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Self-organized criticality in neural network models

It has long been argued that neural networks have to establish and maintain a certain intermediate level of activity in order to keep away from the regimes of chaos and silence. Strong evidence for criticality has been observed in terms of spatio-temporal activity avalanches first in cultures of rat cortex by Beggs and Plenz (2003) and subsequently in many more experimental setups. These findings sparked intense research on theoretical models for criticality and avalanche dynamics in neural networks, where usually some dynamical order parameter is fed back onto the network topology by adapting the synaptic couplings. We here give an overview of existing theoretical models of dynamical networks. While most models emphasize biological and neurophysiological detail, our path here is different: we pick up the thread of an early self-organized critical neural network model by Bornholdt and Roehl (2001) and test its applicability in the light of experimental data. Keeping the simplicity of early models, and at the same time lifting the drawback of a spin formulation with respect to the biological system, we here study an improved model (Rybarsch and Bornholdt, 2012b) and show that it adapts to criticality exhibiting avalanche statistics that compare well with experimental data without the need for parameter tuning.

Self-organized criticality in neural network models
Matthias Rybarsch, Stefan Bornholdt
http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.3106
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Energy saving mechanisms, collective behavior and the variation range hypothesis in biological systems: A review

Energy saving mechanisms are ubiquitous in nature. Aerodynamic and hydrodynamic drafting, vortice uplift, Bernoulli suction, thermoregulatory coupling, path following, physical hooks, synchronization, and cooperation are only some of the better-known examples. While drafting mechanisms also appear in non-biological systems such as sedimentation and particle vortices, the broad spectrum of these mechanisms appears more diversely in biological systems that include bacteria, spermatozoa, various aquatic species, birds, land animals, semi-fluid dwellers like turtle hatchlings, as well as human systems. We present the thermodynamic framework for energy saving mechanisms, and we review evidence in favor of the variation range hypothesis. This hypothesis posits that, as an evolutionary process, the variation range between strongest and weakest group members converges on the equivalent energy saving quantity that is generated by the energy saving mechanism. We also review self-organized structures that emerge due to energy saving mechanisms, including convective processes that can be observed in many systems over both short and long time scales, as well as high collective output processes in which a form of collective position locking occurs.

 

Energy saving mechanisms, collective behavior and the variation range hypothesis in biological systems: A review
Hugh Trenchard, Matjaž Perc

Biosystems
Volume 147, September 2016, Pages 40–66

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystems.2016.05.010

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The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists

The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists | Papers | Scoop.it

Explore the biggest challenges facing science, and how we can fix them:

  1. Academia has a huge money problem
  2. Too many studies are poorly designed
  3. Replicating results is crucial — and rare
  4. Peer review is broken
  5. Too much science is locked behind paywalls
  6. Science is poorly communicated
  7. Life as a young academic is incredibly stressful

Conclusion: Science is not doomed

 

http://www.vox.com/2016/7/14/12016710/science-challeges-research-funding-peer-review-process

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Peer review and competition in the Art Exhibition Game

Competition is an essential mechanism in increasing the effort and performance of human groups in real life. However, competition has side effects: it can be detrimental to creativity and reduce cooperation. We conducted an experiment called the Art Exhibition Game to investigate the effect of competitive incentives in environments where the quality of creative products and the amount of innovation allowed are decided through peer review. Our approach is general and can provide insights in domains such as clinical evaluations, scientific admissibility, and science funding. Our results show that competition leads to more innovation but also to more unfair reviews and to a lower level of agreement between reviewers. Moreover, competition does not improve the average quality of published works.

 

Peer review and competition in the Art Exhibition Game
Stefano Baliettia,b,c,1, Robert L. Goldstoned, and Dirk Helbing

PNAS

http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1603723113

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Selfishness Is Learned

Selfishness Is Learned | Papers | Scoop.it

Many people cheat on taxes—no mystery there. But many people don’t, even if they wouldn’t be caught—now, that’s weird. Or is it? Psychologists are deeply perplexed by human moral behavior, because it often doesn’t seem to make any logical sense. You might think that we should just be grateful for it. But if we could understand these seemingly irrational acts, perhaps we could encourage more of them.

 

http://nautil.us/issue/37/currents/selfishness-is-learned

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Behavioural Control or Digital Democracy? - A Digital Manifesto

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Big Nudging, and Cybernetic Society: Is the automation of society coming? A joint appeal to secure freedom and democracy. 

 

Behavioural Control or Digital Democracy? - A Digital Manifesto

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303813069_Behavioural_Control_or_Digital_Democracy_-_A_Digital_Manifesto

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Beyond Zipf's Law: The Lavalette Rank Function and its Properties

Although Zipf's law is widespread in natural and social data, one often encounters situations where one or both ends of the ranked data deviate from the power-law function. Previously we proposed the Beta rank function to improve the fitting of data which does not follow a perfect Zipf's law. Here we show that when the two parameters in the Beta rank function have the same value, the Lavalette rank function, the probability density function can be derived analytically. We also show both computationally and analytically that Lavalette distribution is approximately equal, though not identical, to the lognormal distribution. We illustrate the utility of Lavalette rank function in several datasets. We also address three analysis issues on the statistical testing of Lavalette fitting function, comparison between Zipf's law and lognormal distribution through Lavalette function, and comparison between lognormal distribution and Lavalette distribution.

 

Beyond Zipf's Law: The Lavalette Rank Function and its Properties
Oscar Fontanelli, Pedro Miramontes, Yaning Yang, Germinal Cocho, Wentian Li

http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.01959

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A Roadmap for a Computational Theory of the Value of Information in Origin of Life Questions

We hypothesize that carbon-based life forms are only one amongst a continuum of life-like systems in the
universe. Investigations into the role of computational substrates that allow information processing is
important and could yield insights into: 1) novel non-carbon based computational substrates that may have
"life-like" properties, and 2) how life may have actually originated from non-life on Earth. Life may exist
as a continuum between non-life and life and we may have to revise our notion of life and how common it
is in the universe. Looking at life or life-like phenomenon through the lens of information theory may yield
a broader view of life.

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Evolution of Swarming Behavior Is Shaped by How Predators Attack

Animal grouping behaviors have been widely studied due to their implications for understanding social intelligence, collective cognition, and potential applications in engineering, artificial intelligence, and robotics. An important biological aspect of these studies is discerning which selection pressures favor the evolution of grouping behavior. In the past decade, researchers have begun using evolutionary computation to study the evolutionary effects of these selection pressures in predator-prey models. The selfish herd hypothesis states that concentrated groups arise because prey selfishly attempt to place their conspecifics between themselves and the predator, thus causing an endless cycle of movement toward the center of the group. Using an evolutionary model of a predator-prey system, we show that how predators attack is critical to the evolution of the selfish herd. Following this discovery, we show that density-dependent predation provides an abstraction of Hamilton's original formulation of domains of danger. Finally, we verify that density-dependent predation provides a sufficient selective advantage for prey to evolve the selfish herd in response to predation by coevolving predators. Thus, our work corroborates Hamilton's selfish herd hypothesis in a digital evolutionary model, refines the assumptions of the selfish herd hypothesis, and generalizes the domain of danger concept to density-dependent predation.

 

Evolution of Swarming Behavior Is Shaped by How Predators Attack
Randal S. Olson
David B. Knoester
Christoph Adami

Artificial Life

http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/ARTL_a_00206

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Games of multicellularity

Evolutionary game dynamics are often studied in the context of different population structures. Here we propose a new population structure that is inspired by simple multicellular life forms. In our model, cells reproduce but can stay together after reproduction. They reach complexes of a certain size, n, before producing single cells again. The cells within a complex derive payoff from an evolutionary game by interacting with each other. The reproductive rate of cells is proportional to their payoff. We consider all two-strategy games. We study deterministic evolutionary dynamics with mutations, and derive exact conditions for selection to favor one strategy over another. Our main result has the same symmetry as the well-known sigma condition, which has been proven for stochastic game dynamics and weak selection. For a maximum complex size of n=2 our result holds for any intensity of selection. For n > 2 it holds for weak selection. As specific examples we study the prisoner's dilemma and hawk-dove games. Our model advances theoretical work on multicellularity by allowing for frequency-dependent interactions within groups.

 

Games of multicellularity
Kamran Kaveh, Carl Veller, Martin A. Nowak

http://arxiv.org/abs/1605.07690

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Centrality in the Global Network of Corporate Control

Corporations across the world are highly interconnected in a large global network of corporate control. This paper investigates the global board interlock network, covering 400,000 firms linked through 1,700,000 edges representing shared directors between these firms. The main focus is on the concept of centrality, which is used to investigate the embeddedness of firms from a particular country within the global network. The study results in three contributions. First, to the best of our knowledge for the first time we can investigate the topology as well as the concept of centrality in corporate networks at a global scale, allowing for the largest cross-country comparison ever done in interlocking directorates literature. We demonstrate, amongst other things, extremely similar network topologies, yet large differences between countries when it comes to the relation between economic prominence indicators and firm centrality. Second, we introduce two new metrics that are specifically suitable for comparing the centrality ranking of a partition to that of the full network. Using the notion of centrality persistence we propose to measure the persistence of a partition's centrality ranking in the full network. In the board interlock network, it allows us to assess the extent to which the footprint of a national network is still present within the global network. Next, the measure of centrality ranking dominance tells us whether a partition (country) is more dominant at the top or the bottom of the centrality ranking of the full (global) network. Finally, comparing these two new measures of persistence and dominance between different countries allows us to classify these countries based the their embeddedness, measured using the relation between the centrality of a country's firms on the national and the global scale of the board interlock network.

 

Centrality in the Global Network of Corporate Control
Frank W. Takes, Eelke M. Heemskerk

http://arxiv.org/abs/1605.08197

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Eco-evolutionary dynamics of social dilemmas

Social dilemmas are an integral part of social interactions. Cooperative actions, ranging from secreting extra-cellular products in microbial populations to donating blood in humans, are costly to the actor and hence create an incentive to shirk and avoid the costs. Nevertheless, cooperation is ubiquitous in nature. Both costs and benefits often depend non-linearly on the number and types of individuals involved -- as captured by idioms such as `too many cooks spoil the broth' where additional contributions are discounted, or `two heads are better than one' where cooperators synergistically enhance the group benefit. Interaction group sizes may depend on the size of the population and hence on ecological processes. This results in feedback mechanisms between ecological and evolutionary processes, which jointly affect and determine the evolutionary trajectory. Only recently combined eco-evolutionary processes became experimentally tractable in microbial social dilemmas. Here we analyse the evolutionary dynamics of non-linear social dilemmas in settings where the population fluctuates in size and the environment changes over time. In particular, cooperation is often supported and maintained at high densities through ecological fluctuations. Moreover, we find that the combination of the two processes routinely reveals highly complex dynamics, which suggests common occurrence in nature.

 

Eco-evolutionary dynamics of social dilemmas
Chaitanya S. Gokhale, Christoph Hauert

http://arxiv.org/abs/1605.07656

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When face-tracking meets social networks: a story of politics in news videos

In the age of data processing, news videos are rich mines of information. After all, the news are essentially created to convey information to the public. But can we go beyond what is directly presented to us and see a wider picture? Many works already focus on what we can discover and understand from the analysis of years of news broadcasting. These analysis bring monitoring and understanding of the activity of public figures, political strategies, explanation and even prediction of critical media events. Such tools can help public figures in managing their public image, as well as support the work of journalists, social scientists and other media experts. News analysis can also be seen from the lens of complex systems, gathering many types of entities, attributes and interactions over time. As many public figures intervene in different news stories, a first interesting task is to observe the social interactions between these actors. Towards this goal, we propose to use video analysis to automatise the process of constructing social networks directly from news video archives. In this paper we are introducing a system deriving multiple social networks from face detections in news videos. We present preliminary results obtained from analysis of these networks, by monitoring the activity of more than a hundred public figures. We finally use these networks as a support for political studies and we provide an overview of the political landscape presented by the Japanese public broadcaster NHK over a decade of the 7 PM news archives.

 

When face-tracking meets social networks: a story of politics in news videos
Benjamin Renoust
, Tetsuro Kobayashi, Thanh Duc Ngo, Duy-Dinh Le and Shin’Ichi Satoh

Applied Network Science 2016 1:4
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41109-016-0003-2

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Towards a standard sampling methodology on online social networks: collecting global trends on Twitter

The main purpose of this study, is to propose a suitable methodology to carry out an efficient collecting process via three random strategies: Brownian, Illusion and Reservoir. These random strategies will be applied through a Metropolis-Hastings Random Walk (MHRW). We show that interesting insights can be obtained by sampling emerging global trends on Twitter. The study also offers some important insights providing descriptive statistics and graphical description from the preliminary experiments.

 

Towards a standard sampling methodology on online social networks: collecting global trends on Twitter
C. A. Piña-García, Carlos Gershenson and J. Mario Siqueiros-García
Applied Network Science 2016 1:3
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41109-016-0004-1

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Information and Selforganization: A Unifying Approach and Applications

Selforganization is a process by which the interaction between the parts of a complex system gives rise to the spontaneous emergence of patterns, structures or functions. In this interaction the system elements exchange matter, energy and information. We focus our attention on the relations between selforganization and information in general and the way they are linked to cognitive processes in particular. We do so from the analytical and mathematical perspective of the “second foundation of synergetics” and its “synergetic computer” and with reference to several forms of information: Shannon’s information that deals with the quantity of a message irrespective of its meaning, semantic and pragmatic forms of information that deal with the meaning conveyed by messages and information adaptation that refers to the interplay between Shannon’s information and semantic or pragmatic information. We first elucidate the relations between selforganization and information theoretically and mathematically and then by means of specific case studies.

 

Information and Selforganization: A Unifying Approach and Applications
Hermann Haken and Juval Portugali

Entropy 2016, 18(6), 197; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/e18060197 

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Defining synergy thermodynamically using quantitative measurements of entropy and free energy

Synergy is often defined as the creation of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is found at all levels of organization in physics, chemistry, biology, social sciences, and the arts. Synergy occurs in open irreversible thermodynamic systems making it difficult to quantify. Negative entropy or negentropy ( ) has been related to order and complexity, and so has work efficiency, information content, Gibbs Free Energy in equilibrium thermodynamics, and useful work efficiency in general ( ). To define synergy in thermodynamic terms, we use the quantitative estimates of changes in  and  in seven different systems that suffer process described as synergistic. The results show that synergistic processes are characterized by an increase in  coupled to an increase in . Processes not associated to synergy show a different pattern. The opposite of synergy are dissipative processes such as combustion where both  and  decrease. The synergistic processes studied showed a relatively greater increase in  compared to  opening ways to quantify energy—or information—dissipation due to the second law of thermodynamics in open irreversible systems. As a result, we propose a precise thermodynamic definition of synergy and show the potential of thermodynamic measurements in identifying, classifying and analysing in detail synergistic processes.

 

Defining synergy thermodynamically using quantitative measurements of entropy and free energy
Klaus Jaffe and Gerardo Febres

Complexity

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cplx.21800

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Extended inclusive fitness theory: synergy and assortment drives the evolutionary dynamics in biology and economics  

W.D. Hamilton’s Inclusive Fitness Theory explains the conditions that favor the emergence and maintenance of social cooperation. Today we know that these include direct and indirect benefits an agent obtains by its actions, and through interactions with kin and with genetically unrelated individuals. That is, in addition to kin-selection, assortation or homophily, and social synergies drive the evolution of cooperation. An Extended Inclusive Fitness Theory (EIFT) synthesizes the natural selection forces acting on biological evolution and on human economic interactions by assuming that natural selection driven by inclusive fitness produces agents with utility functions that exploit assortation and synergistic opportunities. This formulation allows to estimate sustainable cost/benefit threshold ratios of cooperation among organisms and/or economic agents, using existent analytical tools, illuminating our understanding of the dynamic nature of society, the evolution of cooperation among kin and non-kin, inter-specific cooperation, co-evolution, symbioses, division of labor and social synergies. EIFT helps to promote an interdisciplinary cross fertilization of the understanding of synergy by, for example, allowing to describe the role for division of labor in the emergence of social synergies, providing an integrated framework for the study of both, biological evolution of social behavior and economic market dynamics. Another example is a bio-economic understanding of the motivations of terrorists, which identifies different forms of terrorism.

 

Extended inclusive fitness theory: synergy and assortment drives the evolutionary dynamics in biology and economics
Klaus Jaffe

SpringerPlus 2016 5:1092
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-2750-z 

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Universality of human microbial dynamics

A new computational method to characterize the dynamics of human-associated microbial communities is applied to data from two large-scale metagenomic studies, and suggests that gut and mouth microbiomes of healthy individuals are subjected to universal (that is, host-independent) dynamics, whereas skin microbiomes are shaped by the host environment; the method paves the way to designing general microbiome-based therapies.

 

Universality of human microbial dynamics
Amir Bashan, Travis E. Gibson, Jonathan Friedman, Vincent J. Carey, Scott T. Weiss, Elizabeth L. Hohmann & Yang-Yu Liu

Nature 534, 259–262 (09 June 2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18301 

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Amplifying the Impact of Open Access: Wikipedia and the Diffusion of Science

With the rise of Wikipedia as a first-stop source for scientific knowledge, it is important to compare its representation of that knowledge to that of the academic literature. Here we identify the 250 most heavily used journals in each of 26 research fields (4,721 journals, 19.4M articles in total) indexed by the Scopus database, and test whether topic, academic status, and accessibility make articles from these journals more or less likely to be referenced on Wikipedia. We find that a journal's academic status (impact factor) and accessibility (open access policy) both strongly increase the probability of it being referenced on Wikipedia. Controlling for field and impact factor, the odds that an open access journal is referenced on the English Wikipedia are 47% higher compared to paywall journals. One of the implications of this study is that a major consequence of open access policies is to significantly amplify the diffusion of science, through an intermediary like Wikipedia, to a broad audience.

 

Amplifying the Impact of Open Access: Wikipedia and the Diffusion of Science
Misha Teplitskiy, Grace Lu, Eamon Duede

http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.07608

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Small groups and long memories promote cooperation

Complex social behaviors lie at the heart of many of the challenges facing evolutionary biology, sociology, economics, and beyond. For evolutionary biologists the question is often how group behaviors such as collective action, or decision making that accounts for memories of past experience, can emerge and persist in an evolving system. Evolutionary game theory provides a framework for formalizing these questions and admitting them to rigorous study. Here we develop such a framework to study the evolution of sustained collective action in multi-player public-goods games, in which players have arbitrarily long memories of prior rounds of play and can react to their experience in an arbitrary way. We construct a coordinate system for memory-m strategies in iterated n-player games that permits us to characterize all cooperative strategies that resist invasion by any mutant strategy, and stabilize cooperative behavior. We show that, especially when groups are small, longer-memory strategies make cooperation easier to evolve, by increasing the number of ways to stabilize cooperation. We also explore the co-evolution of behavior and memory. We find that even when memory has a cost, longer-memory strategies often evolve, which in turn drives the evolution of cooperation, even when the benefits for cooperation are low.

 

Small groups and long memories promote cooperation
Alexander J. Stewart & Joshua B. Plotkin
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 26889 (2016)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep26889

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Beyond prebiotic chemistry

How can matter transition from the nonliving to the living state? The answer is essential for understanding the origin of life on Earth and for identifying promising targets in the search for life on other planets. Most studies have focused on the likely chemistry of RNA, protein, lipid, or metabolic “worlds” and autocatalytic sets, including attempts to make life in the lab. But these efforts may be too narrowly focused on the biochemistry of life as we know it today. A radical rethink is necessary, one that explores not just plausible chemical scenarios but also new physical processes and driving forces. Such investigations could lead to a physical understanding not only of the origin of life but also of life itself, as well as to new tools for designing artificial biology.

 

Beyond prebiotic chemistry
Leroy Cronin, Sara Imari Walker

Science  03 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6290, pp. 1174-1175
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf6310

 

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Structure-based control of complex networks with nonlinear dynamics

Given the network of interactions underlying a complex system, what can we learn about controlling such a system solely from its structure? Over a century of research in control theory has given us tools to answer this question, which were widely applied in science and engineering. Yet the current tools do not always consider the inherently nonlinear dynamics of real systems and the naturally occurring system states in their definition of "control", a term whose interpretation varies across disciplines. Here we use a new mathematical framework for structure-based control of networks governed by a broad class of nonlinear dynamics that includes the major dynamic models of biological, technological, and social processes. This framework provides realizable node overrides that steer a system towards any of its natural long term dynamic behaviors and which are guaranteed to be effective regardless of the dynamic details and parameters of the underlying system. We use this framework on several real networks, compare its predictions to those of classical control theory, and identify the topological characteristics that underlie the commonalities and differences between these frameworks. Finally, we illustrate the applicability of this new framework in the field of dynamic models by demonstrating its success in two models of a gene regulatory network and identifying the nodes whose override is necessary for control in the general case, but not in specific model instances.

 

Structure-based control of complex networks with nonlinear dynamics
Jorge G. T. Zañudo, Gang Yang, Réka Albert

http://arxiv.org/abs/1605.08415

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Artificial Metamorphosis: Evolutionary Design of Transforming, Soft-Bodied Robots

We show how the concept of metamorphosis, together with a biologically inspired model of multicellular development, can be used to evolve soft-bodied robots that are adapted to two very different tasks, such as being able to move in an aquatic and in a terrestrial environment. Each evolved solution defines two pairs of morphologies and controllers, together with a process of transforming one pair into the other. Animats develop from a single cell and grow through cellular divisions and deaths until they reach an initial larval form adapted to a first environment. To obtain the adult form adapted to a second environment, the larva undergoes metamorphosis, during which new cells are added or removed and its controller is modified. Importantly, our approach assumes nothing about what morphologies or methods of locomotion are preferred. Instead, it successfully searches the vast space of possible designs and comes up with complex, surprising, lifelike solutions that are reminiscent of amphibian metamorphosis. We analyze obtained solutions and investigate whether the morphological changes during metamorphosis are indeed adaptive. We then compare the effectiveness of three different types of selective pressures used to evolve metamorphic individuals. Finally, we investigate potential advantages of using metamorphosis to automatically produce soft-bodied designs by comparing the performance of metamorphic individuals with their specialized counterparts and designs that are robust to both environments.

 

Artificial Metamorphosis: Evolutionary Design of Transforming, Soft-Bodied Robots
Michał Joachimczak
Reiji Suzuki
Takaya Arita

Artificial Life

http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/ARTL_a_00207

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Modelling Trading Networks and the Role of Trust

We present a simple dynamical model for describing trading interactions between agents in a social network by considering only two dynamical variables, namely money and goods or services, that are assumed conserved over the whole time span of the agents' trading transactions. A key feature of the model is that agent-to-agent transactions are governed by the price in units of money per goods, which is dynamically changing, and by a trust variable, which is related to the trading history of each agent. All agents are able to sell or buy, and the decision to do either has to do with the level of trust the buyer has in the seller, the price of the goods and the amount of money and goods at the disposal of the buyer. Here we show the results of extensive numerical calculations under various initial conditions in a random network of agents and compare the results with the available related data. In most cases the agreement between the model results and real data turns out to be fairly good, which allow us to draw some general conclusions as how different trading strategies could affect the distribution of wealth in different kinds of societies.

 

Modelling Trading Networks and the Role of Trust
Rafael A. Barrio, Tzipe Govezensky, Élfego Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Kimmo K. Kaski

http://arxiv.org/abs/1605.08899

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Global optimization, local adaptation and the role of growth in distribution networks

Highly-optimized complex transport networks serve crucial functions in many man-made and natural systems such as power grids and plant or animal vasculature. Often, the relevant optimization functional is non-convex and characterized by many local extrema. In general, finding the global, or nearly global optimum is difficult. In biological systems, it is believed that natural selection slowly guides the network towards an optimized state. However, general coarse grained models for flow networks with local positive feedback rules for the vessel conductivity typically get trapped in low efficiency, local minima. In this work we show how the growth of the underlying tissue, coupled to the dynamical equations for network development, can drive the system to a dramatically improved optimal state. This general model provides a surprisingly simple explanation for the appearance of highly optimized transport networks in biology such as leaf and animal vasculature.

 

Global optimization, local adaptation and the role of growth in distribution networks
Henrik Ronellenfitsch, Eleni Katifori

http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.00331

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Retweet networks of the European Parliament: evaluation of the community structure

Analyzing information from social media to uncover underlying real-world phenomena is becoming widespread. The goal of this paper is to evaluate the role of Twitter in identifying communities of influence when the ‘ground truth’ is known. We consider the European Parliament (EP) Twitter users during a period of one year, in which they posted over 560,000 tweets. We represent the influence on Twitter by the number of retweets users get. We construct two networks of influence: (i) core, where both users are the EP members, and (ii) extended, where one user can be outside the EP. We compare the detected communities in both networks to the ‘ground truth’: the political group, country, and language of the EP members. The results show that the core network closely matches the political groups, while the extended network best reflects the country of origin. This provides empirical evidence that the formation of retweet networks and community detection are appropriate tools to reveal real-world relationships, and can be used to uncover hidden properties when the ‘ground truth’ is not known.

 

Retweet networks of the European Parliament: evaluation of the community structure
Darko Cherepnalkoski 
and Igor Mozetič

Applied Network Science 2016 1:2
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41109-016-0001-4

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