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Computational Human Dynamics

August 11, 2019 Comments (0)

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...

Global labor flow network reveals the hierarchical organization and dynamics of geo-industrial clusters

August 11, 2019 Comments (0)

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...

Fundamental Structures in Dynamic Communication Networks

August 10, 2019 Comments (0)

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...

Strategies and limitations in app usage and human mobility

August 9, 2019 Comments (0)

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...

Optimal foraging and the information theory of gambling

August 9, 2019 Comments (0)

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...

Data-driven strategies for optimal bicycle network growth

August 8, 2019 Comments (0)

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,...

Modelling the Safety and Surveillance of the AI Race

August 7, 2019 Comments (0)

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...

Active inference: building a new bridge between control theory and embodied cognitive science

August 3, 2019 Comments (0)

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...

How to Make Change Happen

August 3, 2019 Comments (0)

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....

Decoding the neuroscience of consciousness

August 3, 2019 Comments (0)

A growing understanding of consciousness could lead to fresh treatments for brain injuries and phobias. Source: