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Networks of Military Alliances, Wars, and International Trade

We investigate the role of networks of alliances in preventing (multilateral) interstate wars. We first show that, in the absence of international trade, no network of alliances is peaceful and stable. We then show that international trade induces peaceful and stable networks: trade increases the density of alliances so that countries are less vulnerable to attack and also reduces countries' incentives to attack an ally. We present historical data on wars and trade, noting that the dramatic drop in interstate wars since 1950, and accompanying densification and stabilization of alliances, are consistent with the model but not other prominent theories.


Networks of Military Alliances, Wars, and International Trade
Matthew O. Jackson, Stephen M. Nei

http://arxiv.org/abs/1405.6400

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A Stochastic Process Approach to Model Distributed Computing on Complex Networks

In this work we present analytic expressions for the expected values of the performance metrics of parallel applications when the distributed computing infrastructure has a complex topology. Through active probing tests we analyse the structure of a real distributed computing environment. From the resulting network we both validate the analytic expressions and explore the performance metrics under different conditions through Monte Carlo simulations. In particular we gauge computing paradigms with different hierarchical structures in computing services. Fully decentralised (i.e., peer-to-peer) environments provide the best performance. Moreover, we show that it is possible to improve significantly the parallel efficiency by implementing more intelligent configurations of computing services and task allocation strategies (e.g., by using a betweenness centrality measure). We qualitatively reproduce results of previous works and provide closed-form solutions that link topology, application’s structure and allocation parameters when job dependencies and a complex network structure are considered.


Distributed Computing on Complex Networks
Francisco Prieto-Castrillo, Antonio Astillero, María Botón-Fernández

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10723-014-9317-4

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On the role of epistasis in adaptation

Although the role of epistasis in evolution has received considerable attention from experimentalists and theorists alike, it is unknown which aspects of adaptation are in fact sensitive to epistasis. Here, we address this question by comparing the evolutionary dynamics on all finite epistatic landscapes versus all finite non-epistatic landscapes, under weak mutation. We first analyze the fitness trajectory -- that is, the time course of the expected fitness of a population. We show that for any epistatic fitness landscape and choice of starting genotype, there always exists a non-epistatic fitness landscape and starting genotype that produces the exact same fitness trajectory. Thus, surprisingly, the presence or absence of epistasis is irrelevant to the first-order dynamics of adaptation. On the other hand, we show that the time evolution of the variance in fitness across replicate populations can be sensitive to epistasis: some epistatic fitness landscapes produce variance trajectories that cannot be produced by any non-epistatic landscape. Likewise, the mean substitution trajectory -- that is, the expected number of mutations that fix over time -- is also sensitive to epistasis. These results on identifiability have direct implications for efforts to infer epistasis from the types of data often measured in experimental populations.


On the role of epistasis in adaptation
David M. McCandlish, Jakub Otwinowski, Joshua B. Plotkin

http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.2508

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The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

How do we know where we are? How can we find the way from one place to another? And how can we store this information in such a way that we can immediately find the way the next time we trace the same path? This year´s Nobel Laureates have discovered a positioning system, an “inner GPS” in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function.


http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2014/press.html

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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014

For a long time optical microscopy was held back by a presumed limitation: that it would never obtain a better resolution than half the wavelength of light. Helped by fluorescent molecules the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2014 ingeniously circumvented this limitation. Their ground-breaking work has brought optical microscopy into the nanodimension.


http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2014/press.html

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Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota

Non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. NAS consumption is considered safe and beneficial owing to their low caloric content, yet supporting scientific data remain sparse and controversial. Here we demonstrate that consumption of commonly used NAS formulations drives the development of glucose intolerance through induction of compositional and functional alterations to the intestinal microbiota. These NAS-mediated deleterious metabolic effects are abrogated by antibiotic treatment, and are fully transferrable to germ-free mice upon faecal transplantation of microbiota configurations from NAS-consuming mice, or of microbiota anaerobically incubated in the presence of NAS. We identify NAS-altered microbial metabolic pathways that are linked to host susceptibility to metabolic disease, and demonstrate similar NAS-induced dysbiosis and glucose intolerance in healthy human subjects. Collectively, our results link NAS consumption, dysbiosis and metabolic abnormalities, thereby calling for a reassessment of massive NAS usage.


Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota
• Jotham Suez, Tal Korem, David Zeevi, Gili Zilberman-Schapira, Christoph A. Thaiss, Ori Maza, David Israeli, Niv Zmora, Shlomit Gilad, Adina Weinberger, Yael Kuperman, Alon Harmelin, Ilana Kolodkin-Gal, Hagit Shapiro, Zamir Halpern, Eran Segal & Eran Elinav

Nature 514, 181–186 (09 October 2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13793

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Can Government Be Self-Organized? A Mathematical Model of the Collective Social Organization of Ancient Teotihuacan, Central Mexico

Can Government Be Self-Organized? A Mathematical Model of the Collective Social Organization of Ancient Teotihuacan, Central Mexico | Papers | Scoop.it

Teotihuacan was the first urban civilization of Mesoamerica and one of the largest of the ancient world. Following a tradition in archaeology to equate social complexity with centralized hierarchy, it is widely believed that the city’s origin and growth was controlled by a lineage of powerful individuals. However, much data is indicative of a government of co-rulers, and artistic traditions expressed an egalitarian ideology. Yet this alternative keeps being marginalized because the problems of collective action make it difficult to conceive how such a coalition could have functioned in principle. We therefore devised a mathematical model of the city’s hypothetical network of representatives as a formal proof of concept that widespread cooperation was realizable in a fully distributed manner. In the model, decisions become self-organized into globally optimal configurations even though local representatives behave and modify their relations in a rational and selfish manner. This self-optimization crucially depends on occasional communal interruptions of normal activity, and it is impeded when sections of the network are too independent. We relate these insights to theories about community-wide rituals at Teotihuacan and the city’s eventual disintegration.


Froese T, Gershenson C, Manzanilla LR (2014) Can Government Be Self-Organized? A Mathematical Model of the Collective Social Organization of Ancient Teotihuacan, Central Mexico. PLoS ONE 9(10): e109966. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0109966

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Constructing a taxonomy of fine-grained human movement and activity motifs through social media

Profiting from the emergence of web-scale social data sets, numerous recent studies have systematically explored human mobility patterns over large populations and large time scales. Relatively little attention, however, has been paid to mobility and activity over smaller time-scales, such as a day. Here, we use Twitter to identify people's frequently visited locations along with their likely activities as a function of time of day and day of week, capitalizing on both the content and geolocation of messages. We subsequently characterize people's transition pattern motifs and demonstrate that spatial information is encoded in word choice.


Constructing a taxonomy of fine-grained human movement and activity motifs through social media
Morgan R. Frank, Jake Ryland Williams, Lewis Mitchell, James P. Bagrow, Peter Sheridan Dodds, Christopher M. Danforth

http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.1393

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The meaning-frequency law in Zipfian optimization models of communication

According to Zipf's meaning-frequency law, words that are more frequent tend to have more meanings. Here it is shown that a linear dependency between the frequency of a form and its number of meanings is found in a family of models of Zipf's law for word frequencies. This is evidence for a weak version of the meaning-frequency law. Interestingly, that weak law (a) is not an inevitable of property of the assumptions of the family and (b) is found at least in the narrow regime where those models exhibit Zipf's law for word frequencies.


The meaning-frequency law in Zipfian optimization models of communication
Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.7275

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Top-Down Causation and the Rise of Information in the Emergence of Life

Biological systems represent a unique class of physical systems in how they process and manage information. This suggests that changes in the flow and distribution of information played a prominent role in the origin of life. Here I review and expand on an emerging conceptual framework suggesting that the origin of life may be identified as a transition in causal structure and information flow, and detail some of the implications for understanding the early stages chemical evolution.


Top-Down Causation and the Rise of Information in the Emergence of Life
Sara Imari Walker

Information 2014, 5(3), 424-439; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/info5030424

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Eli Levine's curator insight, October 11, 2014 5:17 PM

If this is the case, then it confirms a lot of what I've been hypothesizing about government and its role in shaping the legal landscape of our social world (which then influences our ecological, social, environmental, and political world).  Government is always beholden to the natural laws of physics, biology, psychology/neurology, sociology, and economics.  However, government can play a significant role in determining the effects that we experience in our world, based on their obedience to natural laws and limits.

 

We can make a better, healthier, more sustainable, and more resilient world for ourselves within the context of our environment, social, ecological, and cosmological.  The question is, do we have the will, intelligence, wisdom, sense, and accuracy of perception to do anything with it?

 

We'll see, I guess.

 

Here's hoping for a permanent leap forward for humanity.  One that will not end until the universe itself comes to an end (it always does).

 

 

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Social Network Analysis Shows Direct Evidence for Social Transmission of Tool Use in Wild Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are widely considered as the most “cultural” of all animals, despite the lack of direct evidence for the spread of novel behaviors through social learning in the wild. Here, we present a novel, dynamic network-based diffusion analysis to describe the acquisition patterns of novel tool-use behavior in the Sonso chimpanzee community of Budongo Forest, Uganda. We find strong evidence for social transmission of “moss-sponging” (the production of a sponge consisting of moss) along the innovators' social network, demonstrating that wild chimpanzees learn novel tool-use behaviors from each other and supporting the more general claim that some of the observed behavioral diversity in wild chimpanzees should be interpreted as “cultural.” Our model also estimated that, for each new observation, naïve individuals enhanced their chances of developing moss-sponging by a factor of 15. We conclude that group-specific behavioral variants can be socially learned in wild chimpanzees, addressing an important critique of the claim of culture in our closest relatives.


Hobaiter C, Poisot T, Zuberbühler K, Hoppitt W, Gruber T (2014) Social Network Analysis Shows Direct Evidence for Social Transmission of Tool Use in Wild Chimpanzees. PLoS Biol 12(9): e1001960. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001960

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 7, 2014 4:28 AM

Social Network Analysis Shows Direct Evidence for Social Transmission of Tool Use in Wild Chimpanzees

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The Logic of the Physics of Information

A consensus is emerging that the multiple forms, functions and properties of information cannot be captured by a simple categorization into classical and quantum information. Similarly, it is unlikely that the applicable physics of information is a single classical discipline, completely expressible in mathematical terms, but rather a complex, multi- and trans-disciplinary field involving deep philosophical questions about the underlying structure of the universe. This paper is an initial attempt to present the fundamental physics of non-quantum information in terms of a novel non-linguistic logic. Originally proposed by the Franco-Romanian thinker Stéphane Lupasco (1900–1988), this logic, grounded in quantum mechanics, can reflect the dual aspects of real processes and their evolution at biological, cognitive and social levels of reality. In my update of this logical system—Logic in Reality (LIR)—a change in perspective is required on the familiar notions in science and philosophy of causality, continuity and discontinuity, time and space. I apply LIR as a critique of current approaches to the physical grounding of information, focusing on its qualitative dualistic aspects at non-quantum levels as a set of physical processes embedded in a physical world.


The Logic of the Physics of Information
Joseph E. Brenner

Information 2014, 5(3), 389-403; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/info5030389

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Effect of individual behavior on epidemic spreading in activity-driven networks

Effect of individual behavior on epidemic spreading in activity-driven networks | Papers | Scoop.it

In this work we study the effect of behavioral changes of individuals on the propagation of epidemic diseases. Specifically, we consider a susceptible-infected-susceptible model over a network of contacts that evolves in a time scale that is comparable to the individual disease dynamics. The phenomenon is modeled in the context of activity-driven networks, in which contacts occur on the basis of activity potentials. To offer insight into behavioral strategies targeting both susceptible and infected individuals, we consider two separate behaviors that may emerge in respiratory syndromes and sexually transmitted infections. The first is related to a reduction in the activity of infected individuals due to quarantine or illness. The second is instead associated with a selfish self-protective behavior of susceptible individuals, who tend to reduce contact with the rest of the population on the basis of a risk perception. Numerical and theoretical results suggest that behavioral changes could have a beneficial effect on the disease spreading, by increasing the epidemic threshold and decreasing the steady-state fraction of infected individuals.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.90.042801


Effect of individual behavior on epidemic spreading in activity-driven networks
Phys. Rev. E 90, 042801 – Published 2 October 2014
Alessandro Rizzo, Mattia Frasca, and Maurizio Porfiri

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cami.patate's curator insight, October 6, 2014 11:27 AM

ajouter votre point de vue ...

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Complete Characterization of Structure of Rule 54

The dynamics of rule 54 one-dimensional two-state cellular automaton (CA) are a discrete analog of a space-time dynamics of excitations in nonlinear active medium with mutual inhibition. A cell switches its state 0 to state 1 if one of its two neighbors is in state 1 (propagation of a perturbation) and a cell remains in state 1 only if its two neighbors are in state 0. A lateral inhibition is because a 1-state neighbor causes a 1-state cell to switch to state 0. The rule produces a rich spectrum of space-time dynamics, including gliders and glider guns just from four primitive gliders. We construct a catalogue of gliders and describe them by tiles. We calculate a subset of regular expressions ΨR54 to encode gliders. The regular expressions are derived from de Bruijn diagrams, tile-based representation of gliders, and cycle diagrams sometimes. We construct an abstract machine that recognizes regular expressions of gliders in rule 54 and validate Ψ R54. We also propose a way to code initial configurations of gliders to depict any type of collision between the gliders and explore self-organization of gliders, formation of larger tiles, and soliton-like interactions of gliders and computable devices.


Complete Characterization of Structure of Rule 54
Genaro J. Martínez, Andrew Adamatzky, Harold V. McIntosh

http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.3096

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Mediated attachment as a mechanism for growth of complex networks

Connection topologies of many networked systems like human brain, biological cell, world wide web, power grids, human society and ecological food webs markedly deviate from that of completely random networks indicating the presence of organizing principles behind their evolution. The five important features that characterize such networks are scale-free topology, small average path length, high clustering, hierarchical community structure and assortative mixing. Till now the generic mechanisms underlying the existence of these properties are not well understood. Here we show that potentially a single mechanism, which we call "mediated attachment", where two nodes get connected through a mediator or common neighbor, could be responsible for the emergence of all important properties of real networks. The mediated attachment naturally unifies scale-free topology, high clustering, small world nature, hierarchical community structure and dissortative nature of networks. Further, with additional mixing by age, this can also explain the assortative structure of social networks. The mechanism of mediated attachment seems to be directly present in acquaintance networks, co-authorships, World Wide Web, metabolic networks, co-citations and linguistics. We anticipate that this mechanism will shed new light on percolation and robustness properties of real world networks as well as would give new insights in processes like epidemics spreading and emergent dynamics taking place on them.


Mediated attachment as a mechanism for growth of complex networks
Snehal M. Shekatkar, G. Ambika

http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.1870


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The Prize in Economic Sciences 2014

Jean Tirole is one of the most influential economists of our time. He has made important theoretical research contributions in a number of areas, but most of all he has clarified how to understand and regulate industries with a few powerful firms.


http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2014/press.html

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The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics

This year’s Nobel Laureates are rewarded for having invented a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source – the blue light-emitting diode (LED). In the spirit of Alfred Nobel the Prize rewards an invention of greatest benefit to mankind; using blue LEDs, white light can be created in a new way. With the advent of LED lamps we now have more long-lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources.


http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2014/press.html

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Robots

Robots | Papers | Scoop.it

Autonomous machines have gripped our imagination ever since the first robot flickered on the silver screen, Maria in the 1927 film Metropolis. Most of the robots we know today—unglamorous devices like robotic welders on car assembly lines and the Roomba vacuum cleaner—fall short of those in science fiction. But our relationship with robots is about to become far more intimate. Would you be comfortable with a robot butler, or a self-driving car? How about a robo-scientist toiling away next to you at the bench, not only pipetting but also formulating hypotheses and designing experiments?


http://www.sciencemag.org/site/special/robotics/

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How Social Media Leads to a Less Stable World

How Social Media Leads to a Less Stable World | Papers | Scoop.it

That social media benefits mankind is irrefutable. I have been an evangelist for the power of new media for 20 years. However, technology in the form of globalized communication, transportation and supply chains conspires to make today’s world more complex. Events in any corner of the world now impact the rest of the globe quickly and sharply. Nations are being pulled apart along sectarian seams in Iraq, tribal divisions in Afghanistan, national interests in Ukraine and territorial fences in Gaza. These conflicts portend a quickening of global unrest, confirmed by Foreign Policy magazine’s map of civil protest. The ISIS videos are simply the exposed wire. I believe that over the next century, even great nations will Balkanize — break into smaller nations. One of the principal drivers of this Balkanization is social media Twitter .


http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/how-social-media-leads-to-a-less-stable-world/

Complexity Digest's insight:

Interesting and controversial

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Human Computation Inaugural Issue 

Human Computation Inaugural Issue  | Papers | Scoop.it

We are pleased to present the first issue of "Human Computation", a new, open-access journal for all disciplines that contribute to the design and analysis of distributed information processing systems that leverage human cognition. We hope you find this first issue both stimulating and useful and look forward to your feedback and – hopefully – to including your own scholarly work in future editions.


http://tinyurl.com/hcj-now

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Entropy Methods in Guided Self-Organisation

Self-organisation occurs in natural phenomena when a spontaneous increase inorder is produced by the interactions of elements of a complex system. Thermodynamically,this increase must be offset by production of entropy which, broadly speaking, can beunderstood as a decrease in order. Ideally, self-organisation can be used to guide the systemtowards a desired regime or state, while “exporting” the entropy to the system’s exterior. Thus, Guided Self-Organisation (GSO) attempts to harness the order-inducing potentialof self-organisation for specific purposes. Not surprisingly, general methods developed tostudy entropy can also be applied to guided self-organisation. This special issue covers a broad diversity of GSO approaches which can be classified in three categories: informationtheory, intelligent agents, and collective behavior. The proposals make another step towardsa unifying theory of GSO which promises to impact numerous research fields.


Entropy Methods in Guided Self-Organisation
Mikhail Prokopenko and Carlos Gershenson

Entropy 2014, 16(10), 5232-5241; doi:10.3390/e16105232

http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/16/10/5232


http://www.mdpi.com/journal/entropy/special_issues/self-organization 

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Lévy flights and self-similar exploratory behaviour of termite workers: beyond model fitting

Animal movements have been related to optimal foraging strategies where self-similar trajectories are central. Most of the experimental studies done so far have focused mainly on fitting statistical models to data in order to test for movement patterns described by power-laws. Here we show by analyzing over half a million movement displacements that isolated termite workers actually exhibit a range of very interesting dynamical properties --including Lévy flights-- in their exploratory behaviour. Going beyond the current trend of statistical model fitting alone, our study analyses anomalous diffusion and structure functions to estimate values of the scaling exponents describing displacement statistics. We evince the fractal nature of the movement patterns and show how the scaling exponents describing termite space exploration intriguingly comply with mathematical relations found in the physics of transport phenomena. By doing this, we rescue a rich variety of physical and biological phenomenology that can be potentially important and meaningful for the study of complex animal behavior and, in particular, for the study of how patterns of exploratory behaviour of individual social insects may impact not only their feeding demands but also nestmate encounter patterns and, hence, their dynamics at the social scale.


Lévy flights and self-similar exploratory behaviour of termite workers: beyond model fitting
Octavio Miramontes, Og DeSouza, Leticia Ribeiro Paiva, Alessandra Marins, Sirio Orozco

http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.0930

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Complexity and Dynamical Depth

Complexity and Dynamical Depth | Papers | Scoop.it

We argue that a critical difference distinguishing machines from organisms and computers from brains is not complexity in a structural sense, but a difference in dynamical organization that is not well accounted for by current complexity measures. We propose a measure of the complexity of a system that is largely orthogonal to computational, information theoretic, or thermodynamic conceptions of structural complexity. What we call a system’s dynamical depth is a separate dimension of system complexity that measures the degree to which it exhibits discrete levels of nonlinear dynamical organization in which successive levels are distinguished by local entropy reduction and constraint generation. A system with greater dynamical depth than another consists of a greater number of such nested dynamical levels. Thus, a mechanical or linear thermodynamic system has less dynamical depth than an inorganic self-organized system, which has less dynamical depth than a living system. Including an assessment of dynamical depth can provide a more precise and systematic account of the fundamental difference between inorganic systems (low dynamical depth) and living systems (high dynamical depth), irrespective of the number of their parts and the causal relations between them.


Complexity and Dynamical Depth
Terrence Deacon and Spyridon Koutroufinis

Information 2014, 5(3), 404-423; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/info5030404

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Contact Patterns among High School Students

Face-to-face contacts between individuals contribute to shape social networks and play an important role in determining how infectious diseases can spread within a population. It is thus important to obtain accurate and reliable descriptions of human contact patterns occurring in various day-to-day life contexts. Recent technological advances and the development of wearable sensors able to sense proximity patterns have made it possible to gather data giving access to time-varying contact networks of individuals in specific environments. Here we present and analyze two such data sets describing with high temporal resolution the contact patterns of students in a high school. We define contact matrices describing the contact patterns between students of different classes and show the importance of the class structure. We take advantage of the fact that the two data sets were collected in the same setting during several days in two successive years to perform a longitudinal analysis on two very different timescales. We show the high stability of the contact patterns across days and across years: the statistical distributions of numbers and durations of contacts are the same in different periods, and we observe a very high similarity of the contact matrices measured in different days or different years. The rate of change of the contacts of each individual from one day to the next is also similar in different years. We discuss the interest of the present analysis and data sets for various fields, including in social sciences in order to better understand and model human behavior and interactions in different contexts, and in epidemiology in order to inform models describing the spread of infectious diseases and design targeted containment strategies.


Fournet J, Barrat A (2014) Contact Patterns among High School Students. PLoS ONE 9(9): e107878. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0107878

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“Unintended effects”: A theorem for complex systems

Unintended effects are well known to economists and sociologists and their consequences may be devastating. The main objective of this article is to formulate a mathematical theorem, based on Gödel's famous incompleteness theorem, in which it is shown, that from the moment deontical modalities (prohibition, obligation, permission, and faculty) are introduced into the social system, responses are allowed by the system that are not produced, however, prohibited responses or unintended effects may occur. 


“Unintended effects”: A theorem for complex systems
J.L. Usó-Doménech, J. Nescolarde-Selva* andM. Lloret-Climent
Complexity

Article first published online: 29 SEP 2014
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cplx.21609

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