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Complexity Digest's Blog

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Comparing two classes of biological distribution systems using network analysis

September 11, 2018 Comments (0)

Distribution networks such as vasculature systems or urban transportation pathways are prevalent in our world. Understanding how different kinds of transport systems are organized to allow for efficient function in their environments and in the presence of constraints on material costs is currently an open area of investigation. In this study, we use methods from network science to compare and contrast the structure of two different classes of biological distribution networks: mycelial fungi...

Attack Tolerance of Link Prediction Algorithms: How to Hide Your Relations in a Social Network

September 11, 2018 Comments (0)

Link prediction is one of the fundamental research problems in network analysis. Intuitively, it involves identifying the edges that are most likely to be added to a given network, or the edges that appear to be missing from the network when in fact they are present. Various algorithms have been proposed to solve this problem over the past decades. For all their benefits, such algorithms raise serious privacy concerns, as they could be used to expose a connection between two individuals who...

Emergent rules of computation in the Universe lead to life and consciousness: a computational framework for consciousness

September 10, 2018 Comments (0)

We introduce a computational framework for consciousness. We hypothesize that emergent rules of computation in the Universe lead to life and consciousness. We live in a Universe that has a substrate capable of computing or information processing. We suggest that in principle, any Universe that is capable of supporting information processing and has energy can evolve life and consciousness. We hypothesize that the Universe encodes rules in the form of physical laws that allow for the emergence...

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Communication Theory employing Computational Methods, UC Davis

September 10, 2018 Comments (0)

We seek a colleague whose primary research interests are concerned with explicating, understanding, and evaluating fundamental processes of communication. The candidate must satisfy two criteria. First, candidates must have a track record of communication research that is theoretically innovative. Specifically, the successful candidate is expected to have a research program that advances at least one key area of communication, such as neuroscience, virtual reality, serious games, persuasion,...

Freedom: The Holberg Lecture, 2018 by Cass R. Sunstein

September 9, 2018 Comments (0)

If people have freedom of choice, do their lives go better? Under what conditions? By what criteria? Consider three distinct problems. (1) In countless situations, human beings face a serious problem of “navigability”; they do not know how to get to their preferred destination, whether the issue involves health, education, employment, or well-being in general. This problem is especially challenging for people who live under conditions of severe deprivation, but it can be significant for all of...

Centrality-Friendship Paradoxes: When Our Friends Are More Important Than Us

September 7, 2018 Comments (0)

The friendship paradox states that, on average, our friends have more friends than we do. In network terms, the average degree over the nodes can never exceed the average degree over the neighbours of nodes. This effect, which is a classic example of sampling bias, has attracted much attention in the social science and network science literature, with variations and extensions of the paradox being defined, tested and interpreted. Here, we show that a version of the paradox holds rigorously for...

Optimization of privacy-utility trade-offs under informational self-determination

September 7, 2018 Comments (0)

•A generic and novel computational framework is introduced for measuring and optimizing privacy-utility trade-offs. •The framework applicability is validated analytically and empirically using real-world data from a Smart Grid pilot project. •Privacy-utility trade-offs are optimized under informational self determination.   Optimization of privacy-utility trade-offs under informational self-determinationThomas Asikis, Evangelos Pournaras Future Generation Computer Systems Source:...

Social interactions shape individual and collective personality in social spiders

September 5, 2018 Comments (0)

The behavioural composition of a group and the dynamics of social interactions can both influence how social animals work collectively. For example, individuals exhibiting certain behavioural tendencies may have a disproportionately large impact on the group, and so are referred to as keystone individuals, while interactions between individuals can facilitate information transmission about resources. Despite the potential impact of both behavioural composition and interactions on collective...

Swarm Robotics – Pushing the state of the art

September 3, 2018 Comments (0)

Swarm robotics is the domain of robotics that deals with large groups of robots that coordinately and cooperatively accomplish a task. Inspired by natural self-organising systems like ant colonies, fish schools or bird flocks, the goal of swarm robotics research is to deploy complex robotics systems that present robustness to faults, scalability to different group sizes, flexibility of the displayed behaviour and adaptivity to environmental changes.The problems faced by swarm robotics concerns...

Entropy | Special Issue : Information Theory in Complex Systems

September 3, 2018 Comments (0)

Complex systems are ubiquitous in the natural and engineered worlds. Examples are self-assembling materials, the Earth’s climate, single- and multi-cellular organisms, the brain, and coupled socio-economic and socio-technical systems, to mention a few canonical examples. The use of Shannon information theory to study the behavior of such systems, and to explain and predict their dynamics, has gained significant attention, both from a theoretical and from an experimental viewpoint. There...