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Our popular course Introduction to QuantLib Development will be taking place June 18-20th, 2018.


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Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Antagonistic Phenomena in Network Dynamics
Recent research on the network modeling of complex systems has led to a convenient representation of numerous natural, social, and engineered systems that are now recognized as networks of interacting parts. Such systems can exhibit a wealth of phenomena that not only cannot be anticipated from merely examining their parts, as per the textbook definition of complexity, but also challenge intuition even when considered in the context of what is now known in network science. Here, we review the recent literature on two major classes of such phenomena that have far-reaching implications: (a)...
3 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Meaningful Human Control over Autonomous Systems: A Philosophical Account
Debates on lethal autonomous weapon systems have proliferated in the past 5 years. Ethical concerns have been voiced about a possible raise in the number of wrongs and crimes in military operations and about the creation of a “responsibility gap” for harms caused by these systems. To address these concerns, the principle of “meaningful human control” has been introduced in the legal–political debate; according to this principle, humans not computers and their algorithms should ultimately remain in control of, and thus morally responsible for, relevant decisions...
6 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Assessing Human Judgment of Computationally Generated Swarming Behavior
Computer-based swarm systems, aiming to replicate the flocking behavior of birds, were first introduced by Reynolds in 1987. In his initial work, Reynolds noted that while it was difficult to quantify the dynamics of the behavior from the model, observers of his model immediately recognized them as a representation of a natural flock. Considerable analysis has been conducted since then on quantifying the dynamics of flocking/swarming behavior. However, no systematic analysis has been conducted on human identification of swarming. In this paper, we assess subjects’ assessment of the...
6 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled 7th International Young Scientists Conference in Computational Science
University of Crete (UoC), Greece, Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH), Greece, University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands and Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO University), Russian Federation, announce 2018 International Young Scientists Conference for young researchers and professionals in HPC technologies and computer modeling to take place at University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece. The Conference aims to strengthen the ties between young scientists in different countries, thus promoting future collaboration...
6 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Psychophysical Laws and the Superorganism
Through theoretical analysis, we show how a superorganism may react to stimulus variations according to psychophysical laws observed in humans and other animals. We investigate an empirically-motivated honeybee house-hunting model, which describes a value-sensitive decision process over potential nest-sites, at the level of the colony. In this study, we show how colony decision time increases with the number of available nests, in agreement with the Hick-Hyman law of psychophysics, and decreases with mean nest quality, in agreement with Piéron’s law. We also show that colony...
7 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Social norm complexity and past reputations in the evolution of cooperation
Indirect reciprocity is the most elaborate and cognitively demanding1 of all known cooperation mechanisms2, and is the most specifically human1,3 because it involves reputation and status. By helping someone, individuals may increase their reputation, which may change the predisposition of others to help them in future. The revision of an individual’s reputation depends on the social norms that establish what characterizes a good or bad action and thus provide a basis for morality3. Norms based on indirect reciprocity are often sufficiently complex that an individual’s ability to...
8 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Turing Lecture: Better living through trusted data – Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, MIT Media Lab
Big Data, AI, and social media echo chambers can feel scary, but if harnessed correctly they can dramatically improve our quality of life. The potential for improvement comes first from better scientific understanding of our human minds and bodies, and second from a more open and shared understanding of society, government, and our day-to-day lives. The key to achieving these positive results is aggressive pursuit of a new, broad science of human life to unify the traditional and narrow sciences, and making data a trusted and safe resource for everyone. We are building such systems today, and...
9 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Strategic Analytics | NECSI
This seminar is for anyone who wants to understand risk, opportunity and strategy in the real world, especially key decision makers and those who advise them: executives, senior managers, government policy makers, public administrators, management consultants, organizational development professionals and business educators.   A five day certificate program coveringComplexity and AnalyticsRisk and OpportunityImplications for Strategy   Featured Presenters:Nassim Nicholas Taleb Yaneer Bar-Yam Alfredo J. Morales Source: necsi.edu
9 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled The science of fake news
The rise of fake news highlights the erosion of long-standing institutional bulwarks against misinformation in the internet age. Concern over the problem is global. However, much remains unknown regarding the vulnerabilities of individuals, institutions, and society to manipulations by malicious actors. A new system of safeguards is needed. Below, we discuss extant social and computer science research regarding belief in fake news and the mechanisms by which it spreads. Fake news has a long history, but we focus on unanswered scientific questions raised by the proliferation of its most...
10 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled The spread of true and false news online
We investigated the differential diffusion of all of the verified true and false news stories distributed on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. The data comprise ~126,000 stories tweeted by ~3 million people more than 4.5 million times. We classified news as true or false using information from six independent fact-checking organizations that exhibited 95 to 98% agreement on the classifications. Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news...
11 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Inheritance Is Moving Beyond Genetics and Epigenetics
The idea that genes encode all the heritable features of living things has been a fundamental tenet of genetics and evolutionary biology for many years, but this assumption has always coexisted uncomfortably with the messy findings of empirical research. The complications have multiplied exponentially in recent years under the weight of new discoveries. Source: nautil.us
11 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Information theory and complex life
Despite the obvious advantage of simple life forms capable of fast replication, different levels of cognitive complexity have been achieved by living systems in terms of their potential to cope with environmental uncertainty. Against the inevitable cost associated with detecting environmental cues and responding to them in adaptive ways, we conjecture that the potential for predicting the environment can overcome the expenses associated with maintaining costly, complex structures. We present a minimal formal model grounded in information theory and selection, in which successive generations...
11 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Who holds the power?
What was the cause of Donald Trump’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election? Was it the peculiarities of the electoral college? Voter resistance to three-term rule by a single party? Anxiety about illegal immigration? As Niall Ferguson explains in The Square and the Tower, the answer lies largely in one word: networks.   Who holds the power?Sean P. CorneliusThe Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook Niall Ferguson Penguin Press, 2018. 607 pp.Science  09 Mar 2018:Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1109DOI:...
11 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Autonomous agents modelling other agents: A comprehensive survey and open problems
Much research in artificial intelligence is concerned with the development of autonomous agents that can interact effectively with other agents. An important aspect of such agents is the ability to reason about the behaviours of other agents, by constructing models which make predictions about various properties of interest (such as actions, goals, beliefs) of the modelled agents. A variety of modelling approaches now exist which vary widely in their methodology and underlying assumptions, catering to the needs of the different sub-communities within which they were developed and reflecting...
11 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Exploring Artificial Intelligence with Melanie Mitchell
What is artificial intelligence? Could unintended consequences arise from increased use of this technology? How will the role of humans change with AI? How will AI evolve in the next 10 years? In this episode, Haley interviews leading Complex Systems Scientist, Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, Melanie Mitchell. Professor Mitchell answers many profound questions about the field of artificial intelligence and gives specific examples of how this technology is being used today. She also provides some insights to help us...
12 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled The Active Inference Approach to Ecological Perception: General Information Dynamics for Natural and Artificial Embodied Cognition
The emerging neurocomputational vision of humans as embodied, ecologically embedded, social agents—who shape and are shaped by their environment—offers a golden opportunity to revisit and revise ideas about the physical and information-theoretic underpinnings of life, mind, and consciousness itself. In particular, the active inference framework (AIF) makes it possible to bridge connections from computational neuroscience and robotics/AI to ecological psychology and phenomenology, revealing common underpinnings and overcoming key limitations. AIF opposes the mechanistic to the...
13 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled The Emergence of Consensus: A Primer
The origin of population-scale coordination has puzzled philosophers and scientists for centuries. Recently, game theory, evolutionary approaches and complex systems science have provided quantitative insights on the mechanisms of social consensus. However, the literature is vast and widely scattered across fields, making it hard for the single researcher to navigate it. This short review aims to provide a compact overview of the main dimensions over which the debate has unfolded and to discuss some representative examples. It focuses on those situations in which consensus emerges...
14 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Not-so-distant reading: A dynamic network approach to literature
In this article we report about our efforts to develop and evaluate computational support tools for literary studies. We present a novel method and tool that allows interactive visual analytics of character occurrences in Victorian novels, and has been handed to humanities scholars and students for work with a number of novels from different authors. Our user study reveals insights about Victorian novels that are valuable for scholars in the digital humanities field, and informs UI as well as UX designers about how these domain experts interact with tools that leverage network science.  ...
15 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled WICI Conference on Modelling Complex Urban Environments – June 21-22, 2018 | Waterloo Institute for Complexity & Innovation | University of Waterloo
The small conference “Modelling complex urban environments,” will be held June 21-22 at the University of Waterloo and is sponsored by the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation and the University of Waterloo International Research Partnership Development Grant program. Urban scholars have approached urban complexity using a variety of modelling tools, from descriptive models, atomistic discrete simulation models, systems dynamics models, and most recently, inductive analysis of new sources of “big” data. This conference aims to bring together these scholar...
15 days ago