Where Now For Agent-Based Computing?, IST Results
Excerpts: What is the future direction for agent-based systems, one of the most important software R&D areas in recent years? Drawing from a body of some 200 industry and academic organisations, a European project has released a strategic roadmap that hopes to guide evolution of the field over the next decade. AgentLink III, as its name suggests, was the third project in the series and author of the roadmap. Funded by the IST programme, it addressed the current state-of-the-art and postulated likely future directions for agent-based technologies, an activity seen as essential to help industry target its investment and to inform policy-makers on areas of particular importance.
Psychology: Hunter-Gatherers Grasp Geometry, Science
Excerpts: Are triangles and other geometric shapes embedded in the brain? The question of whether scientific concepts are innate is a tantalizing one for cognitive scientists. Now scientists studying villagers in a remote area of the Amazon report on page 381 that core geometric concepts are part of basic human cognitive equipment.
The Brain - An Orchestra Without A Conductor, MaxPlanckResearch
Excerpts: (...) Complexity provides flexibility: (...) could explain why our intuition has developed ideas about the organization of our brain that are at odds with the scientific description of this organ. The human brain undoubtedly constitutes the most complex system in the known universe - and complex does not mean simply complicated. Rather, it is a technical term within the complexity theory and designates specific characteristics of a system made up of many individual active elements that interact in very special ways. Such systems are characterized by highly nonlinear dynamics; they can produce qualities that can't be derived from the characteristics of the components (...).
Chaos In Computer Performance, Chaos
Excerpts: Modern computer microprocessors are composed of hundreds of millions of transistors that interact through intricate protocols. Their performance during program execution may be highly variable and present aperiodic oscillations. (...) Our results present pieces of evidence strongly supporting that the high variability of the performance dynamics during the execution of several programs display low-dimensional deterministic chaos, with sensitivity to initial conditions comparable to textbook models. Taken together, these results show that the instantaneous performances of modern microprocessors constitute a complex (or at least complicated) system and would benefit from analysis with modern tools of nonlinear and complexity science.
- Source: Chaos In Computer Performance, H. Berry, D. G. Pérez, O. Temam, DOI: 10.1063/1.2159147, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, Mar. 2006, online 2006/01/13
- Contributed by Atin Das - dasatinyahoo.co.in
Complex Networks: Structure and Dynamics, Physics Reports
Excerpts: Coupled biological and chemical systems, neural networks, social interacting species, the Internet and the World Wide Web, are only a few examples of systems composed by a large number of highly interconnected dynamical units.(...) We review the major concepts and results recently achieved in the study of the structure and dynamics of complex networks, and summarize the relevant applications of these ideas in many different disciplines, ranging from nonlinear science to biology, from statistical mechanics to medicine and engineering.
- Source: Complex Networks: Structure and Dynamics, S. Boccaletti, V. Latora, Y. Moreno, M. Chavez, D.-U. Hwang, DOI: 10.1016/j.physrep.2005.10.009, Physics Reports, Article in Press, Corrected Proof, 2006/01/10
Excerpts: What would happen if a Web site's readers -- instead of editors -- could decide which stories should be published? Technology journalist Kevin Rose decided to find out. Two years ago he started a technology news site called Digg.com1. The Web site lets users submit links to stories they recommend, along with brief summaries. Users also vote for submissions by clicking on a button labeled "digg it." Each person can vote once per story. The most popular stories -- determined by a formula the site doesn't disclose, including factors like the number of votes received and the time of day -- are automatically promoted to the site's main page.
Bill Miller Sees Higher Value In Google, CNN/Money
Excerpts: Legg Mason's Bill Miller, one of Wall Street's most-watched stockpickers and a major investor in Google, says the company's theoretical value is far higher than current market prices.
Miller, who bore out his reputation as an independent thinker recently when he avoided energy stocks during their surge, said in an interview that consensus growth numbers for Google imply a market cap that is more than double Friday's $118.2 billion.
Excerpts: Mr. Chen is an early user of what is expected to soon become the world's first citywide wireless-computer network in a major metropolis. The network, initiated by the Taipei city government and built by a private company, already includes more than 3,300 wireless "access points" that cover half the city's 106 square miles.
The devices use the wireless Internet technology known as Wi-Fi to let Taipei's 2.6 million residents surf the Internet or send emails from the privacy of their living rooms or the public comfort of their favorite park benches.
Climate Change: A Sea Change, Nature
Excerpts: A collapse in ocean currents triggered by global warming could be catastrophic, but only now is the Atlantic circulation being properly monitored.
(...) generator of a world-girdling system of currents ¡X an enormous flow of water known as the 'global conveyor belt'1, which transports warm surface water towards the poles and cold deep water back to the tropics. Driven by differences in temperature and salinity, this 'thermohaline' circulation has in recent years become infamous as the possible cause of major climatic upheaval.
Alarms Ring Over Bird Flu Mutations, Nature
Excerpts: Turkish virus shows increased affinity for humans.
Scientists studying virus samples from the human outbreak of avian flu in Turkey have identified three mutations in the virus's sequence. They say that at least two of these look likely to make the virus better adapted to humans.
The Turkey outbreak is unusual, because of the large family clusters of cases; the fact that many of those infected have only mild symptoms; and the speed with which infections have arisen ¡X twenty cases, including four deaths, in less than two weeks.
Scale-free Foraging by Primates Emerges from Their Interaction With a Complex Environment, arXiv
Excerpt: Scale-free foraging patterns are widespread among animals. These may be the outcome of an optimal searching strategy to find scarce randomly distributed resources, but a less explored alternative is that this behaviour may result from the interaction of foraging animals with a particular distribution of resources. We introduce a simple foraging model where individuals follow mental maps and choose their displacements according to a maximum efficiency criterion, in a spatially disordered environment containing many trees with a heterogeneous size distribution.(...)
- Source: Scale-free Foraging by Primates Emerges from Their Interaction With a Complex Environment, Denis Boyer, Gabriel Ramos-FernÃ¡ndez, Octavio Miramontes, JosÃ© L. Mateos, Germinal Cocho, HernÃ¡n Larralde, Humberto Ramos, Fernando Rojas, DOI: q-bio.PE/0601024, arXiv, 2006/01/17
Losing Sleep Undoes The Rejuvenating Effects New Learning Has On The Brain, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: As the pace of life quickens and it becomes harder to balance home and work, many people meet their obligations by getting less sleep. But sleep deprivation impairs spatial learning -- including remembering how to get to a new destination. And now scientists are beginning to understand how that happens: Learning spatial tasks increases the production of new cells in an area of the brain involved with spatial memory called the hippocampus. Sleep plays a part in helping those new brain cells survive. (...) found that sleep-restricted rats had a harder time remembering a path through a maze (...).
Suspended Animation: Putting Life On Hold, New Scientist
Excerpts: There is a strange state between being dead and alive that could one day save your life, as New Scientist discovers HASAN ALAM gazes over the cold, motionless body of a pig lying on a stainless steel table before him. The animal has no pulse, no blood, no electrical activity in its brain, and its tissues consume no oxygen. It has been in this state for two-and-a-half hours. It looks dead. "You would think so," he says, "but you can bring it back."
Tiny RNA Molecules Fine-Tune The Brain's Synapses, EurekAlert
Excerpts: A new mechanism for regulating brain function
Non-coding regions of the genome - those that don't code for proteins - are now known to include important elements that regulate gene activity. Among those elements are microRNAs, tiny, recently discovered RNA molecules that suppress gene expression. Increasing evidence indicates a role for microRNAs in the developing nervous system, and researchers from Children's Hospital Boston now demonstrate that one microRNA affects the development of synapses - the points of communication between brain cells that underlie learning and memory. The findings appear in the January 19th issue of Nature.
A Brain-Specific MicroRNA Regulates Dendritic Spine Development, Nature
Abstract: MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that control the translation of target messenger RNAs, thereby regulating critical aspects of plant and animal development. In the mammalian nervous system, the spatiotemporal control of mRNA translation has an important role in synaptic development and plasticity. Although a number of microRNAs have been isolated from the mammalian brain, neither the specific microRNAs that regulate synapse function nor their target mRNAs have been identified.
- Source: A Brain-Specific MicroRNA Regulates Dendritic Spine Development, Gerhard M. Schratt, Fabian Tuebing, Elizabeth A. Nigh, Christina G. Kane, Mary E. Sabatini, Michael Kiebler, Michael E. Greenberg, DOI: 10.1038/nature04367, Nature 439, 283-289, 06/01/19
A Molecular Framework for Plant Regeneration, Science
Excerpts: Plants and some animals have a profound capacity to regenerate organs from adult tissues. Molecular mechanisms for regeneration have, however, been largely unexplored. Here we investigate a local regeneration response in Arabidopsis roots. Laser-induced wounding disrupts the flow of auxin¡Xa cell-fate-instructive plant hormone¡Xin root tips, and we demonstrate that resulting cell-fate changes require the PLETHORA, SHORTROOT, and SCARECROW transcription factors. These transcription factors regulate the expression and polar position of PIN auxin efflux-facilitating membrane proteins to reconstitute auxin transport in renewed root tips.
Shedding Light on Vitamin D, Science Now
Excerpts: Anyone concerned about their bones is likely to make sure they have plenty of vitamin D, either by getting enough sunshine, eating fish, or taking supplements. Yet scientists know surprisingly little about how the compound works. A new study has finally shed some light on this process, showing how the vitamin takes part in a delicate balancing act between cells that tear down our bones and cells that rebuild them.
Bone breaker. The ruffled surfaces of bone-dissolving osteoclasts (pink) indicate that they are stripping out stressed bone. Credit: Stephen?Nesbitt / University College?London.
Soil Could Shed Light on Antibiotic Resistance, NPR TOTN
Excerpts: New research points to drug resistance in soil-dwelling bacteria. Scientists say studying bacteria in the soil can help in understanding how the bacteria in humans develop resistance.
Weapons of Microbial Drug Resistance Abound in Soil Flora, Science
Excerpts: Following the serendipitous discovery of penicillin in 1928 and streptomycin in 1943, the pharmaceutical industry has been screening thousands of soil samples for antimicrobial agents produced by inhabitant microbes. Chloramphenicol, clavulanic acid, erythromycin, gentamicin, rifampin, teichoplanin, tetracycline, and vancomycin represent only a few products of this spectacularly successful effort, and addition of these agents to the therapeutic arsenal has played a major role in controlling bacterial disease, the primary cause of human mortality in the preantibiotic era.
Reduced Mixing Generates Oscillations And Chaos In The Oceanic Deep Chlorophyll Maximum, Nature
Excerpts: Deep chlorophyll maxima (DCMs) are widespread in large parts of the world's oceans1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. These deep layers of high chlorophyll concentration reflect a compromise of phytoplankton growth exposed to two opposing resource gradients: light supplied from above and nutrients supplied from below. It is often argued that DCMs are stable features. Here we show, however, that reduced vertical mixing can generate oscillations and chaos in phytoplankton biomass and species composition of DCMs.
South-Seeking Magnetotactic Bacteria in the Northern Hemisphere, Science
Excerpts: Magnetotactic bacteria contain membrane-bound intracellular iron crystals (magnetosomes) and respond to magnetic fields. Polar magnetotactic bacteria in vertical chemical gradients are thought to respond to high oxygen levels by swimming downward into areas with low or no oxygen (toward geomagnetic north in the Northern Hemisphere and geomagnetic south in the Southern Hemisphere). We identified populations of polar magnetotactic bacteria in the Northern Hemisphere that respond to high oxygen levels by swimming toward geomagnetic south, the opposite of all previously reported magnetotactic behavior.
Condensed-Matter Physics: Great Moments In Disorder, Nature
Excerpts: An array of nanomagnets has been designed to resemble the disordered magnetic state known as 'spin ice'. This could transform our understanding of disordered matter and, potentially, lead to new technologies.
Get Laser-Like Beams From Salt, Nature News
Excerpts: A model suggests that shocking a crystal will produce synchronized light.
Physicists in the United States have discovered a way to make what is essentially laser light, without using a laser. All you need to do, they say, is give a crystal of table salt a sharp knock.
It was previously assumed that this would do nothing more than squeeze sparks and ordinary light out of the crystal. But Evan Reed of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and his co-workers say that the shock will also generate a small amount of 'coherent' light1, the stuff that comes from lasers.
Helical Spin Order on the Move, Science
Excerpts: Magnetic materials can be thought of as assemblies of billions of miniature magnets called spins. These tiny microscopic magnets can be arranged in several possible configurations, depending on how the spins line up. When all the spins are aligned with each other, they form ferromagnets, examples of which can be found on most refrigerator doors. Here, the prefix "ferro" refers to iron, which is magnetic and naturally displays this kind of parallel-spin order. Another type of magnetic order is antiferromagnetic, in which nearby spins are oriented opposite to each other.
Superplastic Carbon Nanotubes, Nature
Excerpts: Conditions have been discovered that allow extensive deformation of rigid single-walled nanotubes.
The theoretical maximum tensile strain ¡X that is, elongation ¡X of a single-walled carbon nanotube is almost 20%1, 2, but in practice only 6%3, 4 is achieved. Here we show that, at high temperatures, individual single-walled carbon nanotubes can undergo superplastic deformation, becoming nearly 280% longer and 15 times narrower before breaking. This superplastic deformation is the result of the nucleation and motion of kinks in the structure, and could prove useful in helping to strengthen and toughen ceramics and other nanocomposites at high temperatures.
- Source: Superplastic Carbon Nanotubes, J. Y. Huang, S. Chen, Z. Q. Wang, K. Kempa, Y. M. Wang, S. H. Jo, G. Chen, M. S. Dresselhaus, Z. F. Ren, DOI: 10.1038/439281a, Nature 439, 281, 06/01/19
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Network
Just Starting: The War Against Terror, Newsday
Excerpts: The central message of Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape heard 'round the world is that al-Qaida lives, he is in command, the jihadists are winning and victory is inevitable - the exact opposite of the message President George W. Bush delivers in speeches on the war on terrorism. (...)
In jihadist circles, the al-Qaida leader's continued survival - despite an enormous effort by the United States to capture or kill him - is seen as evidence of divine protection validating their cause.
Excerpts: One of the hardest decisions a president of the United States is obligated to make is that of going to war. It is a decision, however, that pales in comparison to the degree of difficulty in making peace when one's enemy remains unvanquished. With the release of Osama bin Laden's latest media communiqu? offering a truce to the US, President Bush must decide whether to stick to the moribund old clich? "we don't negotiate with terrorists," or whether he should use this as a potential opportunity to redirect global politics along a path that serves US national interests.
Links & Snippets
- A Dirty Space Smashup, 06/01/19, Science Now,
Ancient asteroid collision scattered dust over Earth, but no harm done
An ancient asteroid collision may have scattered dust over Earth.
- Dieting to Save a Species: Mother parrots that eat less avoid excess of sons, 06/01/21, Science News, New Zealand's endangered, flightless parrot population is recovering from a shortage of daughters now that conservationists are counting calories for the mothers.
- Intrinsic Remedies for Pain: Placebo effect may take various paths in brain, 06/01/21, Science News, The brain draws on a range of pain-fighting options when people receive sham treatments for pain.
- Thermonuclear Squeeze: Altered method extends bubble-fusion claim, 06/01/21, Science News, A technique that some scientists claim generates thermonuclear fusion in a benchtop apparatus apparently works even without its controversial neutron trigger.
- In Pixels and in Health, 06/01/21, Science News, By simulating individual cells and their behavior inside the human body using a computer technique called agent-based modeling, scientists are gaining new insight into disease progression.
- Getting a read on early Maya writing, 06/01/21, Science News, Excavators of a pyramid in northeastern Guatemala announced the discovery of the earliest known Maya writing.
- Magnetic Thinking, Mark Peplow, 2006/01/12, News@Nature, DOI: 10.1038/news060109-12
- Web Users Judge Sites in the Blink of an Eye, Michael Hopkin, 2006/01/13, News@Nature, DOI: 10.1038/news060109-13
- Babies Born in Winter Are Bigger, Brighter and More Successful, Roger Dobson, 2006/01/15, The Independent
- What's In It For Me? Self-Regard Precludes Altruism And Spite In Chimpanzees, K. Jensen, B. Hare, J. Call, M. Tomasello, 2006/01/17, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3417
- The Effects Of Floral Mimics And Models On Each Others' Fitness, B. Anderson, S. D. Johnson, 2006/01/17, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3401
- Coevolution Of Slow-Fast Populations: Evolutionary Sliding, Evolutionary Pseudo-Equilibria And Complex Red Queen Dynamics, F. Dercole, R. Ferrière, A. Gragnani, S. Rinaldi, 2006/01/17, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3398
- Comedy Films Boost Blood Flow To The Heart, 2006/01/18, ScienceDaily & BMJ Specialty Journals
- Haze Dynasty: In China, Cloud-free Days Do Not Mean Sunshine; Smog Is To Blame, 2006/01/18, ScienceDaily & Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Lots Of Flowers And Trees, Not Enough Birds And Bees: Hot Competition For Sex Threatens Biodiversity In World's Richest Regions, 2006/01/19, Innovations-report & University of Pittsburgh
- Evolutionary Shifts In Olfactory Sensitivities In Fruit Flies, 2006/01/19, ScienceDaily & Cell Press
- UCSD Biologists Find New Evidence For One-Way Evolution, 2006/01/20, Innovations-report & University of California - San Diego
- Apple Caught Cheating On RSS Standard: New iPhoto Feature Disregards Standards, T. Sanders, 2006/01/20, vnunet.com
- Ship Noise And Cortisol Secretion In European Freshwater Fishes, L. Eva Wysocki - lwysockiumd.edu, J. P. Ditta - john.dittamiunivie.ac.at, F. Ladich - friedrich.ladichunivie.ac.at, Apr. 2006, online 2005/11/28, Biological Conservation, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2005.10.020
- Fighting And Flying: Archival Analysis Of Threat, Authoritarianism, And The North American Comic Book, B. E. Peterson, E. D. Gerstein, Dec. 2005, Online 2005/11/11, Political Psychology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2005.00449.x
- Affect And Cognition In Party Identification, B. C. Burden, C. A. Klofstad, Dec. 2005, Online 2005/11/11, Political Psychology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2005.00448.x
- Where Is The Japanese Economy Headed?, M. Ikawa, Dec. 2005, Online 2005/12/21, Pacific Economic Review, DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0106.2005.00288.x
- Petascale Computational Systems, G. Bell, J. Gray, A. Szalay, Jan. 2006, Computer, IEEE
- Synchronization In Uncertain Complex Networks, M. Chen, D. Zhou, Mar. 2006, online 2006/01/12, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, DOI: 10.1063/1.2126581
Ralph Abraham on Complexity Digest, , Calcutta, India, 05/12/27
- An Afternoon with Michael Crichton, Washington, 05/11/06
Illuminating the Shadow of the Future, Ann Arbor, Mi 05/09/23-25
Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems - Brainstorming Meeting, Paris, France 05/09/19-23
Complexity, Science & Society Conference 2005, U. Liverpool, UK 2005/09/11-14
ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life,
Canterbury, Kent, UK 2005/09/5-9
T. Irene Sanders, Executive Director and Founder, The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy, 05/08/27, QuickTime video (10:38 min), Podcast
- North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2005 Conference, Virtual Conference Network, St. Pete's Beach, Florida, 05/06/09-11
- Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Virtual Conference Network, Urbana-Champaign, Il, UIUC, 05/05/16-19
- Nonlinearity, Fluctuations, and Complexity, with a celebration of the 65th birthday of Gregoire Nicolis. , Complexity Session, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 05/03/16
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 05/01/26-30
1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
- CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
- Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
- Edge Videos
The Second International Workshop on Biologically Inspired
Approaches to Advanced Information Technology , Senri Life Science Center, Osaka, Japan, 06/01/26-27
Intl Wkshp and Sem, Dynamics on Complex Networks and Applications, Dresden, Germany, 06/02/06-03/03
- FRACTAL 2006 Complexity and Fractals in Nature, 9th Intl Multidisciplinary Conf, Vienna, Austria, 06/02/12-15
'The Application of Complexity Science to Human Affairs , Milton Keynes, UK, 06/02/28
2nd Intl Nonlinear Science Conf, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 06/03/10-12
- 18th European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research (EMCSR), Vienna, Austria, 06/04/18-21
5th Intl Joint Conf on Autonomous Agents And Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2006)
Future University, Hakodate, Japan, )6/05/08-12
- Nonlinearities: from Turbulent to Magic,
Copenhagen, Denmark. 06/05/17-20
- Alife X - The 10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems,Bloomington, Indiana, 06/06/03-07
Intl. Conference on Complex Systems Boston, MA, 06/06/25-30
NKS 2006: The Wolfram Science Conference, Washington, D.C., 06/06/16-18
Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS)
Boston, Ma, 06/06/25-30
2006 Genetic And Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2006),
Seattle, Washington, USA, 06/07/08-12
50th Anniversary Summit of AI, Monte Verita, Switzerland, 06/07/09-14
Symmetry Festival 2006, Symmetry in Art and Science Education, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/12-18
World Conference on Social Simulation (WCSS-06) , Kyoto, Japan, 06/08/21-25
FROM ANIMALS TO ANIMATS 9, The Ninth Intl Conf on the SIMULATION OF ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR (SAB'06), 06/09/25-30
Call for Papers - Book Announcements
Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, © 2004 Robert A. Freitas Jr. and Ralph C. Merkle. All Rights Reserved. This book is now available for free on the Internet, 05/10
- New Issue of
E:CO (Emergence, Complexity and Organization) was published online.