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Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Interactional and Informational Attention on Twitter
Twitter may be considered to be a decentralized social information processing platform whose users constantly receive their followees’ information feeds, which they may in turn dispatch to their followers. This decentralization is not devoid of hierarchy and heterogeneity, both in terms of activity and attention. In particular, we appraise the distribution of attention at the collective and individual level, which exhibits the existence of attentional constraints and focus effects. We observe that most users usually concentrate their attention on a limited core of peers and topics, and...
17 hours ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled We Need an International Center for Climate Modeling
Earth’s climate is changing, and we must decide what to do about it. Existing climate models all predict further warming, but for all we currently know, this trend could range from modest and manageable to an existential threat. In face of such large uncertainty it is difficult to agree on a course of action. For this reason, we propose the formation of an international initiative for high resolution climate models with the aim of providing more reliable long-term predictions. Source: blogs.scientificamerican.com
2 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled The economic impact of universities: Evidence from across the globe
•Using international data on universities we study their impact on regional growth. •Increases in universities are positively and robustly associated with higher growth. •This effect spills over into neighbouring regions within the same country. •Increasing regional human capital and innovation matter help mediate this effect. •The economic benefits of university expansion are likely to exceed the costs.   The economic impact of universities: Evidence from across the globe Anna Valero, John Van Reenen Economics of Education ReviewVolume 68, February 2019, Pages 53-67 Source:...
2 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled How to Defraud Democracy
There are still major cybersecurity vulnerabilities facing the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in part because the election system is based on faith instead of evidence. Foreign attackers could target voter-registration rolls and election machinery to either influence the outcome or sow chaos and doubt. The worst-case scenarios could result in an unprecedented constitutional crisis. Source: www.scientificamerican.com
4 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Settlement percolation: A study of building connectivity and poles of inaccessibility
•Spatial clustering is applied to coordinates of the building stock in Germany. •We determine the percolation distance at which a country spanning cluster emerges. •The top five largest holes in that mesh are or were military training areas. •The building density decreases with the clustering threshold following a power-law with an exponent close to 0.75. •The overbuilding is a phenomenon that is beyond the dichotomy of sprawled and compact urban development.   Settlement percolation: A study of building connectivity and poles of inaccessibility Martin Behnisch, Martin Schorcht, Steffen...
5 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Sandy Pentland: The benefits of social physics – BBC Ideas
MIT’s Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland explains ‘social physics’ – the analysis of human interactions to improve communities. Source: www.bbc.com
6 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Scientists must rise above politics — and restate their value to society
Scholars globally are feeling the heat from politicians. They should take inspiration from scientists in the 1950s who raised the alarm over nuclear weapons. Source: www.nature.com
8 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled How Much Would You Pay to Change a Game before Playing It?
Envelope theorems provide a differential framework for determining how much a rational decision maker (DM) is willing to pay to alter the parameters of a strategic scenario. We generalize this framework to the case of a boundedly rational DM and arbitrary solution concepts. We focus on comparing and contrasting the case where DM’s decision to pay to change the parameters is observed by all other players against the case where DM’s decision is private information. We decompose DM’s willingness to pay a given amount into a sum of three factors: (1) the direct effect a parameter change would...
9 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Connecting empirical phenomena and theoretical models of biological coordination across scales
Coordination in living systems—from cells to people—must be understood at multiple levels of description. Analyses and modelling of empirically observed patterns of biological coordination often focus either on ensemble-level statistics in large-scale systems with many components, or on detailed dynamics in small-scale systems with few components. The two approaches have proceeded largely independent of each other. To bridge this gap between levels and scales, we have recently conducted a human experiment of mid-scale social coordination specifically designed to reveal coordination at...
10 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled PHD/Postdoc Openings at Cross Labs
OUR MISSIONCross Labs’ mission is to bridge between intelligence science and AI technology at the service of human society. At Cross Labs, we focus on pushing fundamental research towards a thorough mathematical understanding of all intelligent processes observable both in nature and in artificial environments. POSITIONTo reach our goals, we are seeking ambitious, highly-skilled researchers to solve open problems on both natural and artificial intelligence fronts. Our current research priorities cover a large range of intelligence science topics, including artificial life, cognitive...
11 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Computational Human Dynamics
This thesis summarises my scientific contributions in the domain of network science, human dynamics and computational social science. These contributions are associated to computer science, physics, statistics, and applied mathematics. The goal of this thesis is twofold, on one hand to write a concise summary of my most interesting scientific contributions, and on the other hand to provide an up-to-date view and perspective about my field. I start my dissertation with an introduction to position the reader on the landscape of my field and to put in perspective my contributions. In the second...
13 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Global labor flow network reveals the hierarchical organization and dynamics of geo-industrial clusters
Groups of firms often achieve a competitive advantage through the formation of geo-industrial clusters. Although many exemplary clusters are the subjects of case studies, systematic approaches to identify and analyze the hierarchical structure of geo-industrial clusters at the global scale are scarce. In this work, we use LinkedIn’s employment history data from more than 500 million users over 25 years to construct a labor flow network of over 4 million firms across the world, from which we reveal hierarchical structure by applying network community detection. We show that the resulting...
14 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Fundamental Structures in Dynamic Communication Networks
In this paper I introduce a framework for modeling temporal communication networks and dynamical processes unfolding on such networks. The framework originates from the realization that there is a meaningful division of temporal communication networks into six dynamic classes, where the class of a network is determined by its generating process. In particular, each class is characterized by a fundamental structure: a temporal-topological network motif, which corresponds to the network representation of communication events in that class of network. These fundamental structures constrain...
15 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Strategies and limitations in app usage and human mobility
Cognition has been found to constrain several aspects of human behaviour, such as the number of friends and the number of favourite places a person keeps stable over time. This limitation has been empirically defined in the physical and social spaces. But do people exhibit similar constraints in the digital space? We address this question through the analysis of pseudonymised mobility and mobile application (app) usage data of 400,000 individuals in a European country for six months. Despite the enormous heterogeneity of apps usage, we find that individuals exhibit a conserved capacity that...
16 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Optimal foraging and the information theory of gambling
At a macroscopic level, part of the ant colony life cycle is simple: a colony collects resources; these resources are converted into more ants, and these ants in turn collect more resources. Because more ants collect more resources, this is a multiplicative process, and the expected logarithm of the amount of resources determines how successful the colony will be in the long run. Over 60 years ago, Kelly showed, using information theoretic techniques, that the rate of growth of resources for such a situation is optimized by a strategy of betting in proportion to the probability of pay-off....
16 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Data-driven strategies for optimal bicycle network growth
Urban transportation networks, from sidewalks and bicycle paths to streets and rail lines, provide the backbone for movement and socioeconomic life in cities. These networks can be understood as layers of a larger multiplex transport network. Because most cities are car-centric, the most developed layer is typically the street layer, while other layers can be highly disconnected. To make urban transport sustainable, cities are increasingly investing to develop their bicycle networks. However, given the usually patchy nature of the bicycle network layer, it is yet unclear how to extend it...
17 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Modelling the Safety and Surveillance of the AI Race
Innovation, creativity, and competition are some of the fundamental underlying forces driving the advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI). This race for technological supremacy creates a complex ecology of choices that may lead to negative consequences, in particular, when ethical and safety procedures are underestimated or even ignored. Here we resort to a novel game theoretical framework to describe the ongoing AI bidding war, also allowing for the identification of procedures on how to influence this race to achieve desirable outcomes. By exploring the similarities between the ongoing...
18 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Active inference: building a new bridge between control theory and embodied cognitive science
The application of Bayesian techniques to the study and computational modelling of biological systems is one of the most remarkable advances in the natural and cognitive sciences over the last 50 years. More recently, it has been proposed that Bayesian frameworks are not only useful for building descriptive models of biological functions, but that living systems themselves can be seen as Bayesian (inference) machines. On this view, the statistical tools more traditionally used to account for data in biology, neuroscience and psychology, are now used to model the mechanisms underlying...
22 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled Decoding the neuroscience of consciousness
A growing understanding of consciousness could lead to fresh treatments for brain injuries and phobias. Source: www.nature.com
22 days ago
Complexity Digest wrote a new blog post titled How to Make Change Happen
In this podcast, the author of Nudge, Professor Cass Sunstein, presents a guide for anyone who wishes to fuel – or block – transformative social change. Sometimes all it takes to change society is for one person to decide they will no longer remain silent. A child announces that the emperor has no clothes. A woman tweets, #MeToo. Suddenly, a taboo collapses for the better – or for the worse. Once white nationalism was kept out of the mainstream media and politics; now it is in the White House. Social movements can begin when rage is released – or quietly, with millions of people nudged into...
22 days ago