Month: July 2021

Heterogeneity-stabilized homogeneous states in driven media

Z.G. Nicolaou, D.J. Case, E.B. van der Wee, M.M. Driscoll, and A.E. Motter ,
Nature Communications 12, 4486 (2021).
Understanding the relationship between symmetry breaking, system properties, and instabilities has been a problem of longstanding scientific interest. Symmetry-breaking instabilities underlie the formation of important patterns in driven systems, but there are many instances in which such instabilities are undesirable. Using parametric resonance as a model process, here we show that a range of states that would be destabilized by symmetry-breaking instabilities can be preserved and stabilized by the introduction of suitable system asymmetry. Because symmetric states are spatially homogeneous and asymmetric systems are spatially heterogeneous, we refer to this effect as heterogeneity-stabilized homogeneity. We illustrate this effect theoretically using driven pendulum array models and demonstrate it experimentally using Faraday wave instabilities. Our results have potential implications for the mitigation of instabilities in engineered systems and the emergence of homogeneous states in natural systems with inherent heterogeneities.

Read the full article at:

Spatiotemporal invasion dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 emergence

Moritz U.G. Kraemer, et al.

Science  22 Jul 2021:
DOI: 10.1126/science.abj0113

Understanding the causes and consequences of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern is crucial to pandemic control yet difficult to achieve, as they arise in the context of variable human behavior and immunity. We investigate the spatial invasion dynamics of lineage B.1.1.7 by jointly analyzing UK human mobility, virus genomes, and community-based PCR data. We identify a multi-stage spatial invasion process in which early B.1.1.7 growth rates were associated with mobility and asymmetric lineage export from a dominant source location, enhancing the effects of B.1.1.7’s increased intrinsic transmissibility. We further explore how B.1.1.7 spread was shaped by non-pharmaceutical interventions and spatial variation in previous attack rates. Our findings show that careful accounting of the behavioral and epidemiological context within which variants of concern emerge is necessary to interpret correctly their observed relative growth rates.

Read the full article at:

A Statistical Model of Word Rank Evolution

Alex John Quijano, Rick Dale, Suzanne Sindi
The availability of large linguistic data sets enables data-driven approaches to study linguistic change. This work explores the word rank dynamics of eight languages by investigating the Google Books corpus unigram frequency data set. We observed the rank changes of the unigrams from 1900 to 2008 and compared it to a Wright-Fisher inspired model that we developed for our analysis. The model simulates a neutral evolutionary process with the restriction of having no disappearing words. This work explains the mathematical framework of the model – written as a Markov Chain with multinomial transition probabilities – to show how frequencies of words change in time. From our observations in the data and our model, word rank stability shows two types of characteristics: (1) the increase/decrease in ranks are monotonic, or (2) the average rank stays the same. Based on our model, high-ranked words tend to be more stable while low-ranked words tend to be more volatile. Some words change in ranks in two ways: (a) by an accumulation of small increasing/decreasing rank changes in time and (b) by shocks of increase/decrease in ranks. Most of the stopwords and Swadesh words are observed to be stable in ranks across eight languages. These signatures suggest unigram frequencies in all languages have changed in a manner inconsistent with a purely neutral evolutionary process.

Read the full article at:

Handbook of Cities and Networks

Edited by Zachary P. Neal and Céline Rozenblat

This Handbook of Cities and Networks provides a cutting-edge overview of research on how economic, social and transportation networks affect processes both in and between cities. Exploring the ways in which cities connect and intertwine, it offers a varied set of collaborations, highlighting different theoretical, historical and methodological perspectives.

More at:

ALIFE 2021: The 2021 Conference on Artificial Life

Jitka Čejková, Silvia Holler, Lisa Soros, Olaf Witkowski (Eds)

MIT Press

The theme of ALIFE 2021 conference is ”Robots: The century past and the century ahead”, because we celebrate the centenary of Čapek’s R.U.R. and the worldwide-used word “robot”, which comes from this play. The conference was originally scheduled to be held in Prague, the city where the play had its official world premiere in 1921. However, because of the covid-19 pandemic and its repercussions, ALIFE 2021 conference is virtual.

Read the full proceedings at: