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Viruses as Complex Adaptive Systems (Ricard Solé & Santiago F. Elena)

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

Viruses are everywhere, infecting all sorts of living organisms, from the tiniest bacteria to the largest mammals. Many are harmful parasites, but viruses also play a major role as drivers of our evolution as a species and are essential regulators of the composition and complexity of ecosystems on a global scale. This concise book draws on complex systems theory to provide a fresh look at viral origins, populations, and evolution, and the coevolutionary dynamics of viruses and their hosts. New...

A collaborative multiyear, multimodel assessment of seasonal influenza forecasting in the United States

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

Accurate prediction of the size and timing of infectious disease outbreaks could help public health officials in planning an appropriate response. This paper compares approaches developed by five different research groups to forecast seasonal influenza outbreaks in real time in the United States. Many of the models show more accurate forecasts than a historical baseline. A major impediment to predictive ability was the real-time accuracy of available data. The field of infectious disease...

Large teams develop and small teams disrupt science and technology

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

One of the most universal trends in science and technology today is the growth of large teams in all areas, as solitary researchers and small teams diminish in prevalence1,2,3. Increases in team size have been attributed to the specialization of scientific activities3, improvements in communication technology4,5, or the complexity of modern problems that require interdisciplinary solutions6,7,8. This shift in team size raises the question of whether and how the character of the science and...

NECSI Summer School

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

Gain new insights that reframe your thinking, specific tools to advance current projects, and perspectives to set new directions. Dates: June 2 – 14, 2019Location: MIT, Cambridge, MA The NECSI Summer School offers two intensive week-long courses on complexity science: modeling and networks, and data analytics. You may register for any of the weeks. If desired, arrangements for credit at a home institution may be made in advance. Lab 1: June 2 CX102: Computer Programming for Complex...

Narrating Complexity (edited by Richard Walsh & Susan Stepney)

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

This book stages a dialogue between international researchers from the broad fields of complexity science and narrative studies. It presents an edited collection of chapters on aspects of how narrative theory from the humanities may be exploited to understand, explain, describe, and communicate aspects of complex systems, such as their emergent properties, feedbacks, and downwards causation; and how ideas from complexity science can inform narrative theory, and help explain, understand, and...

The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution (Richard Wrangham)

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

We Homo sapiens can be the nicest of species and also the nastiest. What occurred during human evolution to account for this paradox? What are the two kinds of aggression that primates are prone to, and why did each evolve separately? How does the intensity of violence among humans compare with the aggressive behavior of other primates? How did humans domesticate themselves? And how were the acquisition of language and the practice of capital punishment determining factors in the rise of...

Percolation and the Effective Structure of Complex Networks

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

Analytical approaches to model the structure of complex networks can be distinguished into two groups according to whether they consider an intensive (e.g., fixed degree sequence and random otherwise) or an extensive (e.g., adjacency matrix) description of the network structure. While extensive approaches—such as the state-of-the-art message passing approximation—typically yield more accurate predictions, intensive approaches provide crucial insights on the role played by any given structural...

Detecting sequences of system states in temporal networks

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

Many time-evolving systems in nature, society and technology leave traces of the interactions within them. These interactions form temporal networks that reflect the states of the systems. In this work, we pursue a coarse-grained description of these systems by proposing a method to assign discrete states to the systems and inferring the sequence of such states from the data. Such states could, for example, correspond to a mental state (as inferred from neuroimaging data) or the operational...

Continuous versus Discontinuous Transitions in the $D$-Dimensional Generalized Kuramoto Model: Odd $D$ is Different

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

The Kuramoto model, originally proposed to model the dynamics of many interacting oscillators, has been used and generalized for a wide range of applications involving the collective behavior of large heterogeneous groups of dynamical units whose states are characterized by a scalar angle variable. One such application in which we are interested is the alignment of orientation vectors among members of a swarm. Despite being commonly used for this purpose, the Kuramoto model can only describe...

The Multilayer Structure of Corporate Networks

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

Various company interactions can be described by networks, for instance the ownership networks and the board membership networks. To understand the ecosystem of companies, these interactions cannot be seen in isolation. For this purpose we construct a new multilayer network of interactions between companies in Germany and in the United Kingdom, combining ownership links, social ties through joint board directors, R\&D collaborations and stock correlations in one linked multiplex dataset. We...