Exploring complexity
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Exploring complexity
An exploration through the dynamics of complex systems
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Twitter e la dinamica delle opinioni di maggioranza - Le Scienze

Twitter e la dinamica delle opinioni di maggioranza - Le Scienze | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
L'opinione predominante, condivisa dalla maggioranza delle persone, emerge rapidamente su Twitter, qualunque sia l'argomento, e una volta stabilizzata difficilmente può cambiare. Lo ha scoperto una nuova analisi automatizzata, che potrebbe essere utilizzata per prevedere - ma forse anche per influenzare - come si orienterà l'opinione pubblica
Marinella De Simone's insight:

i dati mostrano che mentre all'inizio le opinioni su un argomento fluttuano notevolmente, questa variabilità si attenua molto in fretta, stabilizzandosi su un'opinione di maggioranza, largamente condivisa, che prevale nettamente sull'altra. 

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Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'? | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
Nafeez Ahmed: Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system
Marinella De Simone's insight:

A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

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Andrew Glynn's curator insight, March 18, 5:58 AM

Not really sure why a study was needed.  It's pretty obvious stuff.

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Thoughts on SNA and online learning

Thoughts on SNA and online learning | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
Following the previous post... The structural paradigm of  Social Network Analysis (SNA) with its constitutive theory and methods, began to emerge around the 1930s, applied and influenced by a broa...

Via Susan Bainbridge
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Milena Bobeva's curator insight, March 1, 1:10 AM

Social Network Analysis should be a  paradigm for researching, designing, and evaluating not only online learning, but  the wider phenomenon of Education 3.0

luiy's curator insight, March 1, 4:21 PM

The connections within nodes in a network facilitate exchange of “resources”  which can be influenced by the quantity and quality of the linkages and interactions. Looking at online educational networks through a SNA lens is a way to establish wether the ways in which individuals connect with a particular environment may influence their access to information and knowledge. As Rita Kop states “the Web is portrayed as a democratic network on which peer to peer interaction might lead to a creative explosion and participative culture of activity” (Kop, 2012 p3) but how is this potential being exploited in education? What are the processes beyond this interaction and how can they be used to facilitate students access to information, knowledge and ideas?

 

The potential of social media in forming networks, extending students knowledge and translating this into academic achievement is impacted by a multitude of elements such as individuals’ attitudes (Morrison, 2002), University environment and socialisation processes (Yu et al., 2010). Other mechanisms influencing this process may be the particular educational practices and experiences, the success of connections, the dynamics in which participants negotiate the structure of the network and exchange practices and many others which can not be controlled.

 

This analysis can be enriched by Bordieau’s concept of “social capital”, which introduces a set of dynamics between the social dimension, the identity dimension (habitus) and the individual’s practice. In this system of reciprocal influences it is interesting to look at the transformation processes and effects of elements such as “weak ties”, “brokers”, “latent connections” and “structural holes” in the information flow within a network.

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Introduction to Circos, Features and Uses | #dataviz #datascience

Introduction to Circos, Features and Uses | #dataviz #datascience | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

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luiy's curator insight, February 28, 3:26 AM

Circos is a software package for visualizing data and information. It visualizes data in a circular layout — this makes Circos ideal for exploring relationships between objects or positions. There are other reasons why a circular layout is advantageous, not the least being the fact that it is attractive.

 

Circos is ideal for creating publication-quality infographics and illustrations with a high data-to-ink ratio, richly layered data and pleasant symmetries. You have fine control each element in the figure to tailor its focus points and detail to your audience.

 

Circos is flexible. Although originally designed for visualizing genomic data, it can create figures from data in any field. If you have data that describes relationships or multi-layered annotations of one or more scales, Circos is for you.

 

Circos can be automated. It is controlled by plain-text configuration files, which makes it easily incorporated into data acquisition, analysis and reporting pipelines (a data pipeline is a multi-step process in which data is analyzed by multiple and typically independent tools, each passing their output as the input to the next step).

 
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Steven Strogatz - Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos: Part 5 - YouTube

Synchronized Chaos and Private Communications, with Kevin Cuomo, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

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Charts of economic development: a fantastic journey

Charts of economic development: a fantastic journey | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

Venezuelan economist Ricardo Hausmann and Chilean physicist César Hidalgo, in a joint effort of Harvard University and the Massachutes Institute of Technology MIT, draw a new world map of economic adventure, and suggest the Earth may not be flat.


Via Claudia Mihai
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Rescooped by Marinella De Simone from Self-organizing systems
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Complex Systems Science as a New Transdisciplinary Science, by Paul Bourgine

Complex Systems Science as a New Transdisciplinary Science, by Paul Bourgine | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

The new science of complex systems will be at the heart of the future of the Worldwide Knowledge Society. It is providing radical new ways of understanding the physical, biological, ecological, and techno-social universe. Complex Systems are open, value-laden, multi-level, multi-component, reconfigurable systems of systems, situated in turbulent, unstable, and changing environments. They evolve, adapt and transform through internal and external dynamic interactions. They are the source of very difficult scientific challenges for observing, understanding, reconstructing and predicting their multi-scale dynamics. The challenges posed by the multi-scale modelling of both natural and artificial adaptive complex systems can only be met with radically new collective strategies for research and teaching (...)


Via NESS, Complexity Institute
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june holley's curator insight, December 2, 2013 7:39 AM

The study of complex systems adds a lot of depth to understanding networks.

Complexity Institute's curator insight, December 6, 2013 12:56 AM

Are we ready to recognize a Science as a "Transdisciplinary Science?
Complex systems science is not a science in itself, but it may be considered as a 'Science of Sciences'.
I think this is the most challenging issue to face for a Worldwide Knowledge Society, as Paul Bourgine states.
What are your opinions about this?

Edgar Francisco Pelayo Valencia's curator insight, December 20, 2013 2:26 PM

Future is here!!!

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What Are The Questions To Ask When Developing A Big Data Strategy?

What Are The Questions To Ask When Developing A Big Data Strategy? | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
A recent story on InformationWeek shows how two CEO’s can view the same company so completely different. Both CEO’s used big data analytics to help them in defining the right strategy for the company.

Via Tony Shan
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The Simple Rules of Social Contagion

It is commonly believed that information spreads between individuals like a pathogen, with each exposure by an informed friend potentially resulting in a naive individual becoming infected. However, empirical studies of social media suggest that individual response to repeated exposure to information is significantly more complex than the prediction of the pathogen model. As a proxy for intervention experiments, we compare user responses to multiple exposures on two different social media sites, Twitter and Digg. We show that the position of the exposing messages on the user-interface strongly affects social contagion. Accounting for this visibility significantly simplifies the dynamics of social contagion. The likelihood an individual will spread information increases monotonically with exposure, while explicit feedback about how many friends have previously spread it increases the likelihood of a response. We apply our model to real-time forecasting of user behavior.

 

The Simple Rules of Social Contagion
Nathan O. Hodas, Kristina Lerman

http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.5015


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António F Fonseca's curator insight, December 23, 2013 4:12 AM

Another paper about information propagation. A study on the user interface of two social sites, mainly the problem of limited attention and attention managment.

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Controlling Self-Organizing Dynamics on Networks Using Models that Self-Organize

Controlling self-organizing systems is challenging because the system responds to the controller. Here, we develop a model that captures the essential self-organizing mechanisms of Bak-Tang-Wiesenfeld (BTW) sandpiles on networks, a self-organized critical (SOC) system. This model enables studying a simple control scheme that determines the frequency of cascades and that shapes systemic risk. We show that optimal strategies exist for generic cost functions and that controlling a subcritical system may drive it to criticality. This approach could enable controlling other self-organizing systems.

 

Controlling Self-Organizing Dynamics on Networks Using Models that Self-Organize

Pierre-André Noël, Charles D. Brummitt, and Raissa M. D’Souza

Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 078701 (2013)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.078701

 

Selected for a Viewpoint http://physics.aps.org/articles/v6/90


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Tomorrow's Cities

Tomorrow's Cities | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

Have you ever wondered where you or your children may be living in 2050? Experts predict that by then three-quarters of the world's population will live in cities. This August and September the BBC is taking a look at how our lives will be changed by the technological innovations being developed for Tomorrow’s Cities.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23517670


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Estimating the tolerance of species to the effects of global environmental change

Global environmental change is affecting species distribution and their interactions with other species. In particular, the main drivers of environmental change strongly affect the strength of interspecific interactions with considerable consequences to biodiversity. However, extrapolating the effects observed on pair-wise interactions to entire ecological networks is challenging. Here we propose a framework to estimate the tolerance to changes in the strength of mutualistic interaction that species in mutualistic networks can sustain before becoming extinct. We identify the scenarios where generalist species can be the least tolerant. We show that the least tolerant species across different scenarios do not appear to have uniquely common characteristics. Species tolerance is extremely sensitive to the direction of change in the strength of mutualistic interaction, as well as to the observed mutualistic trade-offs between the number of partners and the strength of the interactions.

 

Estimating the tolerance of species to the effects of global environmental change
Serguei Saavedra, Rudolf P. Rohr, Vasilis Dakos, Jordi Bascompte

http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.3584


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A place-focused model for social networks in cities

The focused organization theory of social ties proposes that the structure of human social networks can be arranged around extra-network foci, which can include shared physical spaces such as homes, workplaces, restaurants, and so on. Until now, this has been difficult to investigate on a large scale, but the huge volume of data available from online location-based social services now makes it possible to examine the friendships and mobility of many thousands of people, and to investigate the relationship between meetings at places and the structure of the social network. In this paper, we analyze a large dataset from Foursquare, the most popular online location-based social network. We examine the properties of city-based social networks, finding that they have common structural properties, and that the category of place where two people meet has very strong influence on the likelihood of their being friends. Inspired by these observations in combination with the focused organization theory, we then present a model to generate city-level social networks, and show that it produces networks with the structural properties seen in empirical data.

 

A place-focused model for social networks in cities
Chloë Brown, Anastasios Noulas, Cecilia Mascolo, Vincent Blondel

http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.2565


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Opinion formation on social media: An empirical approach

Opinion exchange models aim to describe the process of public opinion formation, seeking to uncover the intrinsic mechanism in social systems; however, the model results are seldom empirically justified using large-scale actual data. Online social media provide an abundance of data on opinion interaction, but the question of whether opinion models are suitable for characterizing opinion formation on social media still requires exploration. We collect a large amount of user interaction information from an actual social network, i.e., Twitter, and analyze the dynamic sentiments of users about different topics to investigate realistic opinion evolution. We find two nontrivial results from these data. First, public opinion often evolves to an ordered state in which one opinion predominates, but not to complete consensus. Second, agents are reluctant to change their opinions, and the distribution of the number of individual opinion changes follows a power law. Then, we suggest a model in which agents take external actions to express their internal opinions according to their activity. Conversely, individual actions can influence the activity and opinions of neighbors. The probability that an agent changes its opinion depends nonlinearly on the fraction of opponents who have taken an action. Simulation results show user action patterns and the evolution of public opinion in the model coincide with the empirical data. For different nonlinear parameters, the system may approach different regimes. A large decay in individual activity slows down the dynamics, but causes more ordering in the system.
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Detecting Emotional Contagion in Massive Social Networks

Detecting Emotional Contagion in Massive Social Networks | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

Happiness and other emotions spread between people in direct contact, but it is unclear whether massive online social networks also contribute to this spread. Here, we elaborate a novel method for measuring the contagion of emotional expression. With data from millions of Facebook users, we show that rainfall directly influences the emotional content of their status messages, and it also affects the status messages of friends in other cities who are not experiencing rainfall. For every one person affected directly, rainfall alters the emotional expression of about one to two other people, suggesting that online social networks may magnify the intensity of global emotional synchrony.

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The Murmurations of Starlings

The Murmurations of Starlings | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
When starlings flock together, wheeling and darting through the sky in tight, fluid formations, we call it a murmuration
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Time varying networks and the weakness of strong ties | #patterns #rumor #SNA

Time varying networks and the weakness of strong ties | #patterns #rumor #SNA | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

In most social and information systems the activity of agents generates rapidly evolving time-varying networks. The temporal variation in networks' connectivity patterns and the ongoing dynamic processes are usually coupled in ways that still challenge our mathematical or computational modelling. Here we analyse a mobile call dataset and find a simple statistical law that characterize the temporal evolution of users' egocentric networks. We encode this observation in a reinforcement process defining a time-varying network model that exhibits the emergence of strong and weak ties. We study the effect of time-varying and heterogeneous interactions on the classic rumour spreading model in both synthetic, and real-world networks. We observe that strong ties severely inhibit information diffusion by confining the spreading process among agents with recurrent communication patterns. This provides the counterintuitive evidence that strong ties may have a negative role in the spreading of information across networks.


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Water in cells behaves in complex and intricate ways

Water in cells behaves in complex and intricate ways | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

In a sort of biological "spooky action at a distance," water in a cell slows down in the tightest confines between proteins and develops the ability to affect other proteins much farther away, University of Michigan researchers have discovered.

On a fundamental level, the findings show some of the complex and unexpected ways that water behaves inside cells. In a practical sense, they could provide insights into how and why proteins clump together in diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Understanding how proteins aggregate could help researchers figure out how to prevent them from doing so.


Via Claudia Mihai
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Body Atlas Reveals Where We Feel Happiness and Shame

Body Atlas Reveals Where We Feel Happiness and Shame | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
New research shows emotional states are associated with distinct bodily sensations regardless of culture and so specific that they can be mapped.

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Bruce Sterling: "From Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter," a short story - Boing Boing

Bruce Sterling: "From Beyond the Coming Age of Networked Matter," a short story - Boing Boing | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

Via Mariusz Leś, John Symons
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António F Fonseca's curator insight, December 18, 2013 9:22 AM

Funny story about the network mania of our days.

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Joys of Noise

Joys of Noise | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

In engineering, uncertainty is usually as welcome as sand in a salad. The development of digital technologies, from the alphabet to the DVD, has been driven in large part by the desire to eliminate random fluctuations, or noise, inherent in analog systems like speech or VHS tapes. But randomness also has a special ability to make some systems work better. Here are five cases where a little chaos is a critical part of the plan (...)

 

http://nautil.us/issue/2/uncertainty/joys-of-noise


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The Power of Networks | World Economic Forum 2012

Nowadays, any organization should employ network scientists/analysts who are able to map and analyse complex systems that are of importance to the organization (e.g. the organization itself, its activities, a country’s economic activities, transportation networks, research networks).
Interconnectivity is beneficial but also brings in vulnerability: if you and I are connected we can share resources; meanwhile your problems can become mine and vice versa.
The concept of “crystallized imagination” refers to things that are first in our head and then become reality. This concept can be turned into network applied research on economic complexity of a country’s economic activities and development prospects.


Via Erika Harrison, Complexity Digest
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Erika Harrison's curator insight, August 9, 2013 10:43 AM

"*Nowadays, any organization should employ network scientists/analysts who are able to map and analyse complex systems that are of importance to the organization (e.g. the organization itself, its activities, a country’s economic activities, transportation networks, research networks).

 

*Interconnectivity is beneficial but also brings in vulnerability: if you and I are connected we can share resources; meanwhile your problems can become mine and vice versa.

 

*The concept of “crystallized imagination” refers to things that are first in our head and then become reality. This concept can be turned into network applied research on economic complexity of a country’s economic activities and development prospects".

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Guiding Designs of Self-Organizing Swarms: Interactive and Automated Approaches

Self-organization of heterogeneous particle swarms is rich in its dynamics but hard to design in a traditional top-down manner, especially when many types of kinetically distinct particles are involved. In this chapter, we discuss how we have been addressing this problem by (1) utilizing and enhancing interactive evolutionary design methods and (2) realizing spontaneous evolution of self organizing swarms within an artificial ecosystem.

 

Guiding Designs of Self-Organizing Swarms: Interactive and Automated Approaches
Hiroki Sayama

http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.3400


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Understanding metropolitan patterns of daily encounters

Understanding of the mechanisms driving our daily face-to-face encounters is still limited; the field lacks large-scale datasets describing both individual behaviors and their collective interactions. However, here, with the help of travel smart card data, we uncover such encounter mechanisms and structures by constructing a time-resolved in-vehicle social encounter network on public buses in a city (about 5 million residents). Using a population scale dataset, we find physical encounters display reproducible temporal patterns, indicating that repeated encounters are regular and identical. On an individual scale, we find that collective regularities dominate distinct encounters’ bounded nature. An individual’s encounter capability is rooted in his/her daily behavioral regularity, explaining the emergence of “familiar strangers” in daily life. Strikingly, we find individuals with repeated encounters are not grouped into small communities, but become strongly connected over time, resulting in a large, but imperceptible, small-world contact network or “structure of co-presence” across the whole metropolitan area. Revealing the encounter pattern and identifying this large-scale contact network are crucial to understanding the dynamics in patterns of social acquaintances, collective human behaviors, and—particularly—disclosing the impact of human behavior on various diffusion/spreading processes.

 

Understanding metropolitan patterns of daily encounters
Lijun Sun, Kay W. Axhausen, Der-Horng Lee, and Xianfeng Huang

http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1306440110
PNAS August 20, 2013 vol. 110 no. 34 13774-13779


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The Limits of Phenomenology: From Behaviorism to Drug Testing and Engineering Design

It is widely believed that theory is useful in physics because it describes simple systems and that strictly empirical phenomenological approaches are necessary for complex biological and social systems. Here we prove based upon an analysis of the information that can be obtained from experimental observations that theory is even more essential in the understanding of complex systems. Implications of this proof revise the general understanding of how we can understand complex systems including the behaviorist approach to human behavior, problems with testing engineered systems, and medical experimentation for evaluating treatments and the FDA approval of medications. Each of these approaches are inherently limited in their ability to characterize real world systems due to the large number of conditions that can affect their behavior. Models are necessary as they can help to characterize behavior without requiring observations for all possible conditions. The testing of models by empirical observations enhances the utility of those observations. For systems for which adequate models have not been developed, or are not practical, the limitations of empirical testing lead to uncertainty in our knowledge and risks in individual, organizational and social policy decisions. These risks should be recognized and inform our decisions.

 

The Limits of Phenomenology: From Behaviorism to Drug Testing and Engineering Design
Yaneer Bar-Yam

http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.3094


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