Month: March 2018

7th International Young Scientists Conference in Computational Science

University of Crete (UoC), Greece, Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH), Greece, University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands and Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO University), Russian Federation, announce 2018 International Young Scientists Conference for young researchers and professionals in HPC technologies and computer modeling to take place at University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.

The Conference aims to strengthen the ties between young scientists in different countries, thus promoting future collaboration in the framework of Computational Science and major application aspects of High Performance Computing, Computer Modeling and Simulation to tackle a wide range of issues in science, industry and business.

Simulation and systems thinking is one way to explain the complex world in which we live. By collecting data and creating computer models, scientists can make predictions on critical problems, such as how to influence the flow of traffic, how an epidemic will spread or the probability of individuals in society becoming addicted to drugs. The conference will cover the aspects related to HPC, BigData, large scale simulation of complex systems and offers an ideal range of topics for final year Master’s student or starting PhD students interested in this domain.



7th International
Young Scientists Conference
in Computational Science
2 – 6 July, 2018,
Heraklion, Greece


Psychophysical Laws and the Superorganism

Through theoretical analysis, we show how a superorganism may react to stimulus variations according to psychophysical laws observed in humans and other animals. We investigate an empirically-motivated honeybee house-hunting model, which describes a value-sensitive decision process over potential nest-sites, at the level of the colony. In this study, we show how colony decision time increases with the number of available nests, in agreement with the Hick-Hyman law of psychophysics, and decreases with mean nest quality, in agreement with Piéron’s law. We also show that colony error rate depends on mean nest quality, and difference in quality, in agreement with Weber’s law. Psychophysical laws, particularly Weber’s law, have been found in diverse species, including unicellular organisms. Our theoretical results predict that superorganisms may also exhibit such behaviour, suggesting that these laws arise from fundamental mechanisms of information processing and decision-making. Finally, we propose a combined psychophysical law which unifies Hick-Hyman’s law and Piéron’s law, traditionally studied independently; this unified law makes predictions that can be empirically tested.


A. Reina, T. Bose, V. Trianni, J.A.R. Marshall (2018). Psychophysical Laws and the Superorganism. Scientific Reports 8:4387. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-22616-y


Social norm complexity and past reputations in the evolution of cooperation

Indirect reciprocity is the most elaborate and cognitively demanding1 of all known cooperation mechanisms2, and is the most specifically human1,3 because it involves reputation and status. By helping someone, individuals may increase their reputation, which may change the predisposition of others to help them in future. The revision of an individual’s reputation depends on the social norms that establish what characterizes a good or bad action and thus provide a basis for morality3. Norms based on indirect reciprocity are often sufficiently complex that an individual’s ability to follow subjective rules becomes important4,5,6, even in models that disregard the past reputations of individuals, and reduce reputations to either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and actions to binary decisions7,8. Here we include past reputations in such a model and identify the key pattern in the associated norms that promotes cooperation. Of the norms that comply with this pattern, the one that leads to maximal cooperation (greater than 90 per cent) with minimum complexity does not discriminate on the basis of past reputation; the relative performance of this norm is particularly evident when we consider a ‘complexity cost’ in the decision process. This combination of high cooperation and low complexity suggests that simple moral principles can elicit cooperation even in complex environments.


Social norm complexity and past reputations in the evolution of cooperation
Fernando P. Santos, Francisco C. Santos & Jorge M. Pacheco
Nature volume 555, pages 242–245 (08 March 2018)


Turing Lecture: Better living through trusted data – Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, MIT Media Lab

Big Data, AI, and social media echo chambers can feel scary, but if harnessed correctly they can dramatically improve our quality of life. The potential for improvement comes first from better scientific understanding of our human minds and bodies, and second from a more open and shared understanding of society, government, and our day-to-day lives. The key to achieving these positive results is aggressive pursuit of a new, broad science of human life to unify the traditional and narrow sciences, and making data a trusted and safe resource for everyone. We are building such systems today, and are changing “business as usual” for governments around the world, as well as beginning to unify fragmented social and computational sciences.


Strategic Analytics | NECSI

This seminar is for anyone who wants to understand risk, opportunity and strategy in the real world, especially key decision makers and those who advise them: executives, senior managers, government policy makers, public administrators, management consultants, organizational development professionals and business educators.


A five day certificate program covering
Complexity and Analytics
Risk and Opportunity
Implications for Strategy


Featured Presenters:
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Yaneer Bar-Yam
Alfredo J. Morales