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Social Foraging
Dynamics of Social Interaction
Curated by Ashish Umre
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Predix: GE's Radical Software Helps Jet Engines Fix Themselves

Predix: GE's Radical Software Helps Jet Engines Fix Themselves | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

A few years back, after an internal audit of their vast and various business holdings, the folks at General Electric made something of a discovery: Their company was roughly the fourteenth biggest software maker in the world. They’d never really thought of themselves as a software company–all that coding was being done by developers hidden in silos within other silos in the corporate structure–but they figured maybe it was time to start. So in June 2011, the company hired designer Greg Petroff and put him in charge of user experience for the whole shebang. His first project was an ambitious one: creating a system that will bring all of GE’s industrial machines, from wind turbines to hospital hardware to jet engines, onto one cloud-connected, contextually-aware, super-efficient platform.

 

Since 2011, the company’s Software Center, located in San Ramon, California, has grown from four people to some 700 and counting. In that time, Petroff’s team there has built the foundation for Predix, a flexible software platform intended to dramatically streamline the monitoring and maintenance for all the industrial technologies GE provides. Whereas field engineers currently wrestle with idiosyncratic systems and separate interfaces for all the different hardware they service–sometimes armed with little more than a briefcase full of paper manuals–Predix and its card-based UI will gradually become the interface for all those machines.

 

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World's Fastest Computer Will Operate Like a Human Brain

World's Fastest Computer Will Operate Like a Human Brain | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

A large group of scientists and researchers is working to develop the fastest computer known to man that would operate much like the human brain.

 

The Human Brain Project, which launched Monday at a conference in Switzerland, combines the brainpower of 135 science institutions and government entities to create the computer brain. The project will cost about $1.6 billion.

 

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Computer modellers secure Chemistry Nobels

Computer modellers secure Chemistry Nobels | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

One day, computers may be able to simulate exactly how enzymes, ion channels, viruses, DNA and other complex biological molecules react with each other inside a cell. And if such a software package is ever written, it will owe its development to three researchers who today won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Martin Karplus, of Harvard University and the University of Strasbourg, Michael Levitt, of Stanford University, and Arieh Warshel, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

 

Starting in the 1970s – working with computers far less powerful than today’s smartphones – the three theorists made advances in computer modelling that laid the foundations for modern software used to simulate protein folding, design drugs and even artificial enzymes, and understand the workings of complex catalysts.

 

In essence, says Sven Lidin, the chairman of the Nobel committee, they “took the chemical experiment to cyberspace”. Although the researchers are not the only people to have developed simulations in this way, “they are undoubtedly three worthy winners”, says Jonathan Goodman, a computational chemist at the University of Cambridge, UK.

 

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Free Software Ties the Internet of Things Together

Free Software Ties the Internet of Things Together | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

OpenRemote is an open-source Internet of Things platform that could help spur smarter homes and cities.

 

If you buy several Internet-connected home gadgets—say, a “smart” thermostat, “smart” door lock, and “smart” window blinds—you’ll likely have to control each one with a separate app, meaning it exists in its own little silo.

 

That’s not how Elier Ramirez does it. In his home, an iPad app controls his lights, ceiling fans, and TV and stereo. Pressing a single button within the app can shut off all his lights and gadgets when he leaves.

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TribeHive: Driving fan engagement through connectivity

TribeHive: Driving fan engagement through connectivity | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

We provide software solutions for situations where smartphones have limited connectivity, ranging from football stadiums to nightclubs and cruiseships. We work either directly with clients, providing a full service solution, or partner with agencies to integrate our solutions into their existing products.

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Social Factors in Epidemiology

Despite the invention of control measures like vaccines, infectious diseases remain part of human existence. Ideas, sentiments, or information can also be contagious. Such social contagion is akin to biological contagion: Both spread through a replication process that is blind to the consequences for the individual or population, and if each person transmits to more than one person, the explosive power of exponential growth creates an epidemic. Social contagions may cause irrational “fever.” Isaac Newton, having lost £20,000 in the speculative South Sea Bubble, commented that he could “calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men”. Systems in which both contagion types are coupled to one another—an infectious disease spreading by biological contagion and a social contagion concerning the disease—offer unique scientific challenges and are increasingly important for public health.

 

Social Factors in Epidemiology

Chris T. Bauch, Alison P. Galvani

Science 4 October 2013:
Vol. 342 no. 6154 pp. 47-49
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1244492


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Arjen ten Have's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:04 PM

likely a better model of how ideas spread thru society than memes as genes

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From Matter to Self-Organizing Life

Eigen aims to integrate current scientific knowledge from different fields to show that evolution is a physical process based on clear physical laws. (...)
The book weaves together five chapters (“Matter and Energy,” “Energy and Entropy,” “Entropy and Information,” “Information and Complexity,” and “Complexity and Self-Organisation”), each organized into ten questions. Some of the questions are of the kind that kids would ask: “How many trees make a wood?” or “How large is zero?” But most kids will not understand the answers that Eigen offers.

 

From Matter to Self-Organizing Life
Arne Traulsen
From Strange Simplicity to Complex Familiarity A Treatise on Matter, Information, Life, and Thought by Manfred Eigen Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013. 754 pp. $225, £125. ISBN 9780198570219.

Science 4 October 2013:
Vol. 342 no. 6154 pp. 39-40
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1243730


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Tenure Track Research Professor Position in Computer Science at UNAM

The Computer Science Department of the Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas (IIMAS) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) has a open call for research professors.

 

Located in the heart of the UNAM's Ciudad Universitaria, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the IIMAS has been the leader in computer science in Mexico since the first computer in the country was acquired by UNAM. Researchers at UNAM have a privileged position for several reasons. UNAM is the highest ranked spanish speaking higher education institution in the world and produces half of the research in Mexico and is the largest in the continent (300K+ students). Professors in faculties do more teaching than research, while researchers in institutes (such as IIMAS) do more research than teaching (about 48 hours per year, usually to the best graduate students in the country. Groups of more than five students get a teaching assistant). Students in most graduate programs at UNAM receive automatically a scholarship, and there is travel budget for researchers, minimizing the grant writing load. There are several grant calls with high acceptance rates. There are also two postdoctoral fellowship calls per year internal to UNAM. High performing researchers can reach tenure in less than five years.

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Spatially Explicit Data: Stewardship and Ethical Challenges in Science

Spatially Explicit Data: Stewardship and Ethical Challenges in Science | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Scholarly communication is at an unprecedented turning point created in part by the increasing saliency of data stewardship and data sharing. Formal data management plans represent a new emphasis in research, enabling access to data at higher volumes and more quickly, and the potential for replication and augmentation of existing research. Data sharing has recently transformed the practice, scope, content, and applicability of research in several disciplines, in particular in relation to spatially specific data. This lends exciting potentiality, but the most effective ways in which to implement such changes, particularly for disciplines involving human subjects and other sensitive information, demand consideration. Data management plans, stewardship, and sharing, impart distinctive technical, sociological, and ethical challenges that remain to be adequately identified and remedied. Here, we consider these and propose potential solutions for their amelioration.

 

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Task-Based Core-Periphery Organization of Human Brain Dynamics

Task-Based Core-Periphery Organization of Human Brain Dynamics | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

As a person learns a new skill, distinct synapses, brain regions, and circuits are engaged and change over time. In this paper, we develop methods to examine patterns of correlated activity across a large set of brain regions. Our goal is to identify properties that enable robust learning of a motor skill. We measure brain activity during motor sequencing and characterize network properties based on coherent activity between brain regions. Using recently developed algorithms to detect time-evolving communities, we find that the complex reconfiguration patterns of the brain's putative functional modules that control learning can be described parsimoniously by the combined presence of a relatively stiff temporal core that is composed primarily of sensorimotor and visual regions whose connectivity changes little in time and a flexible temporal periphery that is composed primarily of multimodal association regions whose connectivity changes frequently. The separation between temporal core and periphery changes over the course of training and, importantly, is a good predictor of individual differences in learning success. The core of dynamically stiff regions exhibits dense connectivity, which is consistent with notions of core-periphery organization established previously in social networks. Our results demonstrate that core-periphery organization provides an insightful way to understand how putative functional modules are linked. This, in turn, enables the prediction of fundamental human capacities, including the production of complex goal-directed behavior.

 

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Topology: The Secret Ingredient In The Latest Theory of Everything

Topology: The Secret Ingredient In The Latest Theory of Everything | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Combine topology with symmetry and add a sprinkling of quantum mechanics. The result? A powerful new theory of everything


Via Sakis Koukouvis, David Rodrigues
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Mind Wandering: A New Personal Intelligence Perspective

Mind Wandering: A New Personal Intelligence Perspective | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Most recent studies depict mind wandering as a costly cognitive failure with relatively few benefits (Mooneyham and Schooler, 2013). This perspective makes sense when mind wandering is observed by a third party and when costs are measured against externally imposed standards such as speed or accuracy of processing, reading fluency or comprehension, sustained attention, and other external metrics.

 

There is, however, another way of looking at mind wandering, a personal perspective, if you will. For the individual, mind wandering offers the possibility of very real, personal reward, some immediate, some more distant.

 

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knob sleeveless's comment, September 27, 2013 12:16 PM
nicee
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Mozilla plan seeks to debug scientific code

Mozilla plan seeks to debug scientific code | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Software experiment raises prospect of extra peer review.

 

When ecologist Carl Boettiger wrote a blog post in June calling for greater stringency in the peer review of scientific software in research papers, he hardly expected to stir up controversy. But in 54 comments on the post, researchers have debated how detailed such reviews should be; one said that it was a “trifle arrogant” of Boettiger, of the University of California at Santa Cruz, to insist that computer code attain his stringent standards before publication.

 

Now an offshoot of the Internet non-profit organization Mozilla has entered the debate, aiming to discover whether a review process could improve the quality of researcher-built software that is used in myriad fields today, ranging from ecology and biology to social science. In an experiment being run by the Mozilla Science Lab, software engineers have reviewed selected pieces of code from published papers in computational biology. “Scientific code does not have that comprehensive, off-the-shelf nature that we want to be associated with the way science is published and presented, and this is our attempt to poke at that issue,” says Mozilla Science Lab director Kaitlin Thaney.

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MIT's Self-Assembling Robots Offer Whiffs of Optimus Prime

MIT's Self-Assembling Robots Offer Whiffs of Optimus Prime | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that the future isn’t just about robots–it’s about robots that can heal, adapt, and change their entire appearance at a moment’s notice. In a future directed by Michael Bay, that plays out as a semi-truck reconfiguring itself into a bipedal fighting machine halfway through a front-flip. For now, though, the action is a little more modest. In this clip, we see the real state of the art in self-assembling bots: a bunch of little magnetic cubes scuttling around a tabletop. It’s much cooler than it sounds.

 

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A New Frontier in Animal Intelligence: Evidence that some animals are capable of “mental time travel”

A New Frontier in Animal Intelligence: Evidence that some animals are capable of “mental time travel” | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Evidence that some animals are capable of “mental time travel,” suggests they have a deeper understanding of the world around them.

 

Santino was a misanthrope with a habit of pelting tourists with rocks. As his reputation for mischief grew, he had to devise increasingly clever ways to ambush his wary victims. Santino learned to stash his rocks just out of sight and casually stand just a few feet from them in order to throw off suspicion. At the very moment that passersby were fooled into thinking that he meant them no harm, he grabbed his hidden projectiles and launched his attack.

 

Santino was displaying an ability to learn from his past experiences and plan for future scenarios. This has long been a hallmark of human intelligence. But a recently published review paper by the psychologist Thomas Zentall from the University of Kentucky argues that this complex ability should no longer be considered unique to humans.

 

Santino, you see, is not human. He’s a chimpanzee at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden. His crafty stone-throwing escapades have made him a global celebrity, and also caught the attention of researchers studying how animals, much like humans, might be able to plan their behavior.

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Bitcoin 1 - 0 FBI : The Dread Pirate's Cash Stash is Still Safe

Bitcoin 1 - 0 FBI : The Dread Pirate's Cash Stash is Still Safe | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

In a follow-up to the recent discussions surrounding the Silk Road website bust, we thought it interesting that the FBI finds itself unable to confiscate the Dread Pirate's stash of bitcoins.

 

In other words, one of bitcoin's main attraction – that it is untraceable like cash and cannot be 'stolen' in the conventional sense by outsiders  – remains in perfectly fine fettle. The FBI's inability to seize the Dread Pirate's bitcoin stash is a great PR victory for bitcoin.


As to users inundating the FBI's bitcoin wallet with protests against the drug war, this is an additional irony. Since it is not possible to identify them, they need not fear any reprisals, which is giving them an excellent opportunity to vent their opinion on the senseless 'drug war'. That isn't going to change anything, but we suspect that even within the FBI there are by now many people who are questioning whether the 'war on drugs' makes any sense. As noted previously, after more than 30 years, it has yet to attain a single one of its purported official objectives. That leaves basically only one possibility if one employs Occam's razor in pondering the question why it is continued: the official objectives are not the true objectives. There is a hidden agenda.

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Scientific Data Has Become So Complex, We Have to Invent New Math to Deal With It

Scientific Data Has Become So Complex, We Have to Invent New Math to Deal With It | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Simon DeDeo, a research fellow in applied mathematics and complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute, had a problem. He was collaborating on a new project analyzing 300 years’ worth of data from the archives of London’s Old Bailey, the central criminal court of England and Wales. Granted, there was clean data in the usual straightforward Excel spreadsheet format, including such variables as indictment, verdict, and sentence for each case. But there were also full court transcripts, containing some 10 million words recorded during just under 200,000 trials.

 

“How the hell do you analyze that data?” DeDeo wondered. It wasn’t the size of the data set that was daunting; by big data standards, the size was quite manageable. It was the sheer complexity and lack of formal structure that posed a problem. This “big data” looked nothing like the kinds of traditional data sets the former physicist would have encountered earlier in his career, when the research paradigm involved forming a hypothesis, deciding precisely what one wished to measure, then building an apparatus to make that measurement as accurately as possible.

 

“In physics, you typically have one kind of data and you know the system really well,” said DeDeo. “Now we have this new multimodal data [gleaned] from biological systems and human social systems, and the data is gathered before we even have a hypothesis.” The data is there in all its messy, multi-dimensional glory, waiting to be queried, but how does one know which questions to ask when the scientific method has been turned on its head?

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Arjen ten Have's curator insight, October 9, 2013 2:48 PM

This is not as much work for math, here is where it gets interesting, where it really becomes INTERdisciplinary rather than MULTI. The same for Bioinformatics. We are developing tools to correct for instance MSAs, very simple tricks that deal with the complexity. The biologist has to explain the math guy what he wants. It is not about new math, it is about flexibility!

Mark Waser's curator insight, October 10, 2013 4:53 PM

I dislike the title and the initial thrust but the article is well worth reading by the end.

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Universality in network dynamics

Despite significant advances in characterizing the structural properties of complex networks, a mathematical framework that uncovers the universal properties of the interplay between the topology and the dynamics of complex systems continues to elude us. Here we develop a self-consistent theory of dynamical perturbations in complex systems, allowing us to systematically separate the contribution of the network topology and dynamics. The formalism covers a broad range of steady-state dynamical processes and offers testable predictions regarding the system’s response to perturbations and the development of correlations. It predicts several distinct universality classes whose characteristics can be derived directly from the continuum equation governing the system’s dynamics and which are validated on several canonical network-based dynamical systems, from biochemical dynamics to epidemic spreading. Finally, we collect experimental data pertaining to social and biological systems, demonstrating that we can accurately uncover their universality class even in the absence of an appropriate continuum theory that governs the system’s dynamics.

 

Universality in network dynamics
Baruch Barzel & Albert-László Barabási

Nature Physics 9, 673–681 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys2741


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James Flynn: Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents'

It's called the "Flynn effect" -- the fact that each generation scores higher on an IQ test than the generation before it. Are we actually getting smarter, or just thinking differently? In this fast-paced spin through the cognitive history of the 20th century, moral philosopher James Flynn suggests that changes in the way we think have had surprising (and not always positive) consequences.

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/james_flynn_why_our_iq_levels_are_higher_than_our_grandparents.html


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Towers Watson: complexity coming straight at you

Towers Watson: complexity coming straight at you | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

To be a long-term investor requires thematic investing because markets and economies are complex adaptive systems, according to Tim Hodgson, global head of the thinking-ahead group at Towers Watson.

 

Hodgson told delegates at the Towers Watson Ideas Exchange in Sydney that economies and markets are complex and adaptive, their path is not random and the future is not predictive.

 

“We don’t live in a linear world. We must hold truths in our head while we navigate the future. A single market price cannot reflect this,” he says.

 

Towers Watson believes that there are a number of interconnected issues that will converge in the next decades, and which it outlines in its 2013 secular outlook on thematic investing, which will require transformational change.

 

“It is coming straight at you: the asset owner and you have to deal with it whether you like it or not,” he says.

 

Recognition of the interconnectedness of these issues is essential.

Hodgson says traditional investment thinking is drawn heavily from economics, which has separate disciplines. The micro side of economics is well developed and the industry is disciplined in how to optimise a portfolio, value a company or price a derivative, all in isolation. But the macro side, including the emergence of bubbles, is almost completely unknown.

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Computing cooperative solution concepts in coalitional skill games

We consider a simple model of cooperation among agents called Coalitional Skill Games (CSGs). This is a restricted form of coalitional games, where each agent has a set of skills that are required to complete various tasks. Each task requires a set of skills in order to be completed, and a coalition can accomplish the task only if the coalitionʼs agents cover the set of required skills for the task. The gain for a coalition depends only on the subset of tasks it can complete.

 

We consider the computational complexity of several problems in CSGs, such as testing if an agent is a dummy or veto agent, computing the core and core-related solution concepts, and computing power indices such as the Shapley value and Banzhaf power index.

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Arjen ten Have's curator insight, October 1, 2013 8:52 AM

Without having read the original source, two things. First, I believe this is an important next step towards understanding how altruism has been evolving in a social species. Next step, as compared to the wide variety of games based on the prisoners dilema. So hail! Second, although cooperation obviously does affect the evolution of altruism in a social species, it forms an extremely complex matter. So, I believe that first we should understand this in terms of cultural evolution (in order NOT to include an additional complexity of looking at the mix of cultural and gene evolution). In addition, and that is just an idea, could we approximate this as cooption (or exaptation?)

Arjen ten Have's comment, October 1, 2013 8:52 AM
Very nice! Without having read the original source, two things. First, I believe this is an important next step towards understanding how altruism has been evolving in a social species. Next step, as compared to the wide variety of games based on the prisoners dilema. So hail! Second, although cooperation obviously does affect the evolution of altruism in a social species, it forms an extremely complex matter. So, I believe that first we should understand this in terms of cultural evolution (in order NOT to include an additional complexity of looking at the mix of cultural and gene evolution). In addition, and that is just an idea, could we approximate this as cooption (or exaptation?)
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Brain Systems for Probabilistic and Dynamic Prediction: Computational Specificity and Integration

Brain Systems for Probabilistic and Dynamic Prediction: Computational Specificity and Integration | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

A computational approach to functional specialization suggests that brain systems can be characterized in terms of the types of computations they perform, rather than their sensory or behavioral domains. We contrasted the neural systems associated with two computationally distinct forms of predictive model: a reinforcement-learning model of the environment obtained through experience with discrete events, and continuous dynamic forward modeling. By manipulating the precision with which each type of prediction could be used, we caused participants to shift computational strategies within a single spatial prediction task. Hence (using fMRI) we showed that activity in two brain systems (typically associated with reward learning and motor control) could be dissociated in terms of the forms of computations that were performed there, even when both systems were used to make parallel predictions of the same event. A region in parietal cortex, which was sensitive to the divergence between the predictions of the models and anatomically connected to both computational networks, is proposed to mediate integration of the two predictive modes to produce a single behavioral output.

 

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Why Mexico Struggles to Make Science Pay Off

Why Mexico Struggles to Make Science Pay Off | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

In 2008 it seemed like Enrique Reynaud had the world in his back pocket. A veteran professor of molecular biology at Mexico's largest and most important university, he was about to start his first company, Biohominis. It was a kind of Mexican 23andMe—a laboratory that could offer insight into a customer's genetic proclivity to hypertension, diabetes and other diseases.

 

PDF Link Here: http://www.erikvance.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/vance-tweaks-in-final.pdf

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PDF Link Here: http://www.erikvance.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/vance-tweaks-in-final.pdf

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The detection of intermediate-level emergent structures and patterns

Artificial life is largely concerned with systems that exhibit different emergent phenomena; yet, the identification of emergent structures is frequently a difficult challenge. In this paper we introduced a system to identify candidate emergent mesolevel dynamical structures in dynamical networks. This method is based on an extension of a measure introduced for detecting clusters in biological neural networks; its main novelty in comparison to previous application of similar measures is that we used it to consider truly dynamical networks, and not only fluctuations around stable asymptotic states. The identified structures are clusters of elements that behave in a coherent and coordinated way and that loosely interact with the remainder of the system. We have evidence that our approach is able to identify these "emerging things" in some artificial network models and in more complex data coming from catalytic reaction networks and biological gene regulatory systems (A.thaliana). We think that this system could suggest interesting new ways in dealing with artificial and biological systems.

 

The detection of intermediate-level emergent structures and patterns Marco Villani, Alessandro Filisetti, Stefano Benedettini, Andrea Roli, David Avra Lane, Roberto Serrae

http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-31709-2-ch054 ;

ECAL 2013 Best Paper Award


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The Second Coming of Java: Clinton-Era Relic Returns to Rule Web

The Second Coming of Java: Clinton-Era Relic Returns to Rule Web | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Biz Stone called it “one of the most special days in the history of Twitter.” And as it turned out, it was also a notable day for Java, a relic of the 1990s that is once again remaking the internet.

 

In the summer of 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Twitter headquarters in downtown San Francisco, on his way to a meeting with Google chief Eric Schmidt in Silicon Valley and a sit-down with President Barack Obama at the White House. That day, Twitter HQ was transformed into something akin to an airport security checkpoint, complete with armed guards, and the worldwide press turned out in droves to watch the Russian president send his first tweet.

 

The tweet was predictably prosaic — “Hello everyone, I’m now on Twitter and this is my first message,” it said, in Russian — but as Stone, one of the company’s founders, told the gathered press, this was a milestone for Twitter, a moment that so clearly showed that the company’s micro-messaging service had graduated from intriguing novelty to something capable of changing the world.

 

What no one realized is that Medvedev didn’t actually use Twitter that day. The web service was juggling so many tweets from across the globe — thanks in large part to the World Cup soccer tournament underway in South Africa — its engineers couldn’t keep the site up and running for any lengthy amount of time. Before Medvedev visited, they built a separate service for him to tweet from, just so the thing wouldn’t crash in the middle of the company’s big photo-op

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