Month: February 2020

Tesco Grocery 1.0, a large-scale dataset of grocery purchases in London

Luca Maria Aiello, Daniele Quercia, Rossano Schifanella & Lucia Del Prete 
Scientific Data volume 7, Article number: 57 (2020)


We present the Tesco Grocery 1.0 dataset: a record of 420 M food items purchased by 1.6 M fidelity card owners who shopped at the 411 Tesco stores in Greater London over the course of the entire year of 2015, aggregated at the level of census areas to preserve anonymity. For each area, we report the number of transactions and nutritional properties of the typical food item bought including the average caloric intake and the composition of nutrients. The set of global trade international numbers (barcodes) for each food type is also included. To establish data validity we: i) compare food purchase volumes to population from census to assess representativeness, and ii) match nutrient and energy intake to official statistics of food-related illnesses to appraise the extent to which the dataset is ecologically valid. Given its unprecedented scale and geographic granularity, the data can be used to link food purchases to a number of geographically-salient indicators, which enables studies on health outcomes, cultural aspects, and economic factors.


The role of worldviews in the governance of sustainable mobility

Frank Chuang, Ed Manley, Arthur Petersen



In sustainability policy-making, a critical task is to value present and future needs in order to realize good quality of life. To analyze complex ideas of how people interpret reality, develop value orientations, and define needs and the good life, the notion of worldviews proved to be useful. We use worldviews to study how people of distinct ways of life perceive and assess sustainable mobility issues. Through exploring three worldviews (egalitarianism, hierarchy, and individualism), our results map across British people’s attitudes to mobility debates in terms of the economic, environmental, social, and political dimensions. In so doing, our study demonstrates a framework for identifying what behavioral and institutional barriers hinder the transformations needed to achieve better cities and societies.


What Differs Us From Machines?

Carlos Gershenson


One of the most amazing things about reading R.U.R. a century after it was first published is noticing how many questions underlying the story are still current. It is worth noting that Čapek’s robots are not mechanical, but living. In this sense, they are closer to artificial life than to artificial intelligence. One has to consider that the play was staged before the first electronic computers were built and before DNA was discovered (no mobile phones, no commercial aviation, no Internet). We still do not have agreed definitions of life nor intelligence, imagine how ambiguous these should have been a century ago.


From language shift to language revitalization and sustainability. Albert Bastardas-Boada.

This book aims to contribute to the overall, integrated understanding of the processes of language contact and their evolution, be they the result of political or economic (dis)integrations or migrations or for technological reasons. Via an interdisciplinary, holistic approach, it also aims to support the theoretical grounding of a unified, common sociolinguistic paradigm, based on an ecological and complexity perspective. This approach built on the fact that linguistic structures do not live in isolation from their social functions and must be situated in relation to the sub-and supra-systems that determine their existence if we are to understand their fortunes. It is a useful contribution to understanding and promoting the processes of linguistic revitalization in the world, combining at the same time the maintenance and development of diversity while ensuring the intercommunication of human species.


Evolution in the Debian GNU/Linux software network: analogies and differences with gene regulatory networks

Pablo Villegas, Miguel A. Muñoz and Juan A. Bonachela

Journal of The Royal Society Interface Volume 17 Issue 163


Biological networks exhibit intricate architectures deemed to be crucial for their functionality. In particular, gene regulatory networks, which play a key role in information processing in the cell, display non-trivial architectural features such as scale-free degree distributions, high modularity and low average distance between connected genes. Such networks result from complex evolutionary and adaptive processes difficult to track down empirically. On the other hand, there exists detailed information on the developmental (or evolutionary) stages of open-software networks that result from self-organized growth across versions. Here, we study the evolution of the Debian GNU/Linux software network, focusing on the changes of key structural and statistical features over time. Our results show that evolution has led to a network structure in which the out-degree distribution is scale-free and the in-degree distribution is a stretched exponential. In addition, while modularity, directionality of information flow, and average distance between elements grew, vulnerability decreased over time. These features resemble closely those currently shown by gene regulatory networks, suggesting the existence of common adaptive pathways for the architectural design of information-processing networks. Differences in other hierarchical aspects point to system-specific solutions to similar evolutionary challenges.