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Complexity Digest's Blog

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Complexity on the workbench

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

István Fehérvári explains complex systems and discusses how to use them in technical engineering. He also introduces a tool following this approach, which is available at http://frevotool.tk Learn more about the project at:...
YouTube

Swayed by Friends or by the Crowd?

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

We have conducted three empirical studies of the effects of friend recommendations and general ratings on how online users make choices. These two components of social influence were investigated through user studies on Mechanical Turk. We find that for a user deciding between two choices an additional rating star has a much larger effect than an additional friend’s recommendation on the...
HP Labs

Christoph Adami: Finding life we can't imagine

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

How do we search for alien life if it's nothing like the life that we know? At TEDxUIUC Christoph Adami shows how he uses his research into artificial life -- self-replicating computer programs -- to find a signature, a 'biomarker,' that is free of our preconceptions of what life...
TED.com

Ian Ritchie: The day I turned down Tim Berners-Lee

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

Imagine it's late 1990, and you've just met a nice young man named Tim Berners-Lee, who starts telling you about his proposed system called the World Wide Web. Ian Ritchie was there. And ... he didn't buy it. A short story about information, connectivity and learning from...
TED.com

Good Fences: The Importance of Setting Boundaries for Peaceful Coexistence

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

We consider the conditions of peace and violence among ethnic groups, testing a theory designed to predict the locations of violence and interventions that can promote peace. Characterizing the model's success in predicting peace requires examples where peace prevails despite diversity. Switzerland is recognized as a country of peace, stability and prosperity. This is surprising because of its...
arXiv

Common Organizing Mechanisms in Ecological and Socio-economic Networks

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

Previous work has shown that species interacting in an ecosystem and actors transacting in an economic context may have notable similarities in behavior. However, the specific mechanism that may underlie similarities in nature and human systems has not been analyzed. Building on stochastic food-web models, we propose a parsimonious bipartite-cooperation model that reproduces the key features of...
arXiv

Signalling and the Evolution of Cooperative Foraging in Dynamic Environments

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

(…) we examine a social foraging system where individuals evolve to signal to conspecifics when they locate a resource. We show that in some environments, cooperative signalling is sustained through a form of indirect reciprocation, as a signalling phenotype is more likely to be the beneficiary of a signal from a conspecific in the future. This effect naturally occurs as a result of the...
PLoS Comput Biol

Ten Simple Rules for Getting Help from Online Scientific Communities

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

Rule 1. Do Not Be Afraid to Ask a Question Rule 2. State the Question Clearly Rule 3. New to a Mailing List? Learn the Established Customs before Posting Rule 4. Do Not Ask What Has Already Been Answered Rule 5. Always Use a Good Title Rule 6. Do Your Homework before Posting Rule 7. Proofread your Post and Write in Correct English Rule 8. Be Courteous to Other Forum Members Rule...
PLoS Comput Biol

Distinguishing Anticipation from Causality: Anticipatory Bias in the Estimation of Information Flow

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

We report that transfer entropy estimates obtained from low-resolution and/or small data sets show net information flow away from a purely anticipatory element whereas transfer entropy calculated using exact distributions show the flow towards it. This means that for real-world data sets anticipatory elements can appear to be strongly driving the network dynamics even when there is no possibility...
Phys. Rev. Lett.

Relating Fisher information to order parameters

October 18, 2011 Comments (0)

The study highlights the generality of Fisher information as a measure that can be applied to a broad range of systems, particularly those where the determination of order parameters is...
Phys. Rev. E