Excerpt: Like artificial intelligence in its earlier years, the field of complex systems has received a lot of press in the last two decades, both positive and negative, breezily hyped and unjustly derogatory. As in the early years of AI, complex systems scientists have at times made promises and set up expectations that are hard for any young science to fulfill. Is it true that the "laws of complexity spontaneously generate much of the order of the natural world" ? Is the fact that simple programs can produce highly complex behavior "one of the more important single discoveries in the whole history of theoretical science" ? On the other hand, is it fair for a major science magazine to ask, on its front cover, if complexity science is "a sham" ? (...)
Deconstructing Complexity, Computerworld
Excerpts: What are some useful ideas from complexity science? One is the idea that we need to understand systems from the bottom up in order to capture emergent phenomena and the behavior of very complex systems. For example, it's very difficult to understand traffic unless you understand the behaviors of individual drivers. Only then can you start to understand some of the weird properties of traffic. For example, a traffic jam moves backward, but all the cars move forward.
Using Graph Concepts to Understand the Organization of Complex Systems, arXiv
Abstract: Complex networks are universal, arising in fields as disparate as sociology, physics, and biology. In the past decade, extensive research into the properties and behaviors of complex systems has uncovered surprising commonalities among the topologies of different systems. Attempts to explain these similarities have led to the ongoing development and refinement of network models and graph-theoretical analysis techniques with which to characterize and understand complexity. In this tutorial, we demonstrate through illustrative examples, how network measures and models have contributed to the elucidation of the organization of complex systems.
AI Re-Emerging As Research In Complex Systems, Ubiquity
Excerpts: The history and the future of Artificial Intelligence could be summarized into three distinctive phases: embryonic, embedded and embodied. We briefly describe early efforts in AI aiming to mimic intelligent behavior, evolving later into a set of the useful, embedded and practical technologies. We project the possible future of embodied intelligent systems, able to model and understand the environment and learn from interactions, while learning and evolving in constantly changing circumstances.
The Dynamics of Machiavellian Intelligence, arXiv
Excerpt: The ``Machiavellian intelligence'' hypothesis (also referred to as the ``social brain'' hypothesis) posits that large brains and distinctive cognitive abilities of humans have evolved via a spiraling arms race in which social competitors developed increasingly sophisticated ``Machiavellian'' strategies. Here we build a mathematical model aiming to explore this hypothesis. In the model, genes control brains which invent and learn strategies (memes) which are used by males to gain advantage in competition for mates. (...)
Excerpts: AT A TIME of great international turmoil, growing globalization, and exploding technological advances, making time for child play seems an unaffordable luxury. Yet, a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics -- due out today -- makes just the opposite case. It argues for the essential role of play in the healthy mental, physical, and social/emotional development of the child.
New AAP Report Stresses Play For Healthy Development, AAP Press Release
Excerpts: Hurried lifestyle and heavy academic, extracurricular load taking toll; balance is needed
A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says free and unstructured play is healthy and - in fact - essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient.
The report, "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds," is written in defense of play and in response to forces threatening free play and unscheduled time.
American Wins Nobel Prize In Chemistry, NY Times
Excerpts: (...) Dr. Roger D. Kornberg of Stanford University School of Medicine won this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry today for showing how genes convey their messages in cells to copy particular functions such as making proteins. The Nobel Prize committee cited Dr. Kornberg, 59, for visually showing how information encoded in a cell's DNA blueprint is read and duplicated into what is called messenger-RNA. This messenger-RNA, in turn, takes the information out of the nucleus to outer areas of the cell where it is used to construct proteins that control cell functions.
U.S. Economist Wins Nobel For Work On Inflation, Jobs, Reuters
Excerpts: American Edmund Phelps took the 2006 economics Nobel on Monday for work in the 1960s on the link between unemployment and inflation that economists say shapes the way central banks formulate monetary policy today.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the Columbia University professor won for challenging the assumption that policy-makers could cut unemployment in the long-term by stimulating demand. The award extended an American sweep of all the Nobels so far this year.
Mind Games - What Neuroeconomics Tells Us About Money And The Brain, New Yorker
Excerpts: "The brain doesn't like ambiguous situations," (...). "When it can't figure out what is happening, the amygdala transmits fear to the orbitofrontal cortex."
The results of the experiment suggested that when people are confronted with ambiguity their emotions can overpower their reasoning, leading them to reject risky propositions. This raises the intriguing possibility that people who are less fearful than others might make better investors, which is precisely what George Loewenstein and four other researchers found when they carried out a series of experiments with a group of patients who had suffered brain damage.
The Misbehavior Of Value And The Discipline Of The Will, Neural Networks
Excerpt: Most reinforcement learning models of animal conditioning operate under the convenient, though fictive, assumption that Pavlovian conditioning concerns prediction learning whereas instrumental conditioning concerns action learning. However, it is only through Pavlovian responses that Pavlovian prediction learning is evident, and these responses can act against the instrumental interests of the subjects. This can be seen in both experimental and natural circumstances. In this paper we study the consequences of importing this competition into a reinforcement learning context, and demonstrate the resulting effects in an omission schedule and a maze navigation task. (...)
- Source: The Misbehavior Of Value And The Discipline Of The Will, P. Dayan - dayangatsby.ucl.ac.uk, Y. Niv - yaelnivalice.nc.huji.ac.il, B. Seymour - bseymourfil.ion.ucl.ac.uk, N. D. Daw - dawgatsby.ucl.ac.uk, DOI: 10.1016/j.neunet.2006.03.002, Neural Networks, Oct. 2006, online 2006/08/30
- Contributed by Atin Das - dasatinyahoo.co.in
Building Bridges Between Neural Models And Complex Decision Making Behaviour, Neural Networks
Excerpt: Diffusion processes, and their discrete time counterparts, random walk models, have demonstrated an ability to account for a wide range of findings from behavioural decision making for which the purely algebraic and deterministic models often used in economics and psychology cannot account. Recent studies that record neural activations in non-human primates during perceptual decision making tasks have revealed that neural firing rates closely mimic the accumulation of preference theorized by behaviourally-derived diffusion models of decision making. This article bridges the expanse between the neurophysiological and behavioural decision making literatures specifically, decision field theory (...).
Fractal Analysis Of Different Eastern And Western Musical Instruments, Fractals
Abstract: In this paper, we attempt musical analysis by measuring fractal dimension (D) of musical pieces played by several musical instruments. We collected solo performances of popular instruments of Western and Eastern origin as samples. We attempted usual spectral analysis of the selected clips to observe peaks of fundamental and harmonics in frequency regime. After appropriate processing, we converted them into time series data sets and computed their fractal dimension. Based on our results, we conclude that instrumental musical sounds may have higher Ds than those computed from vocal performances of different types of Indian songs.
Delay Between Online And Offline Issue Of Journals: A Critical Analysis, Lib. & Info. Sc. Res.
Excerpts: Journals, which were earlier published in print-only version, are now published in both the online and print versions. (...) But there is a difference between the dates of publication of the online and print version of the same journal. This is called the delay measured in terms of days. The purpose of this study is to find the average time delay. For this, data for more than 200 journals of various subjects from different publishers have been manually acquired for publications during the first 6 months of year 2005. (...) The average delay is found to be nearly 3 months, (...).
Planning For Robust Reserve Networks Using Uncertainty Analysis, Ecol. Modelling
Excerpts: Planning land-use for biodiversity conservation frequently involves computer-assisted reserve selection algorithms. Typically such algorithms operate on matrices of species presence (...). There are practically always errors in input data-erroneous species presence-absence data, structural and parametric uncertainty in predictive habitat models, and lack of correspondence between temporal presence and long-run persistence. Despite these uncertainties, typical reserve selection methods proceed as if there is no uncertainty in the data or models. (...) In this work we show how uncertainty analysis for reserve planning can be implemented within a framework of information-gap decision theory, generating reserve designs that are robust to uncertainty. (...)
- Source: Planning For Robust Reserve Networks Using Uncertainty Analysis, A. Moilanen - atte.moilanenhelsinki.fi, M. C. Runge - michael_rungeusgs.gov, J. Elith - j.elithunimelb.edu.au, A. Tyre, Y. Carmel, E. Fegraus, B. A. Wintle, M. Burgman, Y. B.-Haim, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.07.004, Ecological Modelling, Nov. 2006, online 2006/0/17
- Contributed by Pritha Das - prithadas01yahoo.com
Naked Mole-Rat Unfazed By Oxidative Stress, Bio.com
Excerpts: The long-lived naked mole-rat shows much higher levels of oxidative stress and damage and less robust repair mechanisms than the short-lived mouse, findings that could change the oxidative stress theory of aging. The new study comparing the naked mole-rat, which has a life span of 28 years, and the mouse, which has a lifespan of three years, will be presented Oct. 8 at The American Physiological Society conference, Comparative Physiology 2006: Integrating Diversity.
Cell Cycle: Complex Evolution, Nature
Excerpts: Cell division is fundamental to life, and so might be expected to have changed little during evolution. Data from four species show that the genes involved can vary, but the regulation of complexes is a common theme.
There are many core biological processes for which different organisms use essentially the same proteins to carry out certain tasks. These equivalent proteins, (...), are mostly very similar in terms of their protein sequence. However, what remains much less clear is whether these orthologues are regulated in a similar manner in different organisms (...) .
Genetics: Junk Dna As An Evolutionary Force, Nature
Excerpts: Transposable elements were long dismissed as useless, but they are emerging as major players in evolution. Their interactions with the genome and the environment affect how genes are translated into physical traits.
Transposable elements (TEs) - commonly called 'jumping genes' - are stretches of DNA that move around the genome of a cell, and the genomes of many higher organisms are cluttered with numerous copies of these enigmatic elements. (...). It is emerging that these elements have had a significant influence on the evolution of genomes, particularly by controlling gene activity.
Making Water From Thin Air, Wired
Excerpts: A company that developed technology capable of creating water out of thin air nearly anywhere in the world is now under contract to nourish U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq. (...)
He did, however, provide a hint: Think of rice used in saltshakers that acts as a magnet to extract water and keeps salt from clumping.
"We figured out how to tap it in a very unique and proprietary way," Sher said. "We figured out how to mimic nature, using natural salt to extract water and act as a natural decontamination. (...)
Aqua Sciences' machines only require 14 percent humidity, (...).
Single-Pixel Camera Could Simplify Imaging, New Scientist
A single-pixel camera that captures complete images by taking many snaps with an array of micro-mirrors could consume less power and produce more compact image files than conventional imaging devices, researchers say. (...)
The single-pixel camera captured the image on the right from the one on the left (Image: Baraniuk/Kelly)
The camera switches each mirror randomly between one of two positions - so that they either reflect light onto the pixel or do not. The current version repeats this process about a thousand times in a second, recording the sensor output as it does. A connected computer then works backwards from the sensor output and mirror positions, to generate a complete image.
Teens: E-Mail Is For Old People, ars technica
Excerpts: For some schools, the correct answer is: set up a MySpace page. After all, there's nothing hipper for students than being "friends" with your college registrar or school principal. The intriguing thing about this method of reaching students is that it's most often not "instant" at all; students receive messages when they log in or they visit the school's MySpace pages - the equivalent of using e-mail and a Web portal.
Software Being Developed To Monitor Opinions Of U.S., NY Times
Excerpts: The new software would allow much more rapid and comprehensive monitoring of the global news media, as the Homeland Security Department and, perhaps, intelligence agencies look "to identify common patterns from numerous sources of information which might be indicative of potential threats to the nation," a statement by the department said.
It could take several years for such a monitoring system to be in place, said Joe Kielman, coordinator of the research effort. The monitoring would not extend to United States news, Mr. Kielman said.
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
For U.S., A Strategic Jolt After North Korea's Test, NY Times
Excerpts: "What it tells you is that we started at the wrong end of the 'axis of evil,'" former Senator Sam Nunn, the Georgia Democrat who has spent his post-Congressional career trying to halt a new age of proliferation, said in an interview. "We started with the least dangerous of the countries, Iraq, and we knew it at the time. And now we have to deal with that." (...)
Blast May Be Only A Partial Success, Experts Say, NY Times
Excerpts: Throughout history, the first detonations of aspiring nuclear powers have tended to pack the destructive power of 10,000 to 60,000 tons (...) of conventional high explosives.
But the strength of the North Korean test appears to have been a small fraction of that: around a kiloton or less, according to scientists monitoring the global arrays of seismometers that detect faint trembles in the earth from distant blasts. (...)
"If the lower-yield estimates are valid, then it's not a militarized system, but also not something a terrorist would reject."
Editor's Note: One interpretation of the low yield could also be the changing target market: One kiloton would be the equivalent of about 50 truck bombs that can be packed into a single SUV. That seems to be an ideal weapon for terrorists.
Biodefence Special: Fortress America?, New Scientist
Excerpts: It was the nightmare many had been expecting. Five years ago, hard on the heels of 9/11, someone sent anthrax spores through the US mail to journalists and politicians. Five people died, and at least 17 more got sick. The culprit was never caught.
This relatively unsophisticated attack confirmed fears, already growing in the US, that with a bit more effort a determined bioterrorist could spread disease and mayhem across the nation. To combat the threat, the Bush administration launched an unprecedented biodefence effort.
Links & Snippets
- The Structure, the Dynamics and the Survivability of Social Systems, Ingo Piepers, nlin.AO/0610022
- Metapopulation Extinction Risk Is Increased By Environmental Stochasticity And Assemblage Complexity, T. D. Seeley, D. R. Tarpy, 2006/10/03, Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3691
- Olfactory Memory Capacity Of The Cricket Gryllus Bimaculatus, Y. Matsumoto, M. Mizunami, 2006/10/03, Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2006.0540
- Black Tea Soothes Away Stress, 2006/10/04, Innovations-report
- Businesses Lacking Confidence In IT Investment: Over A Third Of Companies See Some Of Their IT Spend As A 'Waste Of Money', T. Young, 2006/10/05, vnunet.com & Computing
- Food Or Its Expectation Sparks Brain's Hunger Centers, 2006/10/05, Innovations-report
- Fantastic Voyage: A New Nanoscale View Of The Biological World, 2006/10/05, Innovations-report
- Williams Syndrome, The Brain And Music, 2006/10/05, ScienceDaily & Salk Institute
- Home, Home On The Range: How Much Space Does An Animal Really Need?, 2006/10/05, ScienceDaily & University of Chicago Press Journals
- Men, Women Have Similar Rates Of Compulsive Buying, Stanford Study Shows, 2006/10/06, ScienceDaily & Stanford University Medical Center
- Novel Pathway Regulates Timing Of Brain Cell Development, 2006/10/06, ScienceDaily & Children's Hospital Boston
- Harvesting Of Dynamically Complex Consumer-Resource Systems: Insights From A Threshold Management Policy, M. I. da Silveira Costa - michellncc.br, M. E. M. Meza - enriquelncc.br, Oct. 2006, online 2006/07/19, Ecological Complexity, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecocom.2006.03.003
- Gender And Science In Developing Areas: Has The Internet Reduced Inequality?, B. P. Miller - bmill23lsu.edu, R. Sooryamoorthy, M. Anderson, A. Palackal, W. Shrum Brown, Sep. 2006, online 2006/08/03, Social Science Quarterly, DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00403.x
- The Drug-Laden Balloon: U.S. Military Assistance And Coca Production In The Central Andes, S. M. Rouse - srouse1lsu.edu, M. Arce Brown, Sep. 2006, online 2006/08/03, Social Science Quarterly, DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00395.x
Potentials of Complexity Science for Business, Governments, and the Media 2006, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/03-05
- 6th Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS), Boston, MA, 06/06/25-30
Artificial Life X,
10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, Bloomington, IN, USA. 2006/06/03-07
6th Understanding Complex Systems Symposium, Urbana-Champaign, Il, 06/05/15-18
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
2007 Complexity and Educational Research Conference, Vancouver, BC, 07/02/18-20
3rd Intl Congress of Nanotechnology 2006 (ICNT 2006) , San Francisco, 06/10/30-11/02
- Art & Artificial Life International Competition VIDA 9.0 , Deadline: 06/10/16
Weaving Smart Networks: Building Capacity for Positive Change in Organizations and Communities, Washington, DC USA, 06/10/12-13
- 2006 Wolfram Technology
Conference,Champaign, Illinois, 06/10/12-14
6th Intl Conf on Simulated Evolution and Learning , Hefei, China, 06/10/15-18
Regulomics Symposium: Focus on Systems Biology, Boston, MA, 06/10/23-26
- Complexity Cluster: Leading 21st Century Organizations, San Francisco, CA, 06/10/31
- 8th Annual Intl Leadership Association Conference: Leadership at the Crossroads,
Chicago, IIinois, USA, 06/11/01-05
Creating Interdisciplinary Cultures: Insights from Complexity Science and Relationship Centered Care, Indiana USA, 06/11/17-19
Self-Organization And Morphogenesis In Biological Systems ,
Schloss Ringberg, Germany. 06/12/03-06
- Japan Mathematica Conference 2006, Tokyo, Japan, 06/12/12
- 2006 IEEE/WIC/ACM Intl Workshop on
Interaction between Agents and Data Mining (IADM-06), Hongkong, China, 06/12/18
NECSI Winter School 2007, Cambridge, MA, 07/01/08-19
- Logic, Computability and Randomness 2007 , Buenos Aires, Argentina, 07/01/10-13
Managing Complex Organizations in a Complex World, Cambridge, MA, 07/01/25-26
3rd International Workshop on Complexity and Philisophy, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 07/02/22-23
- Complexity and Organizational Resilience
The Village, Pohnpei, Micronesia, 07/05
- 2nd Intl Conf on Built Environment Complexity - Embracing complexity thinking in built environments, Cape Town South Africa, 07/05/21-25
ECO 2007 Summit: Ecological Complexity and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for 21st-Century Ecology, Beijing, China, 07/05/22-27
2007 IEEE/ICME Intl Conf on Complex Medical Engineering-CME2007, Beijing, China, 07/05/23-27
Summer School In Complexity Science, London, UK, 07/07/08-17
ECAL 2oo7 - 9th European Conference on Artificial Life
, Lisbon, Portugal, 07/09/10-14
European Conference on Complex Systems 2007 (ECCS'07) , Dresden, Germany, 07/10/01-05
Call for Papers - Course/Book Announcements
- The publishing consortium of
The European Physical Journal (EPJ), and the Editors-in-Chief are pleased to announce that The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems - has substantially extended its existing publishing activities in the fields of Statistical Physics and Nonlinear Dynamics to encompass all aspects of the emerging field of Complex Systems.
- Call for Submissions:
The Journal of Developmental Processes will publish its first issue in fall 2006. , The JDP recognizes that complex developmental processes characterize the growth of living organisms. In humans, this complexity is highly elaborated, so that developmental change is affected by many interrelated factors of the body, the mind, family, society and the environment. New discoveries continually add to our understanding of these processes and demonstrate the inadequacy of reductionist approaches.
- Call for Papers:
Special Issue of the Artificial Life journal on the Evolution of Complexity,
Digital Graphics for Quantitative Finance,
Lineplot Productions, 2006
Why create movies of financial models? Because key stakeholders often don't understand them. The mathematical, data-intensive sphere of quantitative financial analysis can be a black box even for many in the industry. It is vital for users of this analysis to appreciate, understand and buy into, often literally, these difficult and important concepts.
Life: An Introduction to Complex Systems Biology, Kunihiko Kaneko, Springer Series: Understanding Complex Systems, 2006
What is life? Has molecular biology given us a satisfactory answer to this question? And if not, why, and how to carry on from there? This book examines life not from the reductionist point of view, but rather asks the question: what are the universal properties of living systems and how can one construct from there a phenomenological theory of life that leads naturally to complex processes such as reproductive cellular systems, evolution and differentiation? The presentation has been deliberately kept fairly non-technical so as to address a broad spectrum of students and researchers from the natural sciences and informatics.
- Chaos and Complexity
Resources for Students and Teachers, 06/03/01