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Social Foraging
Dynamics of Social Interaction
Curated by Ashish Umre
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Stemmer Imaging readies two new algorithms for Vision 2012

Stemmer Imaging readies two new algorithms for Vision 2012 | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Motion detection algorithms have been widely deployed in the field of surveillance where they have been used to analyze traffic flow and movement of people in video image frames.

 

One of the common means used to determine and analyze the so-called optical flow of objects in such videos is to use a block matching algorithm. In use, the algorithm divides image frames into blocks, and then matches the block of pixels in one frame to a block of pixels in a consecutive frame.

 

While there are obviously many applications for the software in the surveillance field, engineers at Stemmer Imaging (Puchheim, Germany) also believe that such an optical flow algorithm could be usefully employed in an industrial vision system.

 

According to Peter Keppler, Stemmer Imaging's Sales Manager, such an algorithm could be deployed, for example, to enable the flow of products such as bottles on a production line to be analyzed.

 

As such, the company plans to launch its own optical flow algorithm for the first time at the upcoming Vision 2012 show in Stuttgart in November. According to Keppler, the algorithm will be rolled out as part of the company's Common Vision Blox (CVB) software.

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Predatory bacterial crowdsourcing

Predatory bacterial crowdsourcing | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Myxococcus xanthus is a predatory bacterium that exhibits various collective behaviors throughout its lifecycle. At left, M. xanthus cells self-organize into traveling waves when preying upon E. coli. At right, in areas without prey, M. xanthus self-organizes into haystack-shaped spore-filled structures.

 

That's the winning formula of one of the world's smallest predators, the soil bacteria Myxococcus xanthus, and a new study by scientists at Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School shows how M. xanthus uses the formula to spread, engulf and devour other bacteria. The study, featured on the cover of this month's online issue of the journal PLOS Computational Biology, shows how the simple motions of individual bacteria are amplified within colonies of M. xanthus to form millions-strong waves moving outward in unison.

 

The findings answer longstanding questions about how the waves form and the competitive edge they provide M. xanthus. "When the cells at the edge of the colony are moving outward, they are unlikely to encounter another M. xanthus cell, so they keep moving forward," said lead author Oleg Igoshin, assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice. "When they are traveling the other way, back toward the rest of the colony, they are likely to encounter other cells of their kind, and when they pass beside one of these and touch, they get the signal to turn around." Igoshin said the net effect is that the cells "spend more time moving outward than inward, and as a result, they spread faster."

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Risk-Sensitivity in Bayesian Sensorimotor Integration

Risk-Sensitivity in Bayesian Sensorimotor Integration | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Information processing in the nervous system during sensorimotor tasks with inherent uncertainty has been shown to be consistent with Bayesian integration. Bayes optimal decision-makers are, however, risk-neutral in the sense that they weigh all possibilities based on prior expectation and sensory evidence when they choose the action with highest expected value. In contrast, risk-sensitive decision-makers are sensitive to model uncertainty and bias their decision-making processes when they do inference over unobserved variables. In particular, they allow deviations from their probabilistic model in cases where this model makes imprecise predictions. Here we test for risk-sensitivity in a sensorimotor integration task where subjects exhibit Bayesian information integration when they infer the position of a target from noisy sensory feedback. When introducing a cost associated with subjects' response, we found that subjects exhibited a characteristic bias towards low cost responses when their uncertainty was high. This result is in accordance with risk-sensitive decision-making processes that allow for deviations from Bayes optimal decision-making in the face of uncertainty. Our results suggest that both Bayesian integration and risk-sensitivity are important factors to understand sensorimotor integration in a quantitative fashion.

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Evidence Shows Slave Ants Rebel Against Oppressors

Evidence Shows Slave Ants Rebel Against Oppressors | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

There’s new evidence today ants that have been captured and made slaves by other ants aren’t simply taking their plights lying down. According to a new study, these slave ants are prone to try and take down their oppressors by sabotaging their families.

 

The first signs of this kind of ant rebellion were noted by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) research professor Dr. Susanne Foitzik in 2009. However, in the nearly 3 years since this discovery, Dr. Foitzik says this behavior occurs frequently among enslaved ants and has become quite widespread. For example, enslaved ants in Ohio, New York and West Virginia were all found to neglect and even kill the offspring of their oppressors, rather than care and provide for them as they should. By systematically killing off the young, these slave ants have been able to ensure only 45% of the ruling ants’ offspring survive long enough to become adult ants. This kind of “long con” by the slave ants will one day weaken the other species, increasing the chances of the survival of the slave ants and their colonies.

 

According to a statement made by Dr. Foitzik, this sort of parasitic relationship isn’t uncommon and slave ants are often observed taking advantage or sabotaging the host species.

 

Normally, the slave-making ants begin the process by attacking the nests of another ant colony. During these attacks, the slave-making ants will kill the adults of the other ant colony and steal their offspring. These slave-making ants will then bring the soon-to-be slaves back to their nests of hollowed acorns or nutshells and raise them to do their bidding.

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New research shows ants share decision-making to lessen "information overload"

New research shows ants share decision-making to lessen "information overload" | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Scientists at Arizona State University have discovered that ants utilize a strategy to handle “information overload.” Temnothorax rugatulus ants, commonly found living in rock crevices in the Southwest, place the burden of making complicated decisions on the backs of the entire colony, rather than on an individual ant.

 

In a study published online in the scientific journal Current Biology, Stephen Pratt, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Takao Sasaki, a graduate student in Pratt’s lab, suggest that the key to preventing cognitive overload is found in collective decision-making, rather than in multi-tasking.

 

"I think the reason people are interested in this is because as humans, we can become overloaded with information – and that can possibly be detrimental both to our health and to how effectively we make decisions,” Pratt said. “There's a sense that as a society, we are being more and more overwhelmed by information.”

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Blue Brain Project Accurately Predicts Connections Between Neurons

Blue Brain Project Accurately Predicts Connections Between Neurons | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

One of the greatest challenges in neuroscience is to identify the map of synaptic connections between neurons. Called the “connectome,” it is the holy grail that will explain how information flows in the brain. In a landmark paper, published the week of 17th of September in PNAS, the EPFL’s Blue Brain Project (BBP) has identified key principles that determine synapse-scale connectivity by virtually reconstructing a cortical microcircuit and comparing it to a mammalian sample. These principles now make it possible to predict the locations of synapses in the neocortex.

 

“This is a major breakthrough, because it would otherwise take decades, if not centuries, to map the location of each synapse in the brain and it also makes it so much easier now to build accurate models,” says Henry Markram, head of the BBP.

 

A longstanding neuroscientific mystery has been whether all the neurons grow independently and just take what they get as their branches bump into each other, or are the branches of each neuron specifically guided by chemical signals to find all its target. To solve the mystery, researchers looked in a virtual reconstruction of a cortical microcircuit to see where the branches bumped into each other. To their great surprise, they found that the locations on the model matched that of synapses found in the equivalent real-brain circuit with an accuracy ranging from 75 percent to 95 percent.

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Body’s clock loops with neurons to wake us up

Body’s clock loops with neurons to wake us up | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Biologists have uncovered one way that biological clocks control neuronal activity—a discovery that sheds new light on sleep-wake cycles.“The findings answer a significant question—how biological clocks drive the activity of clock neurons, which, in turn, regulate behavioral rhythms,” explains Justin Blau, an associate professor in New York University’s department of biology and the study’s senior author.

 

Their findings, which also offer potential new directions for research into ways to address sleep disorders and jetlag, appear in the Journal of Biological Rhythms.

 

Scientists have known that our biological clocks control neuronal activity. But not previously understood is how this process occurs—that is, how does information from biological clocks drive rhythms in the electrical activity of pacemaker neurons that, in turn, drives daily rhythms?

 

To understand this mechanism, the researchers examined the biological, or circadian, clocks of Drosophila fruit flies, which are commonly used for research in this area. Earlier studies of “clock genes” in fruit flies allowed the identification of similarly functioning genes in humans.

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Controlling behavior, remotely: Researchers use precise lasers to manipulate neurons in worms’ brains

Controlling behavior, remotely: Researchers use precise lasers to manipulate neurons in worms’ brains | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

In the quest to understand how the brain turns sensory input into behavior, Harvard scientists have crossed a major threshold. Using precisely targeted lasers, researchers have been able to take over a tiny animal’s brain, instruct it to turn in any direction they wish, and even implant false sensory information, fooling the animal into thinking food was nearby.

 

As described in a Sept. 23 paper published in the journal Nature, a team made up of Sharad Ramanathan, an assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology and of applied physics; Askin Kocabas, a postdoctoral fellow in molecular and cellular biology; Ching-Han Shen, a research assistant in molecular and cellular biology; and Zengcai V. Guo, from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, were able to take control of Caenorhabditis elegans — tiny, transparent worms — by manipulating neurons in the worms’ brain.

 

The work, Ramanathan said, is important because, by taking control of complex behaviors in a relatively simple animal — C. elegans have just 302 neurons ­— researchers can understand how its nervous system functions.

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Grey parrot number acquisition: The inference of cardinal value from ordinal position on the numeral list

A Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) had previously been taught to use English count words (“one” through “sih” [six]) to label sets of one to six individual items (Pepperberg, 1994). He had also been taught to use the same count words to label the Arabic numerals 1 through 6. Without training, he inferred the relationship between the Arabic numerals and the sets of objects (Pepperberg, 2006b). In the present study, he was then trained to label vocally the Arabic numerals 7 and 8 (“sih-none”, “eight”, respectively) and to order these Arabic numerals with respect to the numeral 6. He subsequently inferred the ordinality of 7 and 8 with respect to the smaller numerals and he inferred use of the appropriate label for the cardinal values of seven and eight items. These data suggest that he constructed the cardinal meanings of “seven” (“sih–none”) and “eight” from his knowledge of the cardinal meanings of one through six, together with the place of “seven” (“sih–none”) and “eight” in the ordered count list.

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The Second IEEE International Conference on Parallel, Distributed and Grid Computing (PDGC-2012)

Deadlines

Paper Submission: 30 September, 2012(Final Deadline)
Acceptance Notification: 15 October, 2012
Camera-Ready Manuscript: 20 October, 2012
Conference Registration:  20 October, 2012

 

Conference Dates: 6-8 December, 2012

 

The Second IEEE International Conference on Parallel, Distributed and Grid Computing (PDGC-2012) will be organized at Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India. The conference is technically sponsored by IEEE Delhi Section Computer Society Chapter. PDGC-2012 will serve as an international forum for researchers and practitioners interested in recent advances in the areas of parallel, distributed and grid computing. It will provide an opportunity to present and exchange advanced scientific and technological information in hardware, software and theoretical foundation in these areas.

 

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Army ants and chimps give researchers some food for thought

Army ants and chimps give researchers some food for thought | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

There once was a man who swallowed some ants.

 

'Twas done with intent, not merely from chance.

 

The ants were alive,

 

But did not survive.

 

The research was done without government grants.

 

The man was and is Volker Sommer, professor of evolutionary anthropology at University College London. He and colleagues Oliver Allon and Alejandra Pascual-Garrido travelled to Nigeria's Gashaka Gumti national park. There, chimpanzees and army ants and sticks are plentiful – the former use the latter to dip into nests for presumably delicious helpings of fresh, lively army ants of the species Dorylus rubellus. As the scientists describe it: "Army ants respond to predatory chimpanzees in a particular way by streaming to the surface to defend their colony through painful bites. In response, chimpanzees typically harvest army ants with stick tools, thereby minimising the bites they receive."

 

The team craved more knowledge about this chimp/ant give-and-take. So they "mimicked the predatory behaviour of tool-using chimpanzees at army ant nests to study the insects' response".

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Beth Noveck: Demand a more open-source government

What can governments learn from the open-data revolution? In this stirring talk, Beth Noveck, the former deputy CTO at the White House, shares a vision of practical openness -- connecting bureaucracies to citizens, sharing data, creating a truly participatory democracy. Imagine the "writable society" ...


Via Complexity Digest
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Bee behavior linked to reversible chemical tags

Bee behavior linked to reversible chemical tags | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

The above-mentioned study is the first time DNA methylation "tagging" has been linked to something at the behavioral level of a whole organism. In addition, the behavior in question, along with its corresponding molecular changes, are reversible, which has important implications for human health.

 

Indeed, according to Dr. Andy Feinberg, the addition of DNA methylation to genes has long been shown to play an important role in regulating gene activity in changing biological systems - which is perhaps somewhat analogous to fate determination in stem cells or the creation of cancer cells.

 

Curious about how epigenetics might contribute to behavior, Feinberg and his team studied a tried-and-true model of animal behavior: bees.

 

Together with bee expert Gro Amdam, Ph.D., associate professor of life sciences at Arizona State University and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Feinberg's epigenetics team discovered significant differences in DNA methylation patterns in bees that have identical genetic sequences but vastly different behavioral patterns.

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Snakes on a plane slither in engines

Snakes on a plane slither in engines | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

After algorithms spot a problem, snake-like robots may one day be used to investigate faulty engines, saving time and money

 

JUST sometimes, snakes on a plane can be a good thing. Snake-like robots wielding UV lasers may soon slither deep inside aircraft engines to seek out and repair damage, according to the British jet engine maker Rolls-Royce. Once it is up and running, the technology should help airlines deal with potential engine problems on the spot to keep planes in the air and avoid delays for passengers.

 

The idea for the snake robot stems partly from the fact that engine makers like Rolls-Royce and General Electric in the US routinely use intelligent algorithms to monitor the health of plane engines in flight. The software analyses data sent from around 100 pressure, temperature and vibration sensors embedded in each engine. These algorithms flag up trouble spots. But taking a plane out of service to strip down the engine can cost an airline millions of dollars - so technologies that can quickly inspect them are needed.

 

Right now, such checks are performed using a fibre-optic instrument called a borescope, a heavy-duty version of a medical endoscope. It is inserted in one of many 10 millimetre-wide ports dotted around a jet engine, allowing an engineer to look for, say, bird-strike damage to a fan or compressor blade. The trouble is, with Rolls-Royce monitoring 14,000 of its engines, flown by 500 airlines on 4000 aircraft worldwide, there are not enough borescope experts at all the airports the planes visit to do this diagnostic work.

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Facebook Seeks Next-Generation Big Data Tools

Social network giant Facebook and venture capital blue chip Accel Partners think emerging platforms like Hadoop deserve new business intelligence, data visualization, and analytics tools.

 

Forget about the business intelligence suites from IBM, Oracle, and SAP Business Objects, the analytics from SAS, and even the hot data visualization tools like Tableau Software. New platforms like Hadoop and NoSQL databases demand new tools that are purpose built for these environments.This is a core theme that Jay Parikh, VP of infrastructure engineering at Facebook, and Ping Li, a partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners, discussed on stage on Thursday at the DataWeek 2012

Conference in San Francisco. Their talk was about the challenges and opportunities facing startups and young companies in the big data arena, and Parikh and Li shared their message with InformationWeek by phone just hours before they took to the stage.

 

There's little doubt that Hadoop, NoSQL databases, and other emerging big data platforms are quickly evolving, says Li, "but we're hoping to see more new applications on top of these platforms." Parikh and Li are encouraging more innovation because there's not enough speed and breadth of development to truly feed a rich big data community, they say.

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Ten Simple Rules for Online Learning

The success of online courseware such as that offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (http://ocw.mit.edu) and now by many other institutions, together with a plethora of recent announcements of major new initiatives in this arena such as Coursera (https://www.coursera.org), Udacity (http://www.udacity.com), and the Harvard-MIT partnership edX (http://www.edxonline.org), have made it clear that online learning has reached a tipping point. Many signs point to the possibility in the near future of getting a quality, university-level education at a distance, and for free. As exciting as this prospect may be, it behooves online students to follow a few simple rules for getting the most out of the experience, while being realistic in their expectations.

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Bees decrease food intake, live longer when given compound found in red wine

Bees decrease food intake, live longer when given compound found in red wine | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

The idea that drinking red wine may provide health benefits – or possibly even extend your life – is an appealing thought for many people. Now, there may be added attraction. Researchers have found that when given resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, bees consume less food.

 

Previous scientific studies on resveratrol show that it lengthens the lifespan of diverse organisms ranging from unicellular yeast to fruit flies and mice. Since bees are social animals like humans, a team of scientists from Arizona State University, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and Harvard Medical School, decided to test the effects of the chemical on the honey bee.

 

In a series of experiments published in the journal Aging, the scientists tested the effects of resveratrol on the lifespan, learning ability, and food perception in honey bees.

 

Their research has confirmed that not only does this compound extend the lifespan of honey bees by 33 to 38 percent, it also changes the decisions that bees make about food by triggering a “moderation effect” when they eat.

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Artificially intelligent game bots pass the Turing test on Turing's centenary

Artificially intelligent game bots pass the Turing test on Turing's centenary | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

An artificially intelligent virtual gamer created by computer scientists at The University of Texas at Austin has won the BotPrize by convincing a panel of judges that it was more human-like than half the humans it competed against.

 

The competition was sponsored by 2K Games and was set inside the virtual world of "Unreal Tournament 2004," a first-person shooter video game. The winners were announced this month at the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games.

 

"The idea is to evaluate how we can make game bots, which are nonplayer characters (NPCs) controlled by AI algorithms, appear as human as possible," said Risto Miikkulainen, professor of computer science in the College of Natural Sciences. Miikkulainen created the bot, called the UT^2 game bot, with doctoral students Jacob Schrum and Igor Karpov.

 

The bots face off in a tournament against one another and about an equal number of humans, with each player trying to score points by eliminating its opponents. Each player also has a "judging gun" in addition to its usual complement of weapons. That gun is used to tag opponents as human or bot.

 

The bot that is scored as most human-like by the human judges is named the winner. UT^2, which won a warm-up competition last month, shared the honors with MirrorBot, which was programmed by Romanian computer scientist Mihai Polceanu.

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Automatic building mapping could help emergency responders

Automatic building mapping could help emergency responders | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

MIT researchers have built a wearable sensor system that automatically creates a digital map of the environment through which the wearer is moving. The prototype system, described in a paper slated for the Intelligent Robots and Systems conference in Portugal next month, is envisioned as a tool to help emergency responders coordinate disaster response.In experiments conducted on the MIT campus, a graduate student wearing the sensor system wandered the halls, and the sensors wirelessly relayed data to a laptop in a distant conference room. Observers in the conference room were able to track the student’s progress on a map that sprang into being as he moved.

 

Connected to the array of sensors is a handheld pushbutton device that the wearer can use to annotate the map. In the prototype system, depressing the button simply designates a particular location as a point of interest. But the researchers envision that emergency responders could use a similar system to add voice or text tags to the map — indicating, say, structural damage or a toxic spill.

 

“The operational scenario that was envisioned for this was a hazmat situation where people are suited up with the full suit, and they go in and explore an environment,” says Maurice Fallon, a research scientist in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and lead author on the new paper. “The current approach would be to textually summarize what they had seen afterward — ‘I went into this room on the left, I saw this, I went into the next room,’ and so on. We want to try to automate that.”

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Rapid acts of kindness: More cooperation in quick decisions, researchers find

Rapid acts of kindness: More cooperation in quick decisions, researchers find | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Why are people sometimes willing to put “we” ahead of “me”? Perhaps our first impulse is to be selfish, and cooperation is all about reining in greed. Or maybe cooperation happens spontaneously, and too much thinking gets in the way.

 

Harvard scientists are getting closer to an answer, with research showing that people’s first response is to cooperate and that stopping to think encourages selfishness.

 

David Rand, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology, Joshua Greene, the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, and Martin Nowak, professor of mathematics and of biology and director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, published their findings in the Sept. 20 issue of Nature. They recruited thousands of participants to play a “public goods game.” Subjects were put into small groups and faced with a choice: keep the money you’ve been given, or contribute it to a common pool that grows and benefits the whole group. Hold onto the money and you come out ahead, but the group does best when everyone contributes.

 

The researchers wanted to know whether a person’s first impulse is cooperative or selfish. They started by looking at how quickly different people made their choices, and found that fast deciders were more likely to contribute to the common good.

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Fast algorithm extracts, compares document meaning

A computer program could compare two documents and work spot the differences in their meaning using a fast semantic algorithm developed by information scientists in Poland.

 

Writing in the International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems, Andrzej Sieminski of the Technical University of Wroclaw, explains that extracting meaning and calculating the level of semantic similarity between two pieces of texts is a very difficult task, without human intervention. There have been various methods proposed by computer scientists for addressing this problem, but they all suffer from computational complexity, he says.

 

Sieminski has now attempted to reduce this complexity by merging a computationally efficient statistical approach to text analysis with a semantic component. Tests of the algorithm on English and Polish tests work well. The test set consisted of 4,890 English sentences with 142,116 words and 11,760 Polish sentences with 184,524 words scraped from online services via their newsfeeds over the course of five days. Sieminski points out that the complexity of the algorithm used on the Polish documents required an additional level of sophistication in terms of computing word means and disambiguation.

 

Traditional "manual" methods of indexing simply cannot now cope with the vast quantities of information generated on a daily basis by humanity as a whole in scientific research more specifically. The new algorithm once optimised could radically change the way in which we make archived documents searchable and allow knowledge to be extracted far more readily than is possible with standard indexing and search tools.

 

The approach also circumvents three critical problems faced by most users of conventional search engines: First, the lack of familiarity with the advanced search options of search engines, with a semantic algorithm advanced options become almost unnecessary. Secondly, the rigid nature of the options that are unable to catch the subtle nuance of user information needs, again a tool that understands the meaning of a search and the meaning of the results it offers avoids this problem. Finally, the unwillingness or unacceptably long time necessary to type a long query, semantically aware search will require only simply input.

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Migratory moths profit from their journey

Migratory moths profit from their journey | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

It isn't only birds that move south as autumn approaches. Some insects also live their lives on the same principle. A new study of migratory insects has just been published that shows that a considerably higher number of insects survive and migrate back south in the autumn than was previously believed."These results are really exciting, because we have managed to show that it really is profitable for insects to migrate north at the start of the summer," says Lars Pettersson, a Reader at the Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden.

 

The findings help to fundamentally alter our understanding of insect migration and could also have an impact on how the spread of pests and disease-carrying insects is dealt with. Behind the study is an international group of researchers, including Dr Pettersson from Lund University.

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Coders Behind the Flame Malware Left Incriminating Clues on Control Servers

Coders Behind the Flame Malware Left Incriminating Clues on Control Servers | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

The attackers behind the nation-state espionage tool known as Flame accidentally left behind tantalizing clues that provide information about their identities and that suggest the attack began earlier and was more widespread than previously believed.

 

Researchers have also uncovered evidence that the attackers may have produced at least three other pieces of malware or variants of Flame that are still undiscovered.

 

The information comes from clues, including four programmers’ nicknames, that the attackers inadvertently left behind on two command-and-control servers they used to communicate with infected machines and steal gigabytes of data from them. The new details about the operation were left behind despite obvious efforts the attackers made to wipe the servers of forensic evidence, according to reports released Monday by researchers from Symantec in the U.S. and from Kaspersky Lab in Russia.

 

Flame, also known as Flamer, is a highly sophisticated espionage tool discovered earlier this year that targeted machines primarily in Iran and other parts of the Middle East. It’s believed to have been created by the United States and Israel, who are also believed to be behind the groundbreaking Stuxnet worm that aimed to cripple centrifuges used in Iran’s nuclear program.

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Progressing from game theory to agent based modelling to simulate social emergence

Progressing from game theory to agent based modelling to simulate social emergence | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Axelrod (1984) made a major contribution to Game Theory in his book “Evolution of Cooperation” but thirteen years later he, dissatisfied with game theory, moves onto agent based modelling to rework his view of cooperation in his book in 1997 “The complexity of Cooperation: Agent-based Models of Competition and Collaboration”. In a similar move, the Santa Fe Institute in the US was established in 1984 to grapple with complex social issues and used agent based modelling amongst other techniques to “collaborate across disciplines, merging ideas and principles of many fields — from physics, mathematics, and biology to the social sciences and the humanities — in pursuit of creative insights that improve our world”. Agent based modelling captures the interaction between agents to simulate emergence whether at the physical or social level. Netlogo provides an extensive library of simulations of both physical and social emergence that shows the diversity of application of agent based modelling. These sample simulations can be readily tailored to meet the needs of social scientists. The software is free and there is a thriving enthusiastic community support group.

 

Why is there a move by a prominent game theorist and the Santa Fe Institute to agent based modelling? The article Game Theory as Dogma by Professor Kay (2005) discusses ample reasons to search for alternative techniques to model competition and collaboration.

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The 32nd ACM SIGACT-SIGOPS Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC 2013) July 22-24, 2013 Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Deadlines:

Submission: February 10, 2013
Notification: April 20, 2013
Camera-ready: May 13, 2013

All times refer to 23:59 in Honolulu, Hawai (time zone HAST).

 

In 2013, PODC will be collocated with the ACM Symposium on Parallelism in Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA) in Montreal.

 

PODC solicits papers in all areas of distributed computing. Papers from all viewpoints, including theory, practice, and experimentation, are welcome. The common goal of the conference is to improve understanding of the principles underlying distributed computing.

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