial knowledge would they need to survive in the immediate aftermath and to rebuild civilization as quickly as possible—a guide for rebooting the world?


Human knowledge is collective, distributed across the population. It has built on itself for centuries, becoming vast and increasingly specialized. Most of us are ignorant about the fundamental principles of the civilization that supports us, happily utilizing the latest—or even the most basic—technology without having the slightest idea of why it works or how it came to be. If you had to go back to absolute basics, like some sort of postcataclysmic Robinson Crusoe, would you know how to re-create an internal combustion engine, put together a microscope, get metals out of rock, accurately tell time, weave fibers into clothing, or even how to produce food for yourself?

Regarded as one of the brightest young scientists of his generation, Lewis Dartnell proposes that the key to preserving civilization in an apocalyptic scenario is to provide a quickstart guide, adapted to cataclysmic circumstances. The Knowledge describes many of the modern technologies we employ, but first it explains the fundamentals upon which they are built. Every piece of technology rests on an enormous support network of other technologies, all interlinked and mutually dependent. You can’t hope to build a radio, for example, without understanding how to acquire the raw materials it requires, as well as generate the electricity needed to run it. But Dartnell doesn’t just provide specific information for starting over; he also reveals the greatest invention of them all—the phenomenal knowledge-generating machine that is the scientific method itself. This would allow survivors to learn technological advances not explicitly explored in The Knowledge as well as things we have yet to discover.
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The Social Face of Complexity Science: A Festschrift for Professor Peter M. Allen (by Mark Strathern & James McGlade)

This work is to honour Professor Peter M. Allen, a seminal figure in the foundation and development of Complexity Science in human systems. From before the time of his joining Nobel Prize winner Ilya Progogine's pioneering group at the Université libre de Bruxelles in 1967 Peter had started publishing on what was then known as Prigogine theory in physics. But it was only after this that his own pioneering work in Complexity Science showed the importance of its applications in evolutionary and human sciences. Since then he has been an influential and guiding figure in this field. The works collected are by admiring colleagues, friends and collaborators, all leaders in their fields, influenced by his seminal ides, and gathered from across a gamut of fields in human systems. This makes this a valuable and unique work, a veritable reader in the influence Complex Systems theory on a wide and diverse range of fields; from archaeology, city design, international banking, economics, policy studies and more.

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Biological Bits

Biological Bits | CxBooks | Scoop.it

A BRIEF GUIDE TO THE IDEAS AND ARTEFACTS OF COMPUTATIONAL ARTIFICIAL LIFE
Alan Dorin, Animaland, 2014
This guide provides broad coverage of computational Artificial Life, a field encompassing the theories and discoveries underpinning the invention and study of technology-based living systems. It is targetted at students of all ages who are new to Artificial Life or are hoping to gain a broad understanding of its themes.
The book focusses specifically on Artificial Life realised in computer software. Topics include:
• pre-history of Artificial Life
• artificial chemistry
• artificial cells
• organism development
• locomotion
• group behaviour
• evolution
• ecosystem simulation

Biological Bits includes animations and interactive software for experimentation with key processes. Simulations are included to allow exploration of cellular automata, developmental models, group behaviour and ecosystem simulation to aid in illustrating the text. The book can be read cover-to-cover as a general introduction to Artificial Life, or it can serve as a textbook for university or advanced high-school courses.


http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~aland/BiologicalBits.html

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Hypernetworks in the Science of Complex Systems (by Jeffrey Johnson)

Hypernetworks in the Science of Complex Systems (Series on Complexity Science)

~ Jeffrey Johnson (author) More about this product
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The modern world is complex beyond human understanding and control. The science of complex systems aims to find new ways of thinking about the many interconnected networks of interaction that defy traditional approaches. Thus far, research into networks has largely been restricted to pairwise relationships represented by links between two nodes. This volume marks a major extension of networks to multidimensional hypernetworks for modeling multi-element relationships, such as companies making up the stock market, the neighborhoods forming a city, people making up committees, divisions making up companies, computers making up the internet, men and machines making up armies, or robots working as teams.

This volume makes an important contribution to the science of complex systems by:
(i) extending network theory to include dynamic relationships between many elements;
(ii) providing a mathematical theory able to integrate multilevel dynamics in a coherent way; (iii)
providing a new methodological approach to analyze complex systems; and
(iv) illustrating the theory with practical examples in the design, management and control of complex systems taken from many areas of application.

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june holley's curator insight, March 24, 8:36 AM

A little pricey but breakthrough stuff here...

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Social Neuroscience: Toward Understanding the Underpinnings of the Social Mind (by Alexander Todorov et al.)

The field of social cognitive neuroscience has captured the attention of many researchers during the past ten years. Much of the impetus for this new field came from the development of functional neuroimaging methods that made it possible to unobtrusively measure brain activation over time. Using these methods over the last 30 years has allowed psychologists to move from simple validation questions -- would flashing stimuli activate the visual cortex -- to those about the functional specialization of brain regions -- are there regions in the inferior temporal cortex dedicated to face processing -- to questions that, just a decade ago, would have been considered intractable at such a level of analysis.

These so-called "intractable" questions are the focus of the chapters in this book, which introduces social cognitive neuroscience research addressing questions of fundamental importance to social psychology: How do we understand and represent other people? How do we represent social groups? How do we regulate our emotions and socially undesirable responses? This book also presents innovative combinations of multiple methodologies, including behavioral experiments, computer modeling, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) experiments, Event-Related Potential (ERP) experiments, and brain lesion studies. It is divided into four sections. The first three sections present the latest research on, respectively, understanding and representing other people, representing social groups, and the interplay of cognition and emotion in social regulation. In the fourth section, contributors step back and consider a range of novel topics that have emerged in the context of social neuroscience research: understanding social exclusion as pain, deconstructing our moral intuitions, understanding cooperative exchanges with other agents, and the effect of aging on brain function and its implications for well-being. Taken together, these chapters provide a rich introduction to an exciting, rapidly developing and expanding field that promises a richer and deeper understanding of the social mind.

 

 

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The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind (by Giovanna Colombetti)

The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind

~ Giovanna Colombetti (author) More about this product
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In The Feeling Body, Giovanna Colombetti takes ideas from the enactive approach developed over the last twenty years in cognitive science and philosophy of mind and applies them for the first time to affective science -- the study of emotions, moods, and feelings. She argues that enactivism entails a view of cognition as not just embodied but also intrinsically affective, and she elaborates on the implications of this claim for the study of emotion in psychology and neuroscience.

In the course of her discussion, Colombetti focuses on long-debated issues in affective science, including the notion of basic emotions, the nature of appraisal and its relationship to bodily arousal, the place of bodily feelings in emotion experience, the neurophysiological study of emotion experience, and the bodily nature of our encounters with others. Drawing on enactivist tools such as dynamical systems theory, the notion of the lived body, neurophenomenology, and phenomenological accounts of empathy, Colombetti advances a novel approach to these traditional issues that does justice to their complexity. Doing so, she also expands the enactive approach into a further domain of inquiry, one that has more generally been neglected by the embodied-embedded approach in the philosophy of cognitive science.

 

 

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Connecting Paradigms

The New Science of Cities presents a herculean attempt to bring together widely fragmented approaches to making sense of human social organization with the goal of eventually establishing a consolidated “science of cities” able to answer our questions. Michael Batty bases his argument on the interplay among space, dynamics, and relations. He holds that “to understand place, we must understand flows, and to understand flows we must understand networks.” Batty (a geographer at University College London) also stresses two other principles: an intrinsic order of scale determines a city's form and function, and a science of cities should not merely observe but also predict. The book draws on the work of urbanists, economists, mathematicians, and physicists as well as almost five decades of his own contributions to urban studies.


Connecting Paradigms
. Michael Szell


Science 28 February 2014: 

Vol. 343 no. 6174 pp. 970-971
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1249599


The New Science of Cities by Michael Batty MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2013. 518 pp. $45, £31.95. ISBN 9780262019521. http://tinyurl.com/kgqugb5

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Introduction to Computational Social Science: Principles and Applications (by Claudio Cioffi-Revilla)

Introduction to Computational Social Science: Principles and Applications (Texts in Computer Science)

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This reader-friendly textbook is the first work of its kind to provide a unified Introduction to Computational Social Science (CSS). Four distinct methodological approaches are examined in detail, namely automated social information extraction, social network analysis, social complexity theory and social simulation modeling. The coverage of these approaches is supported by a discussion of the historical context, as well as by a list of texts for further reading. Features: highlights the main theories of the CSS paradigm as causal explanatory frameworks that shed new light on the nature of human and social dynamics; explains how to distinguish and analyze the different levels of analysis of social complexity using computational approaches; discusses a number of methodological tools; presents the main classes of entities, objects and relations common to the computational analysis of social complexity; examines the interdisciplinary integration of knowledge in the context of social phenomena.

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Introduction to Computational Cultural Psychology: Yair Neuman

Introduction to Computational Cultural Psychology (Culture and Psychology)

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Human psychology is deeply rooted in the culture in which people live. Introduction to Computational Cultural Psychology introduces a revolutionary approach for studying cultural psychology. Drawing on novel computational tools and in-depth case studies, Professor Yair Neuman offers thought-provoking answers to questions such as: how are thought and language deeply related? How can computers help us to understand different cultures? How can computers assist military intelligence in identifying vengeful intentions? And how is our concept of 'love' rooted in our basic embodied experience? Written by a leading interdisciplinary researcher this book is a "tour-de-force" which will be of interest to a variety of researchers, students and practitioners in psychology as well as an interdisciplinary audience with an interest in the intricate web weaved between the human psyche and its cultural context.


Introduction to Computational Cultural Psychology
by Yair Neuman

Cambridge University Press

http://tinyurl.com/m9x7eyn

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Liz Rykert's curator insight, February 14, 9:05 PM

I suspect there are some clues within for triggering and tracking culture change...read on!