Exploring complexity
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Exploring complexity
An exploration through the dynamics of complex systems
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Emergence of structural and dynamical properties of ecological mutualistic networks

Cooperation among species tends to result in mutualistic networks with a nested structure, which is thought to increase biodiversity and persistence but may be less stable than unstructured networks: here nested networks are shown to result from a mechanism that maximizes species abundances in mutualistic communities, and the abundance of nested species is found to be directly linked to the resilience of the community.

 

Emergence of structural and dynamical properties of ecological mutualistic networks
Samir Suweis, Filippo Simini, Jayanth R. Banavar & Amos Maritan

Nature 500, 449–452 (22 August 2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12438


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Il Program Book della Complexity Management Summer School

Il Program Book della Complexity Management Summer School | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
Scarica e leggi il Program Book della Complexity Management Summer School:
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Managing Complexity: Strategies for Group Awareness and ...

This presentation is part of the WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 program. Michael Gilbert, Jonathan Morgan, David McDonald, Mark Zachry. In online groups, increasing explicit coordination can increase group cohesion and ...
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luiy's curator insight, June 15, 2013 5:33 AM

In online groups, increasing explicit coordination can increase group cohesion and member productivity. On Wikipedia, groups called WikiProjects employ a variety of explicit coordination mechanisms to motivate and structure member contribution, with the goal of creating and improving articles related to particular topics. However, while explicit coordination works well for coordinating article-level actions, coordinating group tasks and tracking progress towards group goals that involve tracking hundreds or thousands of articles over time requires different coordination strategies. To lower the coordination cost of monitoring and task-routing, WikiProjects centralize coordination activity on WikiProject pages – “micro-sites” which provide a centralized repository of project tools, tasks and targets, and discussion for explicit group coordination. These tools can facilitate shared awareness of member and non-member editing activity on articles that the project cares about. However, whether these tools are as effective at motivating members as explicit coordination, and whether they elicit the same kind of contributions, has not been studied. In this study, we examine one such tool, Hot Articles, and compare its effect on the editing behavior of WikiProject members with a common explicit coordination mechanism: making edit requests on the project talk page.

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Complexity, Intelligence, and How to Ignore the Meaning of Life - Huffington Post

Complexity, Intelligence, and How to Ignore the Meaning of Life - Huffington Post | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
Complexity, Intelligence, and How to Ignore the Meaning of Life
Huffington Post
Theo Jansen is a remarkable artist, engineer and visionary.
Marinella De Simone's insight:

"Nobel prize-winning scientist Herb Simon famously asked the question, what makes life seem complex? Is the animal inherently sophisticated, or is the animal's behavior just an elementary rhythm beating in a very complex echo chamber? Consider an ant on the beach, seeking to reach its food source. If you map its path along the sand, it would appear to be a circuitous route. Perhaps that apparent complexity is only the result of the ant's simple reactions to a complex beach environment. Simon's thesis: what if all animal behavior has this property? Perhaps our own apparent sophistication and intelligence has more to do with our environmental stimuli than with our disembodied selves. This idea curses the Artificial Intelligence inventor who is content to create a thinking brain in a box: if complexity stems from the contingencies of the environment, then true intelligence must be embedded- directly coupled into the physical world; so much for brains in a bottle."

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Controlled Flight of a Biologically Inspired, Insect-Scale Robot

Flies are among the most agile flying creatures on Earth. To mimic this aerial prowess in a similarly sized robot requires tiny, high-efficiency mechanical components that pose miniaturization challenges governed by force-scaling laws, suggesting unconventional solutions for propulsion, actuation, and manufacturing. To this end, we developed high-power-density piezoelectric flight muscles and a manufacturing methodology capable of rapidly prototyping articulated, flexure-based sub-millimeter mechanisms. We built an 80-milligram, insect-scale, flapping-wing robot modeled loosely on the morphology of flies. Using a modular approach to flight control that relies on limited information about the robot’s dynamics, we demonstrated tethered but unconstrained stable hovering and basic controlled flight maneuvers. The result validates a sufficient suite of innovations for achieving artificial, insect-like flight.

 

Controlled Flight of a Biologically Inspired, Insect-Scale Robot
Kevin Y. Ma, Pakpong Chirarattananon, Sawyer B. Fuller, Robert J. Wood

Science 3 May 2013:
Vol. 340 no. 6132 pp. 603-607
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1231806


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Self-organization of progress across the century of physics

We make use of information provided in the titles and abstracts of over half a million publications that were published by the American Physical Society during the past 119 years. By identifying all unique words and phrases and determining their monthly usage patterns, we obtain quantifiable insights into the trends of physics discovery from the end of the 19th century to today. We show that the magnitudes of upward and downward trends yield heavy-tailed distributions, and that their emergence is due to the Matthew effect. This indicates that both the rise and fall of scientific paradigms is driven by robust principles of self-organization. Data also confirm that periods of war decelerate scientific progress, and that the later is very much subject to globalization.

 

Self-organization of progress across the century of physics

Matjaz Perc

http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.0552


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Exploiting ecological principles to better understand cancer progression and treatment

A small but growing number of people are finding interesting parallels between ecosystems as studied by ecologists (think of a Savanna or the Amazon rain forest or a Coral reef) and tumours1-3. The idea of viewing cancer from an ecological perspective has many implications but fundamentally, it means that we should not see cancer just as a group of mutated cells. A more useful definition of cancer is to consider it a disruption in the complex balance of many interacting cellular and microenvironmental elements in a specific organ. This perspective means that organs undergoing carcinogenesis should be seen as sophisticated ecosystems in homeostasis that cancer cells can disrupt. It also makes cancer seem even more complex but may ultimately provides isights that make it more treatable. Here we discuss how ecological principles can be used to better understand cancer progression and treatment, using several mathematical and computational models to illustrate our argument.

 

Exploiting ecological principles to better understand cancer progression and treatment

David Basanta, Alexander R. A. Anderson

http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.2249


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Big Data Needs a Big Theory to Go with It

Big Data Needs a Big Theory to Go with It | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

As the world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, some of our biggest challenges have begun to seem intractable. What should we do about uncertainty in the financial markets? How can we predict energy supply and demand? How will climate change play out? How do we cope with rapid urbanization? Our traditional approaches to these problems are often qualitative and disjointed and lead to unintended consequences. To bring scientific rigor to the challenges of our time, we need to develop a deeper understanding of complexity itself.


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Luciano Lampi's curator insight, May 30, 2013 9:25 AM

A concise and objective tour over CAS!

Víctor Farré's curator insight, June 4, 2013 6:00 AM

Si integramos la complejdad en una nueva teoría más holística, paradojicamente llegamos a la conclusión de que se podfrán hacer algunas predicciones probabilisticas sobre algunos parámetros escogidos de sistemas complejos como el mercado financiero de base digital. En resumen se podrá establecer la probabilidad de un crash financiero en los próximos siete años. Big Deal! 

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Can The World Handle Complexity?

Can The World Handle Complexity? | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

Despite the fact that global issues are incredibly complicated, people tend to break them down into easy-to-understand, black and white terms. But is a new generation prepared to embrace nuance?


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Collective Intelligence 2012: free papers to download

Here some examples of the papers available online:

Visualizing Collective Discursive User Interactions in Online Life Science Communities by Dhiraj Murthy, Alexander Gross, Stephanie Bond

Analytic Methods for Optimizing Realtime Crowdsourcing

by Michael S. Bernstein, David R. Karger, Robert C. Miller, Joel Brandt

Crowd & Prejudice: An Impossibility Theorem for Crowd Labelling without a Gold Standard

by Nicolás Della Penna, Mark Reid

 


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Change Blindness | GoCognitive

Change Blindness | GoCognitive | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

The common understanding of perception is that it is achieved by means of stable internal representations. There are experimental paradigms that challenge this view. Research has shown that perception is strongly linked to attentional resources and attentional demand. The phenomenon of 'change blindness' has been taken to demonstrate this. The simplest form of this paradigm is that which you may have experienced as a child: comparing two apparently identical pictures to try to identify differences between them. If our recognition of the world is not as detailed as we think it is our perceptions may be 'virtual'. (for more discussion on this phenomenon and its implications see Alva Noe (2006) 'Action and Perception' MIT Press

 

University of Idahos' 'GoCognitive' website has a neat demonstration of Change Blindness that you can participate in. Go try it! 

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Biologically inspired design principles for Scalable, Robust, Adaptive, Decentralized search and automated response (RADAR)

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Bibliometric Evidence for a Hierarchy of the Sciences

The hypothesis of a Hierarchy of the Sciences, first formulated in the 19th century, predicts that, moving from simple and general phenomena (e.g. particle dynamics) to complex and particular (e.g. human behaviour), researchers lose ability to reach theoretical and methodological consensus. This hypothesis places each field of research along a continuum of complexity and “softness”, with profound implications for our understanding of scientific knowledge. Today, however, the idea is still unproven and philosophically overlooked, too often confused with simplistic dichotomies that contrast natural and social sciences, or science and the humanities. Empirical tests of the hypothesis have usually compared few fields and this, combined with other limitations, makes their results contradictory and inconclusive. We verified whether discipline characteristics reflect a hierarchy, a dichotomy or neither, by sampling nearly 29,000 papers published contemporaneously in 12 disciplines and measuring a set of parameters hypothesised to reflect theoretical and methodological consensus. The biological sciences had in most cases intermediate values between the physical and the social, with bio-molecular disciplines appearing harder than zoology, botany or ecology. In multivariable analyses, most of these parameters were independent predictors of the hierarchy, even when mathematics and the humanities were included. These results support a “gradualist” view of scientific knowledge, suggesting that the Hierarchy of the Sciences provides the best rational framework to understand disciplines' diversity. A deeper grasp of the relationship between subject matter's complexity and consensus could have profound implications for how we interpret, publish, popularize and administer scientific research.

 

Fanelli D, Glänzel W (2013) Bibliometric Evidence for a Hierarchy of the Sciences. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66938. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066938


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Le nostre azioni sono come tempeste

Le nostre azioni sono come tempeste | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
LE NOSTRE AZIONI SONO COME TEMPESTE Le nostre azioni corrispondono alle modalità di propagazione delle tempeste, delle epidemie, delle sommosse: a periodi di quiete, persino di stasi, si alternano ...
Marinella De Simone's insight:

Il classico approccio di organizzazione del lavoro, ad esempio, prevede tradizionalmente lo schema: “First in, first out” o “First come, first served”: il primo della fila nei compiti da eseguire è il primo che viene svolto. Questo schema, agevole nei sistemi meccanizzati, non lo è affatto nei comportamenti umani. Noi prendiamo decisioni nelle modalità di svolgimento dei compiti assegnati – laddove abbiamo possibilità di decidere in autonomia – molto meno lineari: alcuni compiti da svolgere possono aspettare tempi lunghissimi, per poi essere svolti tutti insieme in un lasso di tempo estremamente breve e concentrato.

Questa nuova prospettiva, fondata sull’analisi della dinamica dei comportamenti umani (e non solo) sarebbe molto importante applicarla ad esempio nell’analisi del decision making che le persone applicano in ambito lavorativo sulla priorità dei compiti da svolgere, poiché un’organizzazione dei tempi di lavoro che non ne tenga conto si scontra necessariamente con le modalità a noi più naturali di agire nel vivere quotidiano.

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Marinella De Simone's curator insight, June 15, 2013 5:22 AM

Il classico approccio di organizzazione del lavoro, ad esempio, prevede tradizionalmente lo schema: “First in, first out” o “First come, first served”: il primo della fila nei compiti da eseguire è il primo che viene svolto. Questo schema, agevole nei sistemi meccanizzati, non lo è affatto nei comportamenti umani. Noi prendiamo decisioni nelle modalità di svolgimento dei compiti assegnati – laddove abbiamo possibilità di decidere in autonomia – molto meno lineari: alcuni compiti da svolgere possono aspettare tempi lunghissimi, per poi essere svolti tutti insieme in un lasso di tempo estremamente breve e concentrato.

Questa nuova prospettiva, fondata sull’analisi della dinamica dei comportamenti umani (e non solo) sarebbe molto importante applicarla ad esempio nell’analisi del decision making che le persone applicano in ambito lavorativo sulla priorità dei compiti da svolgere, poiché un’organizzazione dei tempi di lavoro che non ne tenga conto si scontra necessariamente con le modalità a noi più naturali di agire nel vivere quotidiano.

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Complessità e buddhismo

Complessità e buddhismo | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
 Identità personale ed Interdipendenza
 tra Complessità e Buddhismo
L’emergere del proprio mondo interiore risulta qualcosa di impalpabile e di non concretamente definibile: dove inizia il proprio sé rispetto a ciò che è considerato come altro?
Marinella De Simone's insight:

L’emergere del proprio mondo interiore, della propria identità, è in relazione circolare con l’emergere della propria realtà, dell’altro da sé: è come un processo di riallineamento continuo, in cui la propria identità non può essere definita aprioristicamente e separatamente come fosse qualcosa di definito una volta per tutte, né tantomeno come qualcosa di reificabile, quanto piuttosto come un processo di continua trasformazione, in una co-definizione tra il sé, la propria identità, e l’identità dell’altro.

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1st CMSS Focus: Decision Making in Contesti Complessi

1st CMSS Focus: Decision Making in Contesti Complessi | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
1st  CSSM  FOCUS  «DECISION MAKING IN CONTESTI COMPLESSI» Il system business è ogni giorno più confuso ed imprevedibile. E’ sempre più difficile assumere decisioni efficaci ed è sempre più incerto ...
Marinella De Simone's insight:

1ST COMPLEXITY MANAGEMENT SUMMER SCHOOL dal 25 Luglio al 4 Agosto 2013 a Spoleto - Italy

il Complexity Institute, in partnership con l'Università SUPSI di Lugano, la Newton Gruppo Sole 24 Ore e il Complexity Education Project dell'Università Sapienza di Roma, propone ai propri associati una vacanza-lavoro di alta formazione sul “Decision Making in contesti complessi”, destinata a Manager, Professionisti e Studiosi che desiderano comprendere e praticare il pensiero complesso.  

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'Geography of Hate' maps racism and homophobia on Twitter

'Geography of Hate' maps racism and homophobia on Twitter | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

Twitter, even more than many other social media tools, can feel disconnected from the real world. But a group of students and professors at research site Floating Sheep have built a comprehensive map of some of Twitter's most distasteful content: the racist, homophobic, or ableist slurs that can proliferate online. Called Geography of Hate, the interactive map charts ten relatively common slurs across the continental US, either by general category or individually. Looking at the whole country, you'll often see a mass of red or what the map's creators call a "blue smog of hate." Zooming in, however, patches appear over individual regions or cities; some may be predictable, while others are not.


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The Emergence of Environmental Homeostasis in Complex Ecosystems

The Emergence of Environmental Homeostasis in Complex Ecosystems | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

Life on Earth is perhaps greater than three and a half billion years old and it would appear that once it started it never stopped. During this period a number of dramatic shocks and drivers have affected the Earth. These include the impacts of massive asteroids, runaway climate change and increases in brightness of the Sun. Has life on Earth simply been lucky in withstanding such perturbations? Are there any self-regulating or homeostatic processes operating in the Earth system that would reduce the severity of such perturbations? If such planetary processes exist, to what extent are they the result of the actions of life? In this study, we show how the regulation of environmental conditions can emerge as a consequence of life's effects. If life is both affected by and affects it environment, then this coupled system can self-organise into a robust control system that was first described during the early cybernetics movement around the middle of the twentieth century. Our findings are in principle applicable to a wide range of real world systems - from microbial mats to aquatic ecosystems up to and including the entire biosphere.

 

 Dyke JG, Weaver IS (2013) The Emergence of Environmental Homeostasis in Complex Ecosystems. PLoS Comput Biol 9(5): e1003050. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003050


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What If Everything Ran Like the Internet?

What If Everything Ran Like the Internet? | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

When the Internet was first starting to catch on in the 1980s, I was invited, as a representative of a large business consulting organization, to a day-long seminar explaining what this new phenomenon was and how businesses should be responding to it. It was led by a man who now makes millions as a social media guru (I won’t embarrass him by identifying him), but at the time he warned that the Internet had no future. The reason, he said, was that it was “anarchic” — there was no management, no control, no way of fixing things quickly if they got “out of hand”. The solution, he said, was for business and government leaders to get together and create an orderly alternative — “Internet 2″ he called it — that would replace the existing Internet when it inevitably imploded. Of course, he couldn’t have been more wrong.


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Olivier Auber's comment, May 29, 2013 5:19 AM
In fact, the Internet as we know it, is also hierarchical, due to its silos and protocols.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c0sX6j5D_c
luiy's curator insight, May 31, 2013 9:57 AM

Organization models --- > Internet --> “wirearchy” --> nature’s model of self-organizing, self-adapting, evolving complex systems

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Exploration versus exploitation in polydomous ant colonies

In socially foraging species resource information can be shared between individuals, increasing foraging success. In ant colonies, nestmate recruitment allows high exploitation rates at known resources however, to maximise foraging efficiency this must be balanced with searching for new resources.


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'Arcadia' review: Sex and chaos theory

'Arcadia' review: Sex and chaos theory | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
Heat rises slowly in Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia" at American Conservatory Theater, but the rich mix of chaos theory, sex and literary battles combusts in the second act.
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How big is too big? Critical Shocks for Systemic Failure Cascades

How big is too big? Critical Shocks for Systemic Failure Cascades | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it

External or internal shocks may lead to the collapse of a system consisting of many agents. If the shock hits only one agent initially and causes it to fail, this can induce a cascade of failures among neighoring agents. Several critical constellations determine whether this cascade remains finite or reaches the size of the system, i.e. leads to systemic risk. We investigate the critical parameters for such cascades in a simple model, where agents are characterized by an individual threshold

 

How big is too big? Critical Shocks for Systemic Failure Cascades

Claudio J. Tessone, Antonios Garas, Beniamino Guerra, Frank Schweitzer

http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.0959


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Network Science of the Game of Go

Network Science of the Game of Go | Exploring complexity | Scoop.it
You can make networks from pretty much anything. Connect people based on friendships or phone calls, proteins based on interaction, words ba...

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