Remember me

Register  |   Lost password?


All site blogs

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...

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...

Fake news on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

The spread of fake news on social media became a public concern in the United States after the 2016 presidential election. We examined exposure to and sharing of fake news by registered voters on Twitter and found that engagement with fake news sources was extremely concentrated. Only 1% of individuals accounted for 80% of fake news source exposures, and 0.1% accounted for nearly 80% of fake news sources shared. Individuals most likely to engage with fake news sources were conservative leaning,...

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...

Taking census of physics

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

Over the past decades, the diversity of areas explored by physicists has exploded, encompassing new topics from biophysics and chemical physics to network science. However, it is unclear how these new subfields emerged from the traditional subject areas and how physicists explore them. To map out the evolution of physics subfields, here, we take an intellectual census of physics by studying physicists’ careers. We use a large-scale publication data set, identify the subfields of 135,877...

Urban sensing as a random search process

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

We study a new random search process: the \textit{taxi-drive}. The motivation for this process comes from urban sensing, in which sensors are mounted on moving vehicles such as taxis, allowing urban environments to be opportunistically monitored. Inspired by the movements of real taxis, the taxi-drive is composed of both random and regular parts; passengers are brought to randomly chosen locations via deterministic (i.e. shortest paths) routes. We show through a numerical study that this hybrid...

Ensembles, Dynamics, and Cell Types: Revisiting the Statistical Mechanics Perspective on Cellular Regulation

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

•50 years Boolean networks as models for gene regulatory networks •Random Boolean networks near criticality share properties with genetic networks in cells •Number of attractors scales as the DNA content raised to the 0.63 power, compares well to current estimate from data (0.88) •Confirms concept of cell types as attractors and predicts number of cell types   Ensembles, Dynamics, and Cell Types: Revisiting the Statistical Mechanics Perspective on Cellular RegulationStefan Bornholdt, Stuart...

Opinion Dynamics and Collective Decisions

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

We expect that democracy enables us to utilize collective intelligence such that our collective decisions build and enhance social welfare, and such that we accept their distributive and normative consequences. Collective decisions are produced by voting procedures which aggregate individual preferences and judgments. Before and after, individual preferences and judgments change as their underlying attitudes, values, and opinions change through discussion and deliberation. In large groups,...

Cultural complexity and complexity evolution

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

We review issues stemming from current models regarding the drivers of cultural complexity and cultural evolution. We disagree with the implication of the treadmill model, based on dual-inheritance theory, that population size is the driver of cultural complexity. The treadmill model reduces the evolution of artifact complexity, measured by the number of parts, to the statistical fact that individuals with high skills are more likely to be found in a larger population than in a smaller...

Gravity and scaling laws of city to city migration

February 21, 2019 by Complexity Digest   Comments (0)

Models of human migration provide powerful tools to forecast the flow of migrants, measure the impact of a policy, determine the cost of physical and political frictions and more. Here, we analyse the migration of individuals from and to cities in the US, finding that city to city migration follows scaling laws, so that the city size is a significant factor in determining whether, or not, an individual decides to migrate and the city size of both the origin and destination play key roles in the...