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Tim Berners-Lee: We need to re-decentralize the Web

Tim Berners-Lee: We need to re-decentralize the Web | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Chris Woods Twenty-five years after the Web's inception, its creator has urged the public to reengage with its original design: a decentralized Internet that remains open to all.

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Artur Alves's curator insight, February 6, 11:29 AM

"Speaking with Wired editor David Rowan at an event launching the magazine's March issue, Tim Berners-Lee said that although part of this is about keeping an eye on for-profit Internet monopolies such as search engines and social networks, the greatest danger is the emergence of a balkanized Web.

(...)

It's the role of governments, startups, and journalists to keep that conversation at the fore, he added, because the pace of change is not slowing—it's going faster than ever before. For his part, Berners-Lee drives the issue through his work at the Open Data Institute, World Wide Web Consortium, and World Wide Web Foundation, but also as an MIT professor whose students are "building new architectures for the Web where it's decentralized." On the issue of monopolies, Berners-Lee did say that it's concerning to be "reliant on big companies and one big server," something that stalls innovation, but that competition has historically resolved these issues and will continue to do so."

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Non-Equilibrium Social Science Policy Conference: Feedbacks, Fragility and Failure

Non-Equilibrium Social Science Policy Conference: Feedbacks, Fragility and Failure | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

NESS is holding a one day policy-oriented conference in London on 28 October, where we will be drawing out practical implications in key areas such as:

 

Financial marketsCities, transport and infrastructureDecision making

 

The event is hosting a number of speakers, including:

 

Sir Charles Bean, Former Deputy Governor, Bank of EnglandDavid Tuckett, Director of the Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty Psychoanalysis, University College LondonProfessor Mike Batty, Chairman, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College LondonPaul Ormerod, Volterra Partners LLP, London

 

Date

Tuesday 28th October 2014

 

Time

10.30am-5pm

 

Drinks reception

From 5.30pm

 

Venue

One Great George Street Westminster SW1P 3AA

 

Contact details

Adele Cassidy, acassidy@volterra.co.uk  020 8878 6333

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NESS (Non-Equilibrium Social Science) Group meets in Rochdale

NESS (Non-Equilibrium Social Science) Group meets in Rochdale | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

 In July, the NESS group met in Rochdale town Hall to discuss the key policy themes arising from the NESS group and its application in the region. A tour of the town was followed with a presentation by Andrzej Nowak on how art has been used to revive a depressed area of Warsaw which is now one of the most desirable districts in the city. A presentation of the NESS report on the findings by Councillor John Blundell, Assistant Portfolio Holder for Regeneration.

 

At its height, in the 18th century and the boom of the industrial revolution Rochdale was amongst some of the richest places in the world. Now with a population of 200,000 it is now relatively poor in UK terms. The workshop was to understand the policy theme arising from the NESS work and therefore, how NESS could benefit.

 

Some themes arising from the research include:

 

Agglomeration: The benefits of denser employment have demonstrated higher productivity in an area, meaning that higher density produces greater wealth.

Employment density and economic resilience: The research has found that in addition to higher density generating greater wealth, it also impacts positively the ability of a local area recover more quickly from economic shocks

 

Currently Rochdale is performing poorly in both areas and therefore, the workshop raised specific policy questions:

 

* Should policy be aimed at increasing employment in central Manchester in order to benefit further from the agglomeration effect, bearing in mind the need for improved transport links to enable this?

 

* Should policy within a borough such as Rochdale be aimed at increasing the employment density of its existing densest area?

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Modelling Society's Evolutionary Forces

Modelling Society's Evolutionary Forces | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

If local circumstances can generate local social trends, it follows that global circumstances can generate global trends. Furthermore, modern global circumstances match the conditions used to create artificial evolutionary systems. If it is possible for evolutionary forces to arise in global society, then it is possible that key forces shaping global society are evolutionary in nature. We can experimentally test for the possibility of evolutionary forces in global society by using a multi-agent simulation. This paper presents a simulation programmed to capture the evolutionary prerequisites observed in global society. Trends arising from this simulation are tested against three known trends and three assumed trends arising from global society. The results from this experiment support the hypothesis that a wealth aggregation evolutionary imperative is shaping key trends in global society.


Via Complejidady Economía, Bernard Ryefield
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Evaluating sentiment in financial news articles

Evaluating sentiment in financial news articles | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Can the choice of words and tone used by the authors of financial news articles correlate to measurable stock price movements? If so, can the magnitude of price movement be predicted using these same variables? We investigate these questions using the Arizona Financial Text (AZFinText) system, a financial news article prediction system, and pair it with a sentiment analysis tool. Through our analysis, we found that subjective news articles were easier to predict in price direction (59.0% versus 50.0% of chance alone) and using a simple trading engine, subjective articles garnered a 3.30% return. Looking further into the role of author tone in financial news articles, we found that articles with a negative sentiment were easiest to predict in price direction (50.9% versus 50.0% of chance alone) and a 3.04% trading return. Investigating negative sentiment further, we found that our system was able to predict price decreases in articles of a positive sentiment 53.5% of the time, and price increases in articles of a negative sentiment 52.4% of the time. We believe that perhaps this result can be attributable to market traders behaving in a contrarian manner, e.g., see good news, sell; see bad news, buy.

 


Via Ashish Umre, Jorge Louçã
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CS-DC Newsletter #1 - September 201

CS-DC Newsletter #1 - September 201 | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

Contents


* Editorial by Paul Bourgine
* Call for new CS-DC e-Laboratories and e-Departments
* Meeting of the UNESCO UniTwin CS-DC at ECCS’14: Science, Policy, and Applications
* International workshop on Contagion Dynamics in Socio economic Systems
* Tools: CS DC web conferencing tool
* News from the CS-DC e-Laboratories
* e-Laboratory on Education
* e-Laboratory on Climate System / Human System Interaction
* e-Laboratory on Human-trace
* e-Laboratory on Situated Collective Intelligence


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Collective motions of heterogeneous swarms

The emerging collective motions of swarms of interacting agents are a subject of great interest in application areas ranging from biology to physics and robotics. In this paper, we conduct a careful analysis of the collective dynamics of a swarm of self-propelled heterogeneous, delay-coupled agents. We show the emergence of collective motion patterns and segregation of populations of agents with different dynamic properties; both of these behaviors (pattern formation and segregation) emerge naturally in our model, which is based on self-propulsion and attractive pairwise interactions between agents. We derive the bifurcation structure for emergence of different swarming behaviors in the mean field as a function of physical parameters and verify these results through simulation.

 

Collective motions of heterogeneous swarms
Klementyna Szwaykowska, Luis Mier-y-Teran Romero, Ira B. Schwartz

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.1042


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Complex Systems Science: From Cell Regulation to the Global Food Crisis

Insights and methods of complex systems science are transforming science and providing clarity about the impact of policies to address major societal problems. These conceptual and mathematical advances allow us to study interdependence, patterns, networks, multiscale behaviors, and “big data.” Here I focus on the application of these advances to real-world concerns. I discuss case studies from global socioeconomic systems and immune cell regulation. Our analysis of the global food crisis exposes the causes and consequences of rapidly increasing and volatile food prices. Food price spikes in 2007–2008 and 2010–2011 triggered food riots across the world and precipitated the Arab Spring. Our quantitative models of nonequilibrium markets show that the food price increases are due to (1) US biofuel quotas increasing the amount of corn to ethanol conversion and (2) deregulation of commodity trading enabling speculator trend-following to cause bubbles and crashes. Policy action by the US and the European Union could alleviate or even resolve these problems. Our analysis of cell regulation makes use of gene expression data to obtain whole-cell regulatory models describing the response of immune cells to dynamic perturbations. Moreover, we have shown that cell dynamics are controlled by attractor states with implications for understanding biological development and treating cancer. Our analyses demonstrate the opportunity for complex systems science to inform both social policy decisions and medical advances.

 

Bar-Yam Y (2014) Complex Systems Science: From Cell Regulation to the Global Food Crisis   ISCS 2013: Interdisciplinary Symposium on Complex Systems Emergence, Complexity and Computation Volume 8, 2014, pp 19-28

 


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Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’

Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’ | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms did not provide new outlets for the discussion of the Snowden-NSA revelations. People who thought their social media friends disagreed with them were less likely to discuss the issues in person and online.
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How Could Language Have Evolved?

The evolution of the faculty of language largely remains an enigma. In this essay, we ask why. Language's evolutionary analysis is complicated because it has no equivalent in any nonhuman species. There is also no consensus regarding the essential nature of the language “phenotype.” According to the “Strong Minimalist Thesis,” the key distinguishing feature of language (and what evolutionary theory must explain) is hierarchical syntactic structure. The faculty of language is likely to have emerged quite recently in evolutionary terms, some 70,000–100,000 years ago, and does not seem to have undergone modification since then, though individual languages do of course change over time, operating within this basic framework. The recent emergence of language and its stability are both consistent with the Strong Minimalist Thesis, which has at its core a single repeatable operation that takes exactly two syntactic elements a and b and assembles them to form the set {a, b}.

 

Bolhuis JJ, Tattersall I, Chomsky N, Berwick RC (2014) How Could Language Have Evolved? PLoS Biol 12(8): e1001934. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001934


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Worse than the 1930s: Europe’s recession is really a depression

Worse than the 1930s: Europe’s recession is really a depression | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
Europe's self-inflicted wounds are making its recession worse than the worst of the 1930s.
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Eli Levine's curator insight, August 24, 2:23 PM

It would be interesting to compare policies enacted in a time of economic crisis to see which ones led to faster, more robust, and more stable recoveries and which ones did not.  Hypothetically, it would make sense for increased spending to prop up average consumers, rather than protect the established elites' stockpiles of wealth.  One can use it more than the other, and would use it to keep the economy humming along while the other would just sit on it and slowly reintroduce it when they "felt" that the time was right (if ever).  Banks are only going to help banks.  People are going to help themselves work their ways out of economic depression.  Therefore, why not back up the public and let the banks, bankers, and elites (who started the crisis in the first place through their policy choices) go down?  What would keep the government from protecting itself through protecting the public?  How would the elites not benefit from preserving the social unit in the first place rather than keep wealth that they don't and can't use?

 

Just some thoughts.

 

Strange species.

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Science vs Conspiracy: collective narratives in the age of (mis)information

The large availability of user provided contents on online social media facilitates people aggregation around common interests, worldviews and narratives. However, in spite of the enthusiastic rhetoric about the so called {\em wisdom of crowds}, unsubstantiated rumors -- as alternative explanation to main stream versions of complex phenomena -- find on the Web a natural medium for their dissemination. In this work we study, on a sample of 1.2 million of individuals, how information related to very distinct narratives -- i.e. main stream scientific and alternative news -- are consumed on Facebook. Through a thorough quantitative analysis, we show that distinct communities with similar information consumption patterns emerge around distinctive narratives. Moreover, consumers of alternative news (mainly conspiracy theories) result to be more focused on their contents, while scientific news consumers are more prone to comment on alternative news. We conclude our analysis testing the response of this social system to 4709 troll information -- i.e. parodistic imitation of alternative and conspiracy theories. We find that, despite the false and satirical vein of news, usual consumers of conspiracy news are the most prone to interact with them.


By Alessandro Bessi, Mauro Coletto, George Alexandru Davidescu, Antonio Scala, Guido Caldarelli, Walter Quattrociocchi

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Groundbreaking research maps cultural history

Groundbreaking research maps cultural history | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
New research from Northeastern’s Center for Complex Network Research presents a pioneering approach to understanding European and North American cultural history by mapping out the mobility pattern...

Via Jorge Louçã
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Introduction to Hypernetworks

Introduction to Hypernetworks | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

A new module on the Étoile Platform, by Jeffrey Johnson

 

Based on the course presented at the 4th Ph.D. summer School - conference on “Mathematical Modeling of Complex Systems”, Cultural Foundation “Kritiki Estia”, 14 – 25 July, 2014, Athens.

 

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 course 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 course 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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Complex Systems Digital Campus @ ECCS'14 Panel : Science, Policy and Applications

Complex Systems Digital Campus @ ECCS'14 Panel : Science, Policy and Applications | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

At ECCS'14 ( www.eccs14.eu ), Lucca, 25th Sept, 17h, panel with Mike Batty (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London), and Paul Ormerod (Volterra Partners LLP, London)


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The Time Scale of Evolutionary Innovation

Evolutionary adaptation can be described as a biased, stochastic walk of a population of sequences in a high dimensional sequence space. The population explores a fitness landscape. The mutation-selection process biases the population towards regions of higher fitness. In this paper we estimate the time scale that is needed for evolutionary innovation. Our key parameter is the length of the genetic sequence that needs to be adapted. We show that a variety of evolutionary processes take exponential time in sequence length. We propose a specific process, which we call ‘regeneration processes’, and show that it allows evolution to work on polynomial time scales. In this view, evolution can solve a problem efficiently if it has solved a similar problem already.

 

Chatterjee K, Pavlogiannis A, Adlam B, Nowak MA (2014) The Time Scale of Evolutionary Innovation. PLoS Comput Biol 10(9): e1003818. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003818


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How structurally stable are global socioeconomic systems?

The stability analysis of socioeconomic systems has been centred on answering whether small perturbations when a system is in a given quantitative state will push the system permanently to a different quantitative state. However, typically the quantitative state of socioeconomic systems is subject to constant change. Therefore, a key stability question that has been under-investigated is how strongly the conditions of a system itself can change before the system moves to a qualitatively different behaviour, i.e. how structurally stable the systems is. Here, we introduce a framework to investigate the structural stability of socioeconomic systems formed by a network of interactions among agents competing for resources. We measure the structural stability of the system as the range of conditions in the distribution and availability of resources compatible with the qualitative behaviour in which all the constituent agents can be self-sustained across time. To illustrate our framework, we study an empirical representation of the global socioeconomic system formed by countries sharing and competing for multinational companies used as proxy for resources. We demonstrate that the structural stability of the system is inversely associated with the level of competition and the level of heterogeneity in the distribution of resources. Importantly, we show that the qualitative behaviour of the observed global socioeconomic system is highly sensitive to changes in the distribution of resources. We believe that this work provides a methodological basis to develop sustainable strategies for socioeconomic systems subject to constantly changing conditions.

 

How structurally stable are global socioeconomic systems?
Serguei Saavedra, Rudolf P. Rohr, Luis J. Gilarranz, Jordi Bascompte

http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/ rsif.2014.0693
J. R. Soc. Interface 6 November 2014 vol. 11 no. 100 20140693


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Eli Levine's curator insight, September 14, 2:18 PM

There are most likely a plurality of stable socio-economic systems with different dynamics and levels of short term system stability.  It's likely that, even if there are periods of short term instability, that long term stability will hold, even if instability is a stable feature. 

 

Very interesting points here. 

 

Enjoy! 

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To Understand Religion, Think Football

To Understand Religion, Think Football | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

belief gave meaning and purpose to people struggling to survive. But what if everything we thought we knew about religion was wrong? What if belief in the supernatural is window dressing on what really matters—elaborate rituals that foster group cohesion, creating personal bonds that people are willing to die for.

Anthropologist Harvey Whitehouse thinks too much talk about religion is based on loose conjecture and simplistic explanations. Whitehouse directs the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University. For years he’s been collaborating with scholars around the world to build a massive body of data that grounds the study of religion in science. Whitehouse draws on an array of disciplines—archeology, ethnography, history, evolutionary psychology, cognitive science—to construct a profile of religious practices.


Via Jorge Louçã, Complex Systems Digital Campus
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Phase synchronization of instrumental music signals

Signal analysis is one of the finest scientific techniques in communication theory. Some quantitative and qualitative measures describe the pattern of a music signal, vary from one to another. Same musical recital, when played by different instrumentalists, generates different types of music patterns. The reason behind various patterns is the psychoacoustic measures - Dynamics, Timber, Tonality and Rhythm, varies in each time. However, the psycho-acoustic study of the music signals does not reveal any idea about the similarity between the signals. For such cases, study of synchronization of long-term nonlinear dynamics may provide effective results. In this context, phase synchronization (PS) is one of the measures to show synchronization between two non-identical signals. In fact, it is very critical to investigate any other kind of synchronization for experimental condition, because those are completely non identical signals. Also, there exists equivalence between the phases and the distances of the diagonal line in Recurrence plot (RP) of the signals, which is quantifiable by the recurrence quantification measure tau-recurrence rate. This paper considers two nonlinear music signals based on same raga played by two eminent sitar instrumentalists as two non-identical sources. The psycho-acoustic study shows how the Dynamics, Timber, Tonality and Rhythm vary for the two music signals. Then, long term analysis in the form of phase space reconstruction is performed, which reveals the chaotic phase spaces for both the signals. From the RP of both the phase spaces, tau-recurrence rate is calculated. Finally by the correlation of normalized tau-recurrence rate of their 3D phase spaces and the PS of the two music signals has been established. The numerical results well support the analysis.


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Complex network theory and the brain

Complex network theory and the brain | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it

We have known for at least 100 years that a brain is organized as a network of connections between nerve cells. But in the last 10 years there has been a rapid growth in our capacity to quantify the complex topological pattern of brain connectivity, using mathematical tools drawn from graph theory.
Here we bring together articles and reviews from some of the world’s leading experts in contemporary brain network analysis by graph theory. The contributions are focused on three big questions that seem important at this stage in the scientific evolution of the field: How does the topology of a brain network relate to its physical embedding in anatomical space and its biological costs? How does brain network topology constrain brain dynamics and function? And what seem likely to be important future methodological developments in the application of graph theory to analysis of brain networks?
Clearer understanding of the principles of brain network organization is fundamental to understanding many aspects of cognitive function, brain development and clinical brain disorders. We hope this issue provides a forward-looking window on this fast moving field and captures some of the excitement of recent progress in applying the concepts of graph theory to measuring and modeling the complexity of brain networks.

 

Complex network theory and the brain
Issue compiled and edited by David Papo, Javier M. Buldú, Stefano Boccaletti and Edward T. Bullmore

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/2014/network.xhtml


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Revealing networks from dynamics: an introduction

What can we learn from the collective dynamics of a complex network about its interaction topology? Taking the perspective from nonlinear dynamics, we briefly review recent progress on how to infer structural connectivity (direct interactions) from accessing the dynamics of the units. Potential applications range from interaction networks in physics, to chemical and metabolic reactions, protein and gene regulatory networks as well as neural circuits in biology and electric power grids or wireless sensor networks in engineering. Moreover, we briefly mention some standard ways of inferring effective or functional connectivity.


by Marc Timme, Jose Casadiego

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A taxonomy of clustering procedures

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The Matthew effect in empirical data

The Matthew effect describes the phenomenon that in societies the rich tend to get richer and the potent even more powerful. It is closely related to the concept of preferential attachment in network science, where the more connected nodes are destined to acquire many more links in the future than the auxiliary nodes. Cumulative advantage and success-breads-success also both describe the fact that advantage tends to beget further advantage. The concept is behind the many power laws and scaling behaviour in empirical data, and it is at the heart of self-organization across social and natural sciences. Here we review the methodology for measuring preferential attachment in empirical data, as well as the observations of the Matthew effect in patterns of scientific collaboration, socio-technical and biological networks, the propagation of citations, the emergence of scientific progress and impact, career longevity, the evolution of common English words and phrases, as well as in education and brain development. We also discuss whether the Matthew effect is due to chance or optimisation, for example related to homophily in social systems or efficacy in technological systems, and we outline possible directions for future research.

 

The Matthew effect in empirical data
Matjaz Perc

http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.5124


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Epidemic processes in complex networks

Romualdo Pastor-Satorras, Claudio Castellano, Piet Van Mieghem, Alessandro Vespignani

In recent years the research community has accumulated overwhelming evidence for the emergence of complex and heterogeneous connectivity patterns in a wide range of biological and socio-technical systems. The complex properties of real world networks have a profound impact on the behavior of equilibrium and non-equilibrium phenomena occurring in various systems, and the study of epidemic spreading is central to our understanding of the unfolding of dynamical processes in complex networks. The theoretical analysis of epidemic spreading in heterogeneous networks requires the development of novel analytical frameworks, and it has produced results of conceptual and practical relevance. Here we present a coherent and comprehensive review of the vast research activity concerning epidemic processes, detailing the successful theoretical approaches as well as making their limits and assumptions clear. Physicists, epidemiologists, computer and social scientists share a common interest in studying epidemic spreading and rely on very similar models for the description of the diffusion of pathogens, knowledge, and innovation. For this reason, while we focus on the main results and the paradigmatic models in infectious disease modeling, we also present the major results concerning generalized social contagion processes. Finally we outline the research activity at the forefront in the study of epidemic spreading in co-evolving and time-varying networks.


Via Jorge Louçã
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A NInequality Is Causing Slower Growth

A NInequality Is Causing Slower Growth | Non-Equilibrium Social Science | Scoop.it
A new report says inequality is causing slower growth. It is not a novel conclusion. The surprise is the source: Standard & Poor’s.
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Stigmergy as a Universal Coordination Mechanism: components, varieties and applications

The concept of stigmergy has been used to analyze self-organizing activities in an ever-widening range of domains, from social insects via robotics and social media to human society. Yet, it is still poorly understood, and as such its full power remains underappreciated. The present paper clarifies the issue by defining stigmergy as a mechanism of indirect coordination in which the trace left by an action in a medium stimulates a subsequent action. It then analyses the fundamental components of the definition: action, agent, medium, trace and coordination. Stigmergy enables complex, coordinated activity without any need for planning, control, communication, simultaneous presence, or even mutual awareness. This makes the concept applicable to a very broad variety of cases, from chemical reactions to individual cognition and Internet-supported collaboration in Wikipedia.  The paper classifies different varieties of stigmergy according to general aspects (number of agents, scope, persistence, sematectonic vs. marker-based, and quantitative vs. qualitative), while emphasizing the fundamental continuity between these cases. This continuity can be understood from a non-linear, self-organizing dynamic that lets more complex forms of coordination evolve out of simpler ones. The paper concludes with two specifically human applications in cognition and cooperation, suggesting that without stigmergy these phenomena may never have evolved.

 

Heylighen, F. (2015). Stigmergy as a Universal Coordination Mechanism: components, varieties and applications. To appear in T. Lewis & L. Marsh (Eds.), Human Stigmergy: Theoretical Developments and New Applications, Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics. Springer.
http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/papers/stigmergy-varieties.pdf


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Tom Cockburn's curator insight, August 3, 12:31 AM

Indirect coordination in self organising

Karlos Svoboda's curator insight, August 5, 1:42 PM

To je počteníčko to Vám povim a pak, že tomu nerozumí