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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Over the past 5 years, on behalf of state governments, nearly 100,000 Americans were gently manipulated by a team of social scientists. In 15 randomized, controlled trials, people in need of social services either encountered the standard application process or received a psychological nudge, in which the information was presented slightly differently—a postcard reminded them of deadlines, for example, or one choice was made easier than another. In 11 of the trials, the nudge modestly increased a person's response rate or influenced them to make financially smarter choices. The results, presented this week at a meeting in Chicago, add to the growing evidence that nudges developed by psychologists can make a real difference in the success of government programs.
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” Henry David Thoreau exhorted in his 1854 memoir Walden, in which he extolled the virtues of a “Spartan-like” life. Saint Thomas Aquinas preached that simplicity brings one closer to God. Isaac Newton believed it leads to truth. The process of simplification, we’re told, can illuminate beauty, strip away needless clutter and stress, and help us focus on what really matters.
It can also be a sign of aging. Youthful health and vigor depend, in many ways, on complexity. Bones get strength from elaborate scaffolds of connective tissue. Mental acuity arises from interconnected webs of neurons. Even seemingly simple bodily functions like heartbeat rely on interacting networks of metabolic controls, signaling pathways, genetic switches, and circadian rhythms. As our bodies age, these anatomic structures and physiologic processes lose complexity, making them less resilient and ultimately leading to frailty and disease.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Recent advances in information technology are enabling new markets and revolutionizing many existing markets. For example, taxicabs used to find passengers through chance drive-bys or slow central dispatching (see the photo). Location tracking, computer navigation, and dynamic pricing now enable ride-sharing services such as Uber to offer low and consistent delay times of only a few minutes. In a recent study, Cramer and Krueger (1) show that ride-sharing has dramatically increased the usage of drivers and their cars, cutting costs for riders. The results highlight the opportunities provided by digital markets. Further efficiency gains may come from academia-industry collaborations, which could also help to ensure that the markets develop in ways that further the public interest.
Matching markets in the digital age Eduardo M. Azevedo, E. Glen Weyl
Gender homophily, or the preference for interaction with individuals of the same gender, has been observed in many contexts, especially during childhood and adolescence. In this study we investigate such phenomenon by analyzing the interactions of the ∼10 million users of Tuenti, a Spanish social networking service popular among teenagers. In dyadic relationships we find evidence of higher gender homophily for women. We also observe a preference of users with more friends to connect to the opposite gender. A particularly marked gender difference emerges in signing up for the social networking service and adding the first friends, and in the interactions by means of wall messages. In these contexts we find evidence of a strong homophily for women, and little or no homophily for men. By examining the gender composition of triangle motifs, we observe a marked tendency of users to group into gender homogeneous clusters, with a particularly high number of male-only triangles. We show that age plays an important role in this context, with a tendency to higher homophily for young teenagers in both dyadic and triadic relationships. Our findings have implications for addressing gender gap issues, understanding adolescent online behavior and technology adoption, and modeling social networks.
Gender homophily in online dyadic and triadic relationships David Laniado , Yana Volkovich, Karolin Kappler and Andreas Kaltenbrunner
The story of Schrödinger's cat being hidden away in a box and being both dead and alive is often invoked to illustrate the how peculiar the quantum world can be. On a twist of the dead/alive behavior, Wang et al. now show that the cat can be in two separate locations at the same time. Constructing their cat from coherent microwave photons, they show that the state of the “electromagnetic cat” can be shared by two separated cavities. Going beyond common-sense absurdities of the classical world, the ability to share quantum states in different locations could be a powerful resource for quantum information processing.
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