Papers
462.9K views | +17 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Complexity Digest
onto Papers
Scoop.it!

Introduction to the Special Issue on Information: Selected Papers from “FIS 2010 Beijing”

During the last two decades, a systematic re-examination of the whole information science field has taken place around the FIS—Foundations of Information Science—initiative. With the occasion of its Fourth Conference in Beijing 2010, a group of selected contributors and leading practitioners of those fields have been invited to contribute to this Special Issue. What is the status of information science today? What is the relationship between information and the laws of nature? Is information merely “physical”? What is the difference between information and computation? Has the genomic revolution changed the contemporary views on information and life? And what about the nature of social information? Cogent answers to these questions and to quite many others are attempted in the contributions that follow.

more...
No comment yet.
Papers
Recent publications related to complex systems
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Complexity Digest from Amazing Science
Scoop.it!

10 Breakthrough Technologies Making Promising Progress in 2018

10 Breakthrough Technologies Making Promising Progress in 2018 | Papers | Scoop.it
Dueling neural networks. Artificial embryos. AI in the cloud. Welcome to our annual list of the 10 technology advances we think will shape the way we work and live now and for years to come.

 

Every year since 2001 the people at Technology Review have picked what they call the 10 Breakthrough Technologies. People often ask, what exactly is meant by “breakthrough”? It’s a reasonable question—some of the picks haven’t yet reached widespread use, while others may be on the cusp of becoming commercially available. What Technology Review is really looking for is a technology, or perhaps even a collection of technologies, that will have a profound effect on our lives.

 

For 2018, a new technique in artificial intelligence called GANs is giving machines imagination; artificial embryos, despite some thorny ethical constraints, are redefining how life can be created and are opening a research window into the early moments of a human life; and a pilot plant in the heart of Texas’s petrochemical industry is attempting to create completely clean power from natural gas—probably a major energy source for the foreseeable future.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

The gender gap in science: How long until women are equally represented?

The gender gap in science: How long until women are equally represented? | Papers | Scoop.it

In most fields of science, medicine, and technology research, men comprise more than half of the workforce, particularly at senior levels. Most previous work has concluded that the gender gap is smaller today than it was in the past, giving the impression that there will soon be equal numbers of men and women researchers and that current initiatives to recruit and retain more women are working adequately. Here, we used computational methods to determine the numbers of men and women authors listed on >10 million academic papers published since 2002, allowing us to precisely estimate the gender gap among researchers, as well as its rate of change, for most disciplines of science and medicine. We conclude that many research specialties (e.g., surgery, computer science, physics, and maths) will not reach gender parity this century, given present-day rates of increase in the number of women authors. Additionally, the gender gap varies greatly across countries, with Japan, Germany, and Switzerland having strikingly few women authors. Women were less often commissioned to write ‘invited’ papers, consistent with gender bias by journal editors, and were less often found in authorship positions usually associated with seniority (i.e., the last-listed or sole author). Our results support a need for further reforms to close the gender gap.

 

Holman L, Stuart-Fox D, Hauser CE (2018) The gender gap in science: How long until women are equally represented? PLoS Biol 16(4): e2004956. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2004956

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Efficient coding explains the universal law of generalization in human perception

Perceptual generalization and discrimination are fundamental cognitive abilities. For example, if a bird eats a poisonous butterfly, it will learn to avoid preying on that species again by generalizing its past experience to new perceptual stimuli. In cognitive science, the “universal law of generalization” seeks to explain this ability and states that generalization between stimuli will follow an exponential function of their distance in “psychological space.” Here, I challenge existing theoretical explanations for the universal law and offer an alternative account based on the principle of efficient coding. I show that the universal law emerges inevitably from any information processing system (whether biological or artificial) that minimizes the cost of perceptual error subject to constraints on the ability to process or transmit information.

 

Efficient coding explains the universal law of generalization in human perception
Chris R. Sims

Science 11 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6389, pp. 652-656
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq1118

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

The domino effect: an empirical exposition of systemic risk across project networks

Activity network analysis is a widely used tool for managing project risk. Traditionally, this type of analysis is used to evaluate task criticality by assuming linear cause‐and‐effect phenomena, where the size of a local failure (e.g. task delay) dictates its possible global impact (e.g. project delay). Motivated by the question of whether activity networks are subject to non‐linear cause‐and‐effect phenomena, a computational framework is developed and applied to real‐world project data to evaluate project systemic risk. Specifically, project systemic risk is viewed as the result of a cascading process which unravels across an activity network, where the failure of a single task can consequently affect its immediate, downstream task(s). As a result, we demonstrate that local failures are capable of triggering failure cascades of intermittent sizes. In turn, a modest local disruption can fuel exceedingly large, systemic failures. In addition, the probability for this to happen is much higher than anticipated. A systematic examination of why this is the case is subsequently performed, with results attributing the emergence of large‐scale failures to topological and temporal features of activity networks. Finally, local mitigation is assessed in terms of containing these failures cascades – results illustrate that this form of mitigation is both ineffective and insufficient. Given the ubiquity of our findings, our work has the potential of deepening our current theoretical understanding on the causal mechanisms responsible for large‐scale project failures.

 

The domino effect: an empirical exposition of systemic risk across project networks

Christos Ellinas

Production and Operations Management

https://doi.org/10.1111/poms.12890 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

The New Urban Success: How Culture Pays

Urban economists have put forward the idea that cities that are culturally interesting tend to attract “the creative class” and, as a result, end up being economically successful. Yet it is still unclear how economic and cultural dynamics mutually influence each other. By contrast, that has been extensively studied in the case of individuals. Over decades, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu showed that people's success and their positions in society mainly depend on how much they can spend (their economic capital) and what their interests are (their cultural capital). For the first time, we adapt Bourdieu's framework to the city context. We operationalize a neighborhood's cultural capital in terms of the cultural interests that pictures geo-referenced in the neighborhood tend to express. This is made possible by the mining of what users of the photo-sharing site of Flickr have posted in the cities of London and New York over 5 years. In so doing, we are able to show that economic capital alone does not explain urban development. The combination of cultural capital and economic capital, instead, is more indicative of neighborhood growth in terms of house prices and improvements of socio-economic conditions. Culture pays, but only up to a point as it comes with one of the most vexing urban challenges: that of gentrification.

 

The New Urban Success: How Culture Pays

Desislava Hristova, Luca M. Aiello and Daniele Quercia

Front. Phys., 09 April 2018 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fphy.2018.00027

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Logic and connectivity jointly determine criticality in biological gene regulatory networks

The complex dynamics of gene expression in living cells can be well-approximated using Boolean networks. The average sensitivity is a natural measure of stability in these systems: values below one indicate typically stable dynamics associated with an ordered phase, whereas values above one indicate chaotic dynamics. This yields a theoretically motivated adaptive advantage to being near the critical value of one, at the boundary between order and chaos. Here, we measure average sensitivity for 66 publicly available Boolean network models describing the function of gene regulatory circuits across diverse living processes. We find the average sensitivity values for these networks are clustered around unity, indicating they are near critical. In many types of random networks, mean connectivity <K> and the average activity bias of the logic functions <p> have been found to be the most important network properties in determining average sensitivity, and by extension a network's criticality. Surprisingly, many of these gene regulatory networks achieve the near-critical state with <K> and <p> far from that predicted for critical systems: randomized networks sharing the local causal structure and local logic of biological networks better reproduce their critical behavior than controlling for macroscale properties such as <K> and <p> alone. This suggests the local properties of genes interacting within regulatory networks are selected to collectively be near-critical, and this non-local property of gene regulatory network dynamics cannot be predicted using the density of interactions alone.


Logic and connectivity jointly determine criticality in biological gene regulatory networks
Bryan C. Daniels, Hyunju Kim, Douglas Moore, Siyu Zhou, Harrison Smith, Bradley Karas, Stuart A. Kauffman, Sara I. Walker

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Automation Of Road Intersections Using Consensus-based Auction Algorithms

This paper investigates a consensus-based auction algorithm in the context of decentralized traffic control. In particular, we study the automation of a road intersection, where a set of vehicles is required to cross without collisions. The crossing order will be negotiated in a decentralized fashion. An on-board model predictive controller (MPC) will compute an optimal trajectory which avoids collisions with higher priority vehicles, thus retaining convex safety constraints. Simulations are then performed in a time-variant traffic environment.

 

Automation Of Road Intersections Using Consensus-based Auction Algorithms
Fabio Molinari, Jörg Raisch

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

The topology of evolutionary novelty and innovation in macroevolution

Sewall Wright's fitness landscape introduced the concept of evolutionary spaces in 1932. George Gaylord Simpson modified this to an adaptive, phenotypic landscape in 1944 and since then evolutionary spaces have played an important role in evolutionary theory through fitness and adaptive landscapes, phenotypic and functional trait spaces, morphospaces and related concepts. Although the topology of such spaces is highly variable, from locally Euclidean to pre-topological, evolutionary change has often been interpreted as a search through a pre-existing space of possibilities, with novelty arising by accessing previously inaccessible or difficult to reach regions of a space. Here I discuss the nature of evolutionary novelty and innovation within the context of evolutionary spaces, and argue that the primacy of search as a conceptual metaphor ignores the generation of new spaces as well as other changes that have played important evolutionary roles.

 

The topology of evolutionary novelty and innovation in macroevolution
Douglas H. Erwin

Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B Volume 372, issue 1735

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Artificial intelligence tricked by optical illusion, just like humans

Artificial intelligence tricked by optical illusion, just like humans | Papers | Scoop.it
The study suggests that predictive coding theory is the basis of illusory motion
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Lévy flight movements prevent extinctions and maximize population abundances in fragile Lotka–Volterra systems

The ubiquity of scale-free mobility in nature, as observed in systems ranging from microorganisms to fishing boats, has stimulated a number of foraging theories and individual-based random search models. Here, we unveil an essential yet unexplored property of multiple-scale motion, which relates to the stability of entire populations. We use Lotka–Volterra models to predict that foragers diffusing normally tend to go extinct in fragile fragmented ecosystems, whereas their populations become resilient to degraded conditions and have maximized abundances when individuals perform scale-free Lévy flights. Our analytical and simulated results shift the scope of multiple-scale foraging from the individual level to the scales of collective phenomena that are of primary interest in conservation biology.


Lévy flight movements prevent extinctions and maximize population abundances in fragile Lotka–Volterra systems
Teodoro Dannemann, Denis Boyer and Octavio Miramontes
PNAS March 26, 2018. 201719889; published ahead of print March 26, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1719889115

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Free agents

For more than half a century, U.S. government officials have considered disaster scenarios, such as the consequences of a nuclear bomb going off in Washington, D.C. Only now, instead of following fixed story lines and predictions assembled ahead of time, they are using computers to play what-if with an entire artificial society: an advanced type of computer simulation called an agent-based model. Today's version of the nuclear attack model includes a digital simulation of every building in the area affected by the bomb, as well as every road, power line, hospital, and even cell tower. The model includes weather data to simulate the fallout plume. And the scenario is peopled with some 730,000 agents. Each agent is an autonomous subroutine that responds in reasonably human ways to other agents and the evolving disaster by switching among multiple modes of behavior. The point of such models is to avoid describing human affairs from the top down with fixed equations, as is traditionally done in such fields as economics and epidemiology. Instead, outcomes such as a financial crash or the spread of a disease emerge from the bottom up, through the interactions of many individuals, leading to a real-world richness and spontaneity that is hard to simulate otherwise. The models tend to be big, computation-wise—forcing the agents to be relatively simple-minded. But computers keep getting bigger and more powerful, as do the data sets used to populate and calibrate the models. In fields as diverse as economics, transportation, public health, and urban planning, more and more decision-makers are taking agent-based models seriously.

 

Free agents
M. Mitchell Waldrop

Science  13 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6385, pp. 144-147
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6385.144

more...
Carlos Garcia Pando's comment, April 23, 7:36 AM
Does it add to the theory that our universe might actually be nothing a higher-level computational model that goes down not to buildings or streets levels, but to electrons and protons?
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Latin America's lost histories revealed

If you walked the cobblestone streets and bustling markets of 16th and 17th century Mexico City, you would see people born all over the world: Spanish settlers, indigenous Americans, Africans, and Asians. All these populations met and mingled for the first time in colonial Latin America. Historical documents describe this cultural mixture, but now, international teams of researchers are enriching our view of colonial Latin America by analyzing the genomes of today's people. Aided by sophisticated statistics and worldwide genetic databases, they can tease apart ancestry and population mixing with more nuance than ever before. The results, reported at a meeting this week and in a preprint, tell stories that have been largely forgotten or were never recorded in historical documents. From the immigration of enslaved Filipinos and Africans to that of formerly Jewish families forbidden to travel to the colonies, hidden histories are emerging.

 

Latin America's lost histories revealed
Lizzie Wade

Science 13 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6385, pp. 137-138
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6385.137

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

The Silurian Hypothesis: Would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record?

If an industrial civilization had existed on Earth many millions of years prior to our own era, what traces would it have left and would they be detectable today? We summarize the likely geological fingerprint of the Anthropocene, and demonstrate that while clear, it will not differ greatly in many respects from other known events in the geological record. We then propose tests that could plausibly distinguish an industrial cause from an otherwise naturally occurring climate event.

 

The Silurian Hypothesis: Would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record?
Gavin A. Schmidt, Adam Frank

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

The reachability of contagion in temporal contact networks: how disease latency can exploit the rhythm of human behavior

The reproductive potential of pathogens is linked inextricably to the host social behavior required for transmission. We propose that future work should consider contact periodicity in models of disease dynamics, and suggest the possibility that disease control strategies may be designed to optimize against the effects of synchronization.

 

The reachability of contagion in temporal contact networks: how disease latency can exploit the rhythm of human behavior
Ewan ColmanEmail author, Kristen Spies and Shweta Bansal
BMC Infectious Diseases201818:219
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-018-3117-6

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

How the Father of Computer Science Decoded Nature’s Mysterious Patterns

How the Father of Computer Science Decoded Nature’s Mysterious Patterns | Papers | Scoop.it
Many have heard of Alan Turing, the mathematician and logician who invented modern computing in 1935. They know Turing, the cryptologist who cracked the Nazi Enigma code, helped win World War II. And they remember Turing as a martyr for gay rights who, after being prosecuted and sentenced to chemical castration, committed suicide by eating an apple laced with cyanide in 1954.

But few have heard of Turing, the naturalist who explained patterns in nature with math. Nearly half a century after publishing his final paper in 1952, chemists and biological mathematicians came to appreciate the power of his late work to explain problems they were solving, like how zebrafish get their stripes or cheetahs get spots. And even now, scientists are finding new insights from Turing’s legacy.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Academic performance and behavioral patterns

Identifying the factors that influence academic performance is an essential part of educational research. Previous studies have documented the importance of personality traits, class attendance, and social network structure. Because most of these analyses were based on a single behavioral aspect and/or small sample sizes, there is currently no quantification of the interplay of these factors. Here, we study the academic performance among a cohort of 538 undergraduate students forming a single, densely connected social network. Our work is based on data collected using smartphones, which the students used as their primary phones for two years. The availability of multi-channel data from a single population allows us to directly compare the explanatory power of individual and social characteristics. We find that the most informative indicators of performance are based on social ties and that network indicators result in better model performance than individual characteristics (including both personality and class attendance). We confirm earlier findings that class attendance is the most important predictor among individual characteristics. Finally, our results suggest the presence of strong homophily and/or peer effects among university students.

 

Academic performance and behavioral patterns

Valentin Kassarnig, Enys Mones, Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen, Piotr Sapiezynski, David Dreyer Lassen and Sune Lehmann
EPJ Data Science 2018 7:10
https://doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-018-0138-8

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Can co-location be used as a proxy for face-to-face contacts?

Technological advances have led to a strong increase in the number of data collection efforts aimed at measuring co-presence of individuals at different spatial resolutions. It is however unclear how much co-presence data can inform us on actual face-to-face contacts, of particular interest to study the structure of a population in social groups or for use in data-driven models of information or epidemic spreading processes. Here, we address this issue by leveraging data sets containing high resolution face-to-face contacts as well as a coarser spatial localisation of individuals, both temporally resolved, in various contexts. The co-presence and the face-to-face contact temporal networks share a number of structural and statistical features, but the former is (by definition) much denser than the latter. We thus consider several down-sampling methods that generate surrogate contact networks from the co-presence signal and compare them with the real face-to-face data. We show that these surrogate networks reproduce some features of the real data but are only partially able to identify the most central nodes of the face-to-face network. We then address the issue of using such down-sampled co-presence data in data-driven simulations of epidemic processes, and in identifying efficient containment strategies. We show that the performance of the various sampling methods strongly varies depending on context. We discuss the consequences of our results with respect to data collection strategies and methodologies.

 

Can co-location be used as a proxy for face-to-face contacts?
Mathieu Génois and Alain Barrat
EPJ Data Science 2018 7:11
https://doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-018-0140-1

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Uncovering inequality through multifractality of land prices: 1912 and contemporary Kyoto

Uncovering inequality through multifractality of land prices: 1912 and contemporary Kyoto | Papers | Scoop.it

Multifractal analysis offers a number of advantages to measure spatial economic segregation and inequality, as it is free of categories and boundaries definition problems and is insensitive to some shape-preserving changes in the variable distribution. We use two datasets describing Kyoto land prices in 1912 and 2012 and derive city models from this data to show that multifractal analysis is suitable to describe the heterogeneity of land prices. We found in particular a sharp decrease in multifractality, characteristic of homogenisation, between older Kyoto and present Kyoto, and similarities both between present Kyoto and present London, and between Kyoto and Manhattan as they were a century ago. In addition, we enlighten the preponderance of spatial distribution over variable distribution in shaping the multifractal spectrum. The results were tested against the classical segregation and inequality indicators, and found to offer an improvement over those.

 

Salat H, Murcio R, Yano K, Arcaute E (2018) Uncovering inequality through multifractality of land prices: 1912 and contemporary Kyoto. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0196737. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196737

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

The evolutions of the rich get richer and the fit get richer phenomena in scholarly networks: the case of the strategic management journal

Understanding how a scientist develops new scientific collaborations or how their papers receive new citations is a major challenge in scientometrics. The approach being proposed simultaneously examines the growth processes of the co-authorship and citation networks by analyzing the evolutions of the rich get richer and the fit get richer phenomena. In particular, the preferential attachment function and author fitnesses, which govern the two phenomena, are estimated non-parametrically in each network. The approach is applied to the co-authorship and citation networks of the flagship journal of the strategic management scientific community, namely the Strategic Management Journal. The results suggest that the abovementioned phenomena have been consistently governing both temporal networks. The average of the attachment exponents in the co-authorship network is 0.30 while it is 0.29 in the citation network. This suggests that the rich get richer phenomenon has been weak in both networks. The right tails of the distributions of author fitness in both networks are heavy, which imply that the intrinsic scientific quality of each author has been playing a crucial role in getting new citations and new co-authorships. Since the total competitiveness in each temporal network is founded to be rising with time, it is getting harder to receive a new citation or to develop a new collaboration. Analyzing the average competency, it was found that on average, while the veterans tend to be more competent at developing new collaborations, the newcomers are likely better at acquiring new citations. Furthermore, the author fitness in both networks has been consistent with the history of the strategic management scientific community. This suggests that coupling node fitnesses throughout different networks might be a promising new direction in analyzing simultaneously multiple networks.

 

The evolutions of the rich get richer and the fit get richer phenomena in scholarly networks: the case of the strategic management journal

Guillermo Armando Ronda-Pupo, Thong Pham

Scientometrics pp 1–21

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Sensitive Dependence on Network Structure: Analog of Chaos and Opportunity for Control

Sensitive Dependence on Network Structure: Analog of Chaos and Opportunity for Control | Papers | Scoop.it

The advancement of network science over the past 20 years has created the expectation that we will soon be able to systematically control the behavior of complex network systems and in turn address numerous outstanding scientific problems, from cell reprogramming and drug target identification to cascade control and self-healing infrastructure development [4]. This expectation is not without reason, given that control technologies have been part of human development for over 2,000 years [1].

While significant progress has been made, our current ability to control is still limited in many systems. This is not so much from lack of available technologies to actuate specific network elements as from challenges imposed by unique characteristics of large real networks to designing system-level control actions [4]. These limiting characteristics include the combination of high dimensionality, nonlinearity, and constraints on the interventions, which set networks apart from other systems to which control has been traditionally applied [1]. Recent progress on developing control techniques scalable to large networks has been driven by the design of new approaches.

 

Sensitive Dependence on Network Structure: Analog of Chaos and Opportunity for Control
By Adilson E. Motter and Takashi Nishikawa

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

The free energy principle for action and perception: A mathematical review

The ‘free energy principle’ (FEP) has been suggested to provide a unified theory of the brain, integrating data and theory relating to action, perception, and learning. The theory and implementation of the FEP combines insights from Helmholtzian ‘perception as inference’, machine learning theory, and statistical thermodynamics. Here, we provide a detailed mathematical evaluation of a suggested biologically plausible implementation of the FEP that has been widely used to develop the theory. Our objectives are (i) to describe within a single article the mathematical structure of this implementation of the FEP; (ii) provide a simple but complete agent-based model utilising the FEP and (iii) to disclose the assumption structure of this implementation of the FEP to help elucidate its significance for the brain sciences.

 

The free energy principle for action and perception: A mathematical review
Christopher L. Buckley, Chang Sub Kim, Simon McGregor, Anil K. Seth

Journal of Mathematical Psychology
Volume 81, December 2017, Pages 55-79

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Evolution of Neural Dynamics in an Ecological Model

Evolution of Neural Dynamics in an Ecological Model | Papers | Scoop.it

What is the optimal level of chaos in a computational system? If a system is too chaotic, it cannot reliably store information. If it is too ordered, it cannot transmit information. A variety of computational systems exhibit dynamics at the “edge of chaos”, the transition between the ordered and chaotic regimes. In this work, we examine the evolved neural networks of Polyworld, an artificial life model consisting of a simulated ecology populated with biologically inspired agents. As these agents adapt to their environment, their initially simple neural networks become increasingly capable of exhibiting rich dynamics. Dynamical systems analysis reveals that natural selection drives these networks toward the edge of chaos until the agent population is able to sustain itself. After this point, the evolutionary trend stabilizes, with neural dynamics remaining on average significantly far from the transition to chaos.

 

Evolution of Neural Dynamics in an Ecological Model
Steven Williams and Larry Yaeger

Geosciences 2017, 7(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7030049

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Having one eye better than the other may explain ants' left bias

Having one eye better than the other may explain ants' left bias | Papers | Scoop.it
Unlike Derek Zoolander, ants don't have any difficulty turning left. New research from the University of Bristol has now found rock ants often have one eye slightly better than the other, which could help explain why most of them prefer to turn left, given the choice.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

A delicate balance

The vast majority of the nearly half-million infants born prematurely in the United States are given antibiotics, even without evidence of infection. Many preemies are kept on the drugs after blood tests say they are not sick. Yet that practice, once considered the best way to protect a hospital's most vulnerable patients, is now being challenged. Some studies suggest that even while helping fight certain infections, those drugs may encourage others by wiping out an infant's developing gut microbiome. Disrupting that microbial ecosystem may also promote a host of problems later in life, such as asthma and obesity. And recent research indicates that long after preemies leave the neonatal intensive care unit, they can harbor many antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, potentially endangering not only themselves, but also the wider population.

 

A delicate balance
Marla Broadfoot

Science  06 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6384, pp. 18-20
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6384.18

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Complexity Digest
Scoop.it!

Methods for quantifying effects of social unrest using credit card transaction data

Societal unrest and similar events are important for societies, but it is often difficult to quantify their effects on individuals, hindering a timely and effective policy-making in emergencies and in particular localized social shocks such as protests. Traditionally, effects are assessed through economic indicators or surveys with relatively low temporal and spatial resolutions. In this work, we compute two behavioral indexes, based on the use of credit card transaction data, for measuring the economic effects of a series of protests on consumer actions and personal consumption. Using data from a metropolitan area in an OECD country, we show that protests affect consumers’ shopping frequency and spending, but in noticeably different ways. The effects show strong temporal and spatial patterns, vary between neighborhoods and customers of different socio-demographical characteristics as well as between merchants of different categories, and suggest interesting subtleties in purchase behavior such as displaced or delayed shopping activities. Our method can generally serve for the real-time monitoring of the effects of major social shocks or events on urban economy and consumer sentiment, providing high-resolution and cost-effective measurement tools to complement traditional economic indicators.

 

Methods for quantifying effects of social unrest using credit card transaction data

Xiaowen Dong, Joachim Meyer, Erez Shmueli, Burçin Bozkaya and Alex Pentland
EPJ Data Science20187:8
https://doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-018-0136-x

more...
No comment yet.