Complex Insight - Understanding our world
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Complex Insight  - Understanding our world
News and notes on complex systems in life sciences, engineering, education and government
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Bubbles and Busts: Macroeconomics Could Benefit From Complexity

Nice over view article on why complexity (or complex systems) can help economics and the challenges that still remain before complex systems based approaches become mainstream in economics thinking. Click on title to learn more.

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Apache Accumulo

The Apache Accumulo™ sorted, distributed key/value store is a robust, scalable, high performance data storage and retrieval system. Apache Accumulo is based on Google's BigTable design and is built on top of Apache Hadoop, Zookeeper, and Thrift. Apache Accumulo features a few novel improvements on the BigTable design in the form of cell-based access control and a server-side programming mechanism that can modify key/value pairs at various points in the data management process. Click on title to learn more..

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A Showcase of Innovative Data Visualization Concepts

A Showcase of Innovative Data Visualization Concepts | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Largely examples of dashboard designs. Worth noting if you are buildign software with dashboards or data summarization. click on image or title to learn more.

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Rethinking Growth § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM

Rethinking Growth § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Herman Daly applies a biophysical lens to the economy and finds that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Herman Daly is an ecological economist and co-founder and associate editor of the journal Ecological Economics. As the World Bank’s senior environmental economist from 1988 to 1994, Daly focused on Latin American poverty and development and helped to establish the discipline of ecological economics. Today, based at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Daly spoke with Seed editor Maywa Montenegro about growth, technology, happiness, and the steady-state economy. A great article worth reading and thinking about. Click on the image or the title to learn more.

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Pragmatic Programming Techniques: BIG Data Analytics Pipeline

Pragmatic Programming Techniques: BIG Data Analytics Pipeline | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Good article by Ricky Ho on big data analytics architecture patterns. going from typical data processing pipeline through to basic large scale data analytics architecture and implrementation architectures. Worth reading - click on image or title for more information.

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Every Citizen Has a Life in the New 'SimCity'

Every Citizen Has a Life in the New 'SimCity' | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

In what is rapidly becoming one of the most anticipated games releases in the simulation community - a little more info on the forthcoming SimCity release. IN this article and interview with Ocean Quigley of EA/Maxis  quicly explains how the new SimCity simulation engine combines micro and macro simulation elements with each person, building and object will be simulated by the game's engine including individual sims that now have routines and lives and respond to the local events. Click on the image or title to learn more.

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Fluorescent molecules 'tag' DNA and monitor looping process

In a new study, UT Dallas researchers outline how they used fluorescent molecules to "tag" DNA and monitor a process called DNA looping, a natural biological mechanism involved in rearranging genetic material in some types of cells. The UT Dallas "tag and track" method not only sheds light on how DNA loops form, but also might be adapted to screen drugs for effectiveness against certain viruses that shuffle genetic material, such as HIV. Until now, scientists primarily had "snapshots" of the initial and final stages of DNA loop formation, with only limited information about what happens during the intermediate steps, Click on title to learn more.

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The Manifest Destiny of Artificial Intelligence » American Scientist

The Manifest Destiny of Artificial Intelligence » American Scientist | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Nice layman overview artical on AI and where things are currently Click on image or title to learn more.

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Versant, NoSQL, and the Smart Grid Big Data Challenge : Greentech Media

Versant, NoSQL, and the Smart Grid Big Data Challenge : Greentech Media | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Could object-oriented data management have prevented the 2003 Northeast Blackout? Interesting article on use of nsql databases and object oriented data management combined with sensor networks could have helped manage the 2003 Northeast blackout. Worth a read. Click on the image or the title to learn more.

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Futurity.org – Imaging combo spots infection in 3D

Futurity.org – Imaging combo spots infection in 3D | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Scientists have combined MRI and imaging mass spectrometry to visualize the body’s inflammatory response to a bacterial infection in 3D. The techniques, described in Cell Host & Microbe, offer opportunities for discovering proteins not previously implicated in the inflammatory response. Eric Skaar, chair in pathology at Vanderbilt University and his team were interested in imaging infection in three dimensions—in the whole animal—while also being able to identify the proteins that are produced at sites of infection.Click on the image or title to learn more.

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Programmable single-cell mammalian biocomputers

Synthetic biology has advanced the design of standardized control devices that program cellular functions and metabolic activities in living organisms. Rational interconnection of these synthetic switches resulted in increasingly complex designer networks that execute input-triggered genetic instructions with precision, robustness and computational logic reminiscent of electronic circuits (...) we have designed a set of synthetic transcription–translation control devices that could be rewired in a plug-and-play manner

 

Programmable single-cell mammalian biocomputers

Simon Ausländer, David Ausländer, Marius Müller, Markus Wieland & Martin Fussenegger

Nature 487, 123–127 (05 July 2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11149


Via Complexity Digest
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Danny Hillis talks Proteomics & Personalized Medicine

Danny Hillis talks Proteomics & Personalized Medicine

During his lecture at Singularity University, Hillis explained how scientific medicine is beginning to revert back to more ancient, ayurvedic lessons about healthcare. The approach is to treat the body as a system, where balance is the foundation for good health and disease and sickness are the externalities of imbalance. With advancements in proteomics and computing we can begin creating models of what a healthy bodily state looks like. In the same way we might use environmental models to analyze the global climate, we can isolate specific variables that can inform the larger picture. As the data piles up, preventative medicine will become a quantitative endeavour.  Danny HIllis is always worth listening too. Click on the image or headline for more.


Via Gerd Moe-Behrens
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Seth Lloyd on Programming the Universe

Seth Llyod is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His talk, "Programming the Universe", is about the computational power of atoms, electrons, and elementary particles.


Via Szabolcs Kósa, The Robot Launch Pad
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IEEE Pacific Visualization 2013

IEEE Pacific Visualization 2013 | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

The 6th PacificVis Symposium (Pacific Visualization) will be held in Sydney, Australia from February 27 to March 1, 2013. PacificVis is an IEEE sponsored international visualization symposium held in the Asia-Pacific region, with the objective to foster greater exchange between visualization researchers and practitioners, and to draw more researchers in the Asia-Pacific region to enter this rapidly growing area of research. Click on the image or title to learn more.

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Datavisualization.ch Selected Tools

Datavisualization.ch Selected Tools | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

one of our favourite websites with a great summary of essential visualisation tools.  From our personal favourites such as  D3.js ,Gephi and Timline  or old trusty tools s Prefuse and Many Eyes to new tools that were unfamiliar such as Leaflet, GeoCommons and  PolyMaps this is a brilliant resource on available data visusalisation tools. Click on the image or the title for more information

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SEEDMAGAZINE.COM | The Seed Salon | Jill Tarter + Will Wright

SEEDMAGAZINE.COM | The Seed Salon | Jill Tarter + Will Wright | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

WIll Wright and Jill Tarter - two personal hero's of mine. Stumbled upon this on the seed.com site  (a great science website and magazine if you do not know it). Who ever had the idea to put these two across from one another at a dinner table and have them talk on Spore, evolution and the evolution of AI - thank you. Watch and enjoy. Click the image or the title for more information.

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Distributed Systems with ZeroMQ | Javalobby

Distributed Systems with ZeroMQ | Javalobby | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

A chunk of our internal research work is based on distributed processing and distributed simulation. ZeroMQ is a rapidly becoming a key element to rapidly build distributed systems. ZeroMQ is that it's not a message broker like you might assume from its name. ZeroMQ is a library that supports certain network communication patterns using sockets. The "MQ" part comes in because ZeroMQ uses queues internally to buffer messages so that you don't block your application when sending data - which helps in scalability. Rick Copeland has a really good introduction to ZeroMQ on the DZOne. Worth reading. click on the image or title to learn more.

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Open Source Technologies: Improving Code Quality - LCOM4 and Cyclomatic Complexity

Technical debt represents the skeletons in a software development project's closet. Tools like Sonar give you access to metrics like LCOM4 and cyclomatic complexity. This article provides a great over view of why you should care about these metrics when managing a code base and insight into how to use the tools to see where code needs to be refactored and to gain insight  into which engineers are really delivering versus those producing difficult to maintain code.

Worth reading - click on title for more info.

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Presentation

Presentation | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Event date:
2012-08-27 The 20th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence will take place on 27 to 31 August 2012 in Montpellier, France.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science focusing on creating machines that can engage on behaviours that humans consider ‘intelligent’. It also studies systems that perceive their environments and formulate actions based on observations. AI research is highly technical and specialised, resulting in subfields that sometimes work in isolation from one another.
The event is intended to bring together researchers to discuss and identify important new trends and challenges in all subfields of artificial intelligence, and provide a forum for potential users of innovative techniques.

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Jed Fisher's comment, August 14, 2012 5:30 PM
will you be there Complex Insight?
ComplexInsight's comment, August 14, 2012 5:43 PM
Hi Jed, Hoping to be in Montpelier on the 28th to meet some researchers at the AI conf and attend the Smart Cities simulation workshop that covers city simulation, agent based modeling and applied AI but unfortunately won't know for certain till next week.
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Using GIS Technology to Enhance Development Outcomes | World Bank Institute (WBI)

The Next-Generation of Geospatial Technology and the World Bank’s Role in Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to enhance Development Outcomes. Many work programs within the World Bank are now embracing the use of ICT tools for engaging citizens, gathering data, disseminating information, improving transparency and accountability, and ensuring better communication and collaboration. These tools have been employed both in country-level work as well as through efforts to open up the World Bank’s processes. Esri president Jack Dangermond and World Bank staff discuss  future possibilities of geospatial technology and how they can use those technologies to meet various development goals. Click on headline to see video of event.

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Information Is Beautiful | Ideas, issues, knowledge, data - visualized!

Information Is Beautiful | Ideas, issues, knowledge, data - visualized! | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Information is Beautiful, the Web site on data visualization created by independent information designer David McCandless, soon will be giving a total of $30,000 in awards for, you guessed it, beautiful and informative graphics. The shortlist was just announced on August 10, and winners will be revealed in mid-September. Click on the image or the title to learn more.

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Insects Find Crack In Biotech Corn's Armor : NPR

Insects Find Crack In Biotech Corn's Armor : NPR | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Scientists report that a genetically engineered corn crop has failed to kill the corn rootworm — the pest it was designed to stop. This may be the most serious threat to a genetically modified crops in the U.S. Clik on the image ot title to learn more.

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Measuring the Complexity of Ultra-Large-Scale Evolutionary Systems

Measuring the Complexity of Ultra-Large-Scale Evolutionary Systems | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

 

Ultra-large scale (ULS) systems are becoming pervasive. They are inherently complex, which makes their design and control a challenge for traditional methods. Amoretti and Gershenson propose the design and analysis of ULS systems using measures of complexity, emergence, self-organization, and homeostasis based on information theory. They evaluate the proposal with a ULS computing system provided with genetic adaptation mechanisms. Researchers show the evolution of the system with stable and also changing workload, using different fitness functions. When the adaptive plan forces the system to converge to a predefined performance level, the nodes may result in highly unstable configurations, that correspond to a high variance in time of the measured complexity. Conversely, if the adaptive plan is less "aggressive", the system may be more stable, but the optimal performance may not be achieved.

 

Source:

Michele Amoretti, Carlos Gershenson

Measuring the Complexity of Ultra-Large-Scale Evolutionary Systems

Neural and Evolutionary Computing. Submitted on 27 Jul 2012


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Tracking Down an Epidemic’s Source

Tracking Down an Epidemic’s Source | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Epidemiologists often have to uncover the source of a disease outbreak with only limited information about who is infected. Mathematical models usually assume a complete dataset, but a team reporting in Physical Review Letters demonstrates how to find the source with very little data. Their technique is based on the principles used by telecommunication towers to pinpoint cell phone users, and they demonstrate its effectiveness with real data from a South African cholera outbreak. The system could also work with other kinds of networks to help governments locate contamination sources in water systems or find the leaders in a network of terrorist contacts. Article is certainly worth reading. Click on the image or the headline for more information.

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Surprising finding: Tree's leaves genetically different from its roots

Surprising finding: Tree's leaves genetically different from its roots | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Black cottonwood trees (Populus trichocarpa) can clone themselves to produce offspring that are connected to their parents by the same root system. Now, after the first genome-wide analysis of a tree, it turns out that the connected clones have many genetic differences, even between tissues from the top and bottom of a single tree. The variation within a tree is as great as the variation across unrelated trees. Such somatic mutations — those that occur in cells other than sperm or eggs — are familiar to horticulturalists, who have long bred new plant varieties by grafting mutant branches onto ‘normal’ stocks. But until now, no one has catalogued the total number of somatic mutations in an individual plant. The findings have parallels to cancer studies, which have recently shown that separate parts of the same tumor can evolve independently and build up distinct genetic mutations, meaning that single biopsies give only a narrow view of the tumor’s diversity.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Complexity Digest
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