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Complex Autocatalysis in Simple Chemistries

Life on Earth must originally have arisen from abiotic chemistry. Since the details of this chemistry are unknown, we wish to understand, in general, which types of chemistry can lead to complex, lifelike behavior. Here we show that even very simple chemistries in the thermodynamically reversible regime can self-organize to form complex autocatalytic cycles, with the catalytic effects emerging from the network structure. We demonstrate this with a very simple but thermodynamically reasonable artificial chemistry model. By suppressing the direct reaction from reactants to products, we obtain the simplest kind of autocatalytic cycle, resulting in exponential growth. When these simple first-order cycles are prevented from forming, the system achieves superexponential growth through more complex, higher-order autocatalytic cycles. This leads to nonlinear phenomena such as oscillations and bistability, the latter of which is of particular interest regarding the origins of life.

 

Complex Autocatalysis in Simple Chemistries
Nathaniel Virgo, Takashi Ikegami, Simon McGregor

Artificial Life

http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/ARTL_a_00195

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Generalizing Moore

Over the past few years, several independent teams of researchers have noticed something surprising in historical data on a broad set of technologies. Everyone, of course, knows about Moore's Law — for decades, the density of transistors on integrated circuits has doubled every two years, with computational speed advancing even faster. This spectacular record of improvement shows up in just about any metric. Much less known, however, is that this pattern of exponential advance isn't actually limited to electronics; it applies just as well to technologies ranging from cars or batteries to beer or nuclear power.

 

Generalizing Moore
Mark Buchanan
Nature Physics 12, 200 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys3685

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Zika Virus: Endemic Versus Epidemic Dynamics and Implications for Disease Spread in the Americas

Since being introduced into Brazil in 2014, Zika virus (ZIKV) has spread explosively across Central and South America. Although the symptoms of ZIKV are mild, recent evidence suggests a relationship between prenatal exposure to ZIKV and microcephaly. This has led to widespread panic, including travel alerts and warnings to avoid pregnancy. Because ZIKV is an emerging disease, response efforts are complicated by limited understanding of disease dynamics. To this end, we develop a novel state- and class-structured compartment model for ZIKV. Our model shows that the risk of prenatal ZIKV exposure should decrease dramatically following the initial wave of disease, reaching almost undetectable levels in endemic systems. Our model also suggests that efforts to reduce ZIKV prenatal exposures through mosquito management and avoidance may have minimal benefit, and may even result in increased risk of microcephaly in later years of an outbreak.

 

Zika Virus: Endemic Versus Epidemic Dynamics and Implications for Disease Spread in the Americas
Sharon Bewick, William F Fagan, Justin M Calabrese, Folashade Agusto
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/041897

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Exploring the Space of Viable Configurations in a Model of Metabolism–Boundary Co-construction

We introduce a spatial model of concentration dynamics that supports the emergence of spatiotemporal inhomogeneities that engage in metabolism–boundary co-construction. These configurations exhibit disintegration following some perturbations, and self-repair in response to others. We define robustness as a viable configuration's tendency to return to its prior configuration in response to perturbations, and plasticity as a viable configuration's tendency to change to other viable configurations. These properties are demonstrated and quantified in the model, allowing us to map a space of viable configurations and their possible transitions. Combining robustness and plasticity provides a measure of viability as the average expected survival time under ongoing perturbation, and allows us to measure how viability is affected as the configuration undergoes transitions. The framework introduced here is independent of the specific model we used, and is applicable for quantifying robustness, plasticity, and viability in any computational model of artificial life that demonstrates the conditions for viability that we promote.

 

Exploring the Space of Viable Configurations in a Model of Metabolism–Boundary Co-construction
Eran Agmon, Alexander J. Gates, Valentin Churavy, Randall D. Beer

Artificial Life

http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/ARTL_a_00196

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Estimation and monitoring of city-to-city travel times using call detail records

Estimation and monitoring of city-to-city travel times using call detail records | Papers | Scoop.it

Whenever someone makes or receives a call on a mobile telephone, a Call Detail Record (CDR) is automatically generated by the operator for billing purposes. CDRs have a wide range of applications beyond billing, from social science to data-driven development. Recently, CDRs have been increasingly used to study human mobility, whose understanding is crucial e.g. for planning efficient transportation infrastructure. A major difficulty in analyzing human mobility using CDR data is that the location of a cell phone user is not recorded continuously but typically only when a call is initiated or a text message is sent. In this paper we address this problem, and develop a method for estimating travel times between cities based on CDRs that relies not on individual trajectories of people, but their collective statistical properties. We apply our method to data from Senegal, released by Sonatel and Orange for the 2014 Data for Development Challenge. We turn CDR mobility traces to estimates on travel times between Senegalese cities, filling an existing gap in knowledge. Moreover, the proposed method is shown to be highly valuable for monitoring travel conditions and their changes in near real-time, as demonstrated by measuring the decrease in travel times due to the opening of the Dakar-Diamniadio highway. Overall, our results indicate that it is possible to extract reliable de facto information on typical travel times that is useful for a variety of audiences ranging from casual travelers to transport infrastructure planners.

 

Estimation and monitoring of city-to-city travel times using call detail records
Rainer Kujala, Talayeh Aledavood and Jari Saramäki

EPJ Data Science 2016 5:6
http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-016-0067-3

 

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Living Cognitive Society: a `digital' World of Views

The current social reality is characterized by all-encompassing change, which disrupts existing social structures at all levels. Yet the prevailing view of society is based on the ontological primacy of stable hierarchical structures, which is no longer adequate.
We propose a conceptual framework for thinking about a dynamically changing social system: the Living Cognitive Society. Importantly, we show how it follows from a much broader philosophical framework, guided by the theory of individuation, which emphasizes the importance of relationships and interactive processes in the evolution of a system.
The framework addresses society as a living cognitive system -- an ecology of interacting social subsystems -- each of which is also a living cognitive system. We argue that this approach can help us to conceive sustainable social systems that will thrive in the circumstances of accelerating change. The Living Cognitive Society is explained in terms of its fluid structure, dynamics and the mechanisms at work. We then discuss the disruptive effects of Information and Communication Technologies on the mechanisms at work.
We conclude by delineating a major topic for future research -- distributed social governance -- which focuses on processes of coordination rather than on stable structures within global society.

 

Living Cognitive Society: a `digital' World of Views
Viktoras Veitas, David Weinbaum (Weaver)

http://arxiv.org/abs/1602.08388

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The Research Space: using the career paths of scholars to predict the evolution of the research output of individuals, institutions, and nations

In recent years scholars have built maps of science by connecting the academic fields that cite each other, are cited together, or that cite a similar literature. But since scholars cannot always publish in the fields they cite, or that cite them, these science maps are only rough proxies for the potential of a scholar, organization, or country, to enter a new academic field. Here we use a large dataset of scholarly publications disambiguated at the individual level to create a map of science-or research space-where links connect pairs of fields based on the probability that an individual has published in both of them. We find that the research space is a significantly more accurate predictor of the fields that individuals and organizations will enter in the future than citation based science maps. At the country level, however, the research space and citations based science maps are equally accurate. These findings show that data on career trajectories-the set of fields that individuals have previously published in-provide more accurate predictors of future research output for more focalized units-such as individuals or organizations-than citation based science maps.


The Research Space: using the career paths of scholars to predict the evolution of the research output of individuals, institutions, and nations
Miguel R. Guevara, Dominik Hartmann, Manuel Aristarán, Marcelo Mendoza, César A. Hidalgo

http://arxiv.org/abs/1602.08409

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An experimental study of segregation mechanisms

Segregation is widespread in all realms of human society. Several influential studies have argued that intolerance is not a prerequisite for a segregated society, and that segregation can arise even when people generally prefer diversity. We investigated this paradox experimentally, by letting groups of high-school students play four different real-time interactive games. Incentives for neighbor similarity produced segregation, but incentives for neighbor dissimilarity and neighborhood diversity prevented it. The participants continued to move while their game scores were below optimal, but their individual moves did not consistently take them to the best alternative position. These small differences between human and simulated agents produced different segregation patterns than previously predicted, thus challenging conclusions about segregation arising from these models.


An experimental study of segregation mechanisms
Tsvetkova M, Nilsson O, Öhman C, Sumpter L, Sumpter D
EPJ Data Science 2016, 5 :4 (27 February 2016)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-016-0065-5

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FITNESS LANDSCAPE EPISTASIS AND RECOMBINATION

Homologous recombination is an important operator in the evolution of biological organisms. However, there is still no clear, generally accepted understanding of why it exists and under what circumstances it is useful. In this paper, we consider its utility in the context of an infinite population haploid model with selection and homologous recombination. We define utility in terms of two metrics — the increase in frequency of fit genotypes, and the increase in average population fitness, relative to those associated with selection only. Explicitly, we explore the full parameter space of a two-locus two-allele system, showing, as a function of the landscape and the initial population, that recombination is beneficial in terms of these metrics in two distinct regimes: a relatively landscape independent regime — the search regime — where recombination aids in the search for a fit genotype that is absent or at low frequency in the population; and the modular regime, where recombination allows for the juxtaposition of fit “modules” or Building Blocks (BBs). Thus, we conclude that the ubiquity and utility of recombination is intimately associated with the existence of modularity and redundancy in biological fitness landscapes.


FITNESS LANDSCAPE EPISTASIS AND RECOMBINATION

MANUEL BELTRÁN DEL RÍO, CHRISTOPHER R. STEPHENS, and DAVID A. ROSENBLUETH, Advs. Complex Syst. 18, 1550026 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0219525915500265

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Evolution in the Anthropocene

Most current conservation strategies focus on the immediate social, cultural, and economic values of ecological diversity, functions, and services (1). For example, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (2) mostly addresses the utilitarian management of biodiversity from local to global scales. However, besides urgent diagnosis and actions (3, 4), processes that occur over evolutionary time scales are equally important for biodiversity conservation. Strategizing for conservation of nature at such long time scales will help to preserve the function—and associated services—of the natural world, as well as providing opportunities for it to evolve. This approach will foster a long-term, sustainable interaction that promotes both the persistence of nature and the wellbeing of humans.


Evolution in the Anthropocene
François Sarrazin, Jane Lecomte

Science  26 Feb 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6276, pp. 922-923
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aad6756

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Measuring the Complexity of Continuous Distributions

Measuring the Complexity of Continuous Distributions | Papers | Scoop.it

We extend previously proposed measures of complexity, emergence, and self-organization to continuous distributions using differential entropy. Given that the measures were based on Shannon’s information, the novel continuous complexity measures describe how a system’s predictability changes in terms of the probability distribution parameters. This allows us to calculate the complexity of phenomena for which distributions are known. We find that a broad range of common parameters found in Gaussian and scale-free distributions present high complexity values. We also explore the relationship between our measure of complexity and information adaptation.


Measuring the Complexity of Continuous Distributions
Guillermo Santamaría-Bonfil, Nelson Fernández,  and Carlos Gershenson

Entropy 2016, 18(3), 72

http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/18/3/72

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Networks of plants: how to measure similarity in vegetable species

Despite the common misconception of nearly static organisms, plants do interact continuously with the environment and with each other. It is fair to assume that during their evolution they developed particular features to overcome problems and to exploit possibilities from environment. In this paper we introduce various quantitative measures based on recent advancements in complex network theory that allow to measure the effective similarities of various species. By using this approach on the similarity in fruit-typology ecological traits we obtain a clear plant classification in a way similar to traditional taxonomic classification. This result is not trivial, since a similar analysis done on the basis of diaspore morphological properties do not provide any clear parameter to classify plants species. Complex network theory can then be used in order to determine which feature amongst many can be used to distinguish scope and possibly evolution of plants. Future uses of this approach range from functional classification to quantitative determination of plant communities in nature.


Networks of plants: how to measure similarity in vegetable species
Gianna Vivaldo, Elisa Masi, Camilla Pandolfi, Stefano Mancuso, Guido Caldarelli

http://arxiv.org/abs/1602.05887

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Complexity theory and financial regulation

Traditional economic theory could not explain, much less predict, the near collapse of the financial system and its long-lasting effects on the global economy. Since the 2008 crisis, there has been increasing interest in using ideas from complexity theory to make sense of economic and financial markets. Concepts, such as tipping points, networks, contagion, feedback, and resilience have entered the financial and regulatory lexicon, but actual use of complexity models and results remains at an early stage. Recent insights and techniques offer potential for better monitoring and management of highly interconnected economic and financial systems and, thus, may help anticipate and manage future crises.


Complexity theory and financial regulation
BY STEFANO BATTISTON, J. DOYNE FARMER, ANDREAS FLACHE, DIEGO GARLASCHELLI, ANDREW G. HALDANE, HANS HEESTERBEEK, CARS HOMMES, CARLO JAEGER, ROBERT MAY, MARTEN SCHEFFER

Science  19 Feb 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6275, pp. 818-819
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aad0299

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malek's comment, February 21, 6:49 PM
Plug in fear and the economic systems may deviate from any rational behavior
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Keep-Left Behavior Induced by Asymmetrically Profiled Walls

Keep-Left Behavior Induced by Asymmetrically Profiled Walls | Papers | Scoop.it

Ensuring efficient pedestrian streams through transit corridors such as subway hallways is a problem of significant relevance to many cities. By modeling self-driven particles, scientists show that modulating the shape of a hallway’s walls might help to separate opposite pedestrian flows.


Keep-Left Behavior Induced by Asymmetrically Profiled Walls
C. L. N. Oliveira, A. P. Vieira, D. Helbing, J. S. Andrade, Jr., and H. J. Herrmann
Phys. Rev. X 6, 011003 (2016)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.6.011003

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About 40% of economics experiments fail replication survey

When a massive replicability study in psychology was published last year, the results were, to some, shocking: 60% of the 100 experimental results failed to replicate. Now, the latest attempt to verify findings in the social sciences—this time with a small batch from experimental economics—also finds a substantial number of failed replications. Following the exact same protocols of the original studies, the researchers failed to reproduce the results in about 40% of cases.

 

About 40% of economics experiments fail replication survey
By John Bohannon

http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf4141

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Flies as Ship Captains? Digital Evolution Unravels Selective Pressures to Avoid Collision in Drosophila

Flies that walk in a covered planar arena on straight paths avoid colliding with each other, but which of the two flies stops is not random. High-throughput video observations, coupled with dedicated experiments with controlled robot flies have revealed that flies utilize the type of optic flow on their retina as a determinant of who should stop, a strategy also used by ship captains to determine which of two ships on a collision course should throw engines in reverse. We use digital evolution to test whether this strategy evolves when collision avoidance is the sole penalty. We find that the strategy does indeed evolve in a narrow range of cost/benefit ratios, for experiments in which the "regressive motion" cue is error free. We speculate that these stringent conditions may not be sufficient to evolve the strategy in real flies, pointing perhaps to auxiliary costs and benefits not modeled in our study

 

Flies as Ship Captains? Digital Evolution Unravels Selective Pressures to Avoid Collision in Drosophila
Ali Tehrani-Saleh, Christoph Adami

http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.00802

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nukem777's curator insight, March 4, 5:59 AM
Any number of Rudy Rucker, Charlie Stross books, et al, have been written about this...enjoy
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Women through the glass ceiling: gender asymmetries in Wikipedia

Women through the glass ceiling: gender asymmetries in Wikipedia | Papers | Scoop.it

Contributing to the writing of history has never been as easy as it is today thanks to Wikipedia, a community-created encyclopedia that aims to document the world’s knowledge from a neutral point of view. Though everyone can participate it is well known that the editor community has a narrow diversity, with a majority of white male editors. While this participatory gender gap has been studied extensively in the literature, this work sets out to assess potential gender inequalities in Wikipedia articles along different dimensions: notability, topical focus, linguistic bias, structural properties, and meta-data presentation.
We find that (i) women in Wikipedia are more notable than men, which we interpret as the outcome of a subtle glass ceiling effect; (ii) family-, gender-, and relationship-related topics are more present in biographies about women; (iii) linguistic bias manifests in Wikipedia since abstract terms tend to be used to describe positive aspects in the biographies of men and negative aspects in the biographies of women; and (iv) there are structural differences in terms of meta-data and hyperlinks, which have consequences for information-seeking activities. While some differences are expected, due to historical and social contexts, other differences are attributable to Wikipedia editors. The implications of such differences are discussed having Wikipedia contribution policies in mind. We hope that the present work will contribute to increased awareness about, first, gender issues in the content of Wikipedia, and second, the different levels on which gender biases can manifest on the Web.

 

Women through the glass ceiling: gender asymmetries in Wikipedia
Claudia Wagner, Eduardo Graells-Garrido, David Garcia and Filippo Menczer

EPJ Data Science 2016 5:5
http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-016-0066-4

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From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes

Trophic coherence, a measure of the extent to which the nodes of a directed network are organised in levels, has recently been shown to be closely related to many structural and dynamical aspects of complex systems, including graph eigenspectra, the prevalence or absence of feed-back cycles, and linear stability. Furthermore, non-trivial trophic structures have been observed in networks of neurons, species, genes, metabolites, cellular signalling, concatenated words, P2P users, and world trade. Here we consider two simple yet apparently quite different dynamical models -- one a Susceptible-Infected-Susceptible (SIS) epidemic model adapted to include complex contagion, the other an Amari-Hopfield neural network -- and show that in both cases the related spreading processes are modulated in similar ways by the trophic coherence of the underlying networks. To do this, we propose a network assembly model which can generate structures with tunable trophic coherence, limiting in either perfectly stratified networks or random graphs. We find that trophic coherence can exert a qualitative change in spreading behaviour, determining whether a pulse of activity will percolate through the entire network or remain confined to a subset of nodes, and whether such activity will quickly die out or endure indefinitely. These results could be important for our understanding of phenomena such as epidemics, rumours, shocks to ecosystems, neuronal avalanches, and many other spreading processes.

 

From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes
Janis Klaise, Samuel Johnson

http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.00670

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Rate or Trade? Identifying Winning Ideas in Open Idea Sourcing

Rate or Trade? Identifying Winning Ideas in Open Idea Sourcing | Papers | Scoop.it

Information technology (IT) has created new patterns of digitally-mediated collaboration that allow open sourcing of ideas for new products and services. These novel sociotechnical arrangements afford finely-grained manipulation of how tasks can be represented and have changed the way organizations ideate. In this paper, we investigate differences in behavioral decision-making resulting from IT-based support of open idea evaluation. We report results from a randomized experiment of 120 participants comparing IT-based decision-making support using a rating scale (representing a judgment task) and a preference market (representing a choice task). We find that the rating scale-based task invokes significantly higher perceived ease of use than the preference market-based task and that perceived ease of use mediates the effect of the task representation treatment on the users’ decision quality. Furthermore, we find that the understandability of ideas being evaluated, which we assess through the ideas’ readability, and the perception of the task’s variability moderate the strength of this mediation effect, which becomes stronger with increasing perceived task variability and decreasing understandability of the ideas. We contribute to the literature by explaining how perceptual differences of task representations for open idea evaluation affect the decision quality of users and translate into differences in mechanism accuracy. These results enhance our understanding of how crowdsourcing as a novel mode of value creation may effectively complement traditional work structures.

 

Rate or Trade? Identifying Winning Ideas in Open Idea Sourcing
Ivo Blohm, Christoph Riedl, Johann Füller, Jan Marco Leimeister

Information Systems Research

http://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/isre.2015.0605

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Temporal Network Analysis of Literary Texts

We study temporal networks of characters in literature focusing on "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (1865) by Lewis Carroll and the anonymous "La Chanson de Roland" (around 1100). The former, one of the most influential pieces of nonsense literature ever written, describes the adventures of Alice in a fantasy world with logic plays interspersed along the narrative. The latter, a song of heroic deeds, depicts the Battle of Roncevaux in 778 A.D. during Charlemagne's campaign on the Iberian Peninsula. We apply methods recently developed by Taylor and coworkers \cite{Taylor+2015} to find time-averaged eigenvector centralities, Freeman indices and vitalities of characters. We show that temporal networks are more appropriate than static ones for studying stories, as they capture features that the time-independent approaches fail to yield.


Temporal Network Analysis of Literary Texts
Sandra D. Prado, Silvio R. Dahmen, Ana L.C. Bazzan, Padraig Mac Carron, Ralph Kenna

http://arxiv.org/abs/1602.07275

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Relative Entropy in Biological Systems

In this paper we review various information-theoretic characterizations of the approach to equilibrium in biological systems. The replicator equation, evolutionary game theory, Markov processes and chemical reaction networks all describe the dynamics of a population or probability distribution. Under suitable assumptions, the distribution will approach an equilibrium with the passage of time. Relative entropy—that is, the Kullback–Leibler divergence, or various generalizations of this—provides a quantitative measure of how far from equilibrium the system is. We explain various theorems that give conditions under which relative entropy is nonincreasing. In biochemical applications these results can be seen as versions of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, stating that free energy can never increase with the passage of time. In ecological applications, they make precise the notion that a population gains information from its environment as it approaches equilibrium.


Relative Entropy in Biological Systems
John C. Baez and Blake S. Pollard

Entropy 2016, 18(2), 46; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/e18020046

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Global Patterns of Human Synchronization

Social media are transforming global communication and coordination and provide unprecedented opportunities for studying socio-technical domains. Here we study global dynamical patterns of communication on Twitter across many scales. Underlying the observed patterns is both the diurnal rotation of the earth, day and night, and the synchrony required for contingency of actions between individuals. We find that urban areas show a cyclic contraction and expansion that resembles heartbeats linked to social rather than natural cycles. Different urban areas have characteristic signatures of daily collective activities. We show that the differences detected are consistent with a new emergent global synchrony that couples behavior in distant regions across the world. Although local synchrony is the major force that shapes the collective behavior in cities, a larger-scale synchronization is beginning to occur.


Global Patterns of Human Synchronization
Alfredo J. Morales, Vaibhav Vavilala, Rosa M. Benito, Yaneer Bar-Yam

http://arxiv.org/abs/1602.06219

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Modern Milgram experiment sheds light on power of authority

Modern Milgram experiment sheds light on power of authority | Papers | Scoop.it

More than 50 years after a controversial psychologist shocked the world with studies that revealed people’s willingness to harm others on order, a team of cognitive scientists has carried out an updated version of the iconic ‘Milgram experiments’.
Their findings may offer some explanation for Stanley Milgram's uncomfortable revelations: when following commands, they say, people genuinely feel less responsibility for their actions — whether they are told to do something evil or benign.


http://www.nature.com/news/modern-milgram-experiment-sheds-light-on-power-of-authority-1.19408

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Tony Guzman's curator insight, March 1, 4:36 PM
This article sheds some interesting results from a modern Milgram experiment.
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The Mobile Territorial Lab: a multilayered and dynamic view on parents’ daily lives

In this paper, we describe the Mobile Territorial Lab (MTL) project, a longitudinal living lab which has been sensing by means of technology (mobile phones) the lives of more than 100 parents in different areas of the Trentino region in Northern Italy. We present the preliminary results after two years of experimentation of, to the best of our knowledge, the most complete picture of parents’ daily lives. Through the collection and analysis of the collected data, we created a multi-layered view of the participants’ lives, tracking social interactions, mobility routines, spending patterns, and personality characteristics.
Overall, our results prove the relevance of living lab approaches to measure human behaviors and interactions, which can pave the way to new studies exploiting a richer number of behavioral indicators. Moreover, we believe that the proposed methodology and the collected data could be very valuable for researchers from different disciplines such as social psychology, sociology, computer science, economy, etc., which are interested in understanding human behaviour.



The Mobile Territorial Lab: a multilayered and dynamic view on parents’ daily lives
Simone Centellegher, Marco De Nadai, Michele Caraviello, Chiara Leonardi, Michele Vescovi, Yusi Ramadian, Nuria Oliver, Fabio Pianesi, Alex Pentland, Fabrizio Antonelli and Bruno Lepri
EPJ Data Science 2016 5:3
http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-016-0064-6

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Universal resilience patterns in complex networks

Universal resilience patterns in complex networks | Papers | Scoop.it

Resilience, a system’s ability to adjust its activity to retain its basic functionality when errors, failures and environmental changes occur, is a defining property of many complex systems. Despite widespread consequences for human health, the economy and the environment, events leading to loss of resilience—from cascading failures in technological systems to mass extinctions in ecological networks—are rarely predictable and are often irreversible. These limitations are rooted in a theoretical gap: the current analytical framework of resilience is designed to treat low-dimensional models with a few interacting components, and is unsuitable for multi-dimensional systems consisting of a large number of components that interact through a complex network. Here we bridge this theoretical gap by developing a set of analytical tools with which to identify the natural control and state parameters of a multi-dimensional complex system, helping us derive effective one-dimensional dynamics that accurately predict the system’s resilience. The proposed analytical framework allows us systematically to separate the roles of the system’s dynamics and topology, collapsing the behaviour of different networks onto a single universal resilience function. The analytical results unveil the network characteristics that can enhance or diminish resilience, offering ways to prevent the collapse of ecological, biological or economic systems, and guiding the design of technological systems resilient to both internal failures and environmental changes.


Universal resilience patterns in complex networks
Jianxi Gao, Baruch Barzel & Albert-László Barabási

Nature 530, 307–312 (18 February 2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature16948

Complexity Digest's insight:

See Also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ3OmlbtaMU

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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, February 21, 9:37 PM

That's a very interesting study. Indeed it deserves to be in Nature.

One might wonder, though, why such networks are formed in the first place. 

Marcelo Errera's curator insight, February 27, 9:12 AM

( more thoughts on this paper)

 

That's a very interesting study. Indeed it deserves to be in Nature.

One might wonder, though, why such networks are formed in the first place. 

 

There is a constructal theory to explain the robustness of such networks. Check it out:

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001793101500664X ; (need subscription to IJHMT)