Month: October 2021

The physics of higher-order interactions in complex systems

Federico Battiston, Enrico Amico, Alain Barrat, Ginestra Bianconi, Guilherme Ferraz de Arruda, Benedetta Franceschiello, Iacopo Iacopini, Sonia Kéfi, Vito Latora, Yamir Moreno, Micah M. Murray, Tiago P. Peixoto, Francesco Vaccarino & Giovanni Petri 
Nature Physics volume 17, pages1093–1098 (2021)

Complex networks have become the main paradigm for modelling the dynamics of interacting systems. However, networks are intrinsically limited to describing pairwise interactions, whereas real-world systems are often characterized by higher-order interactions involving groups of three or more units. Higher-order structures, such as hypergraphs and simplicial complexes, are therefore a better tool to map the real organization of many social, biological and man-made systems. Here, we highlight recent evidence of collective behaviours induced by higher-order interactions, and we outline three key challenges for the physics of higher-order systems.

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Potentially long-lasting effects of the pandemic on scientists

Jian Gao, Yian Yin, Kyle R. Myers, Karim R. Lakhani & Dashun Wang 
Nature Communications volume 12, Article number: 6188 (2021)

Mass communication over social media can drive rapid changes in our sense of collective identity. Hashtags in particular have acted as powerful social coordinators[1], playing a key role in organizing social movements like the Gezi park protests, Occupy Wall Street, #metoo, and #blacklivesmatter[2, 3, 4]. Here we quantify collective identity from the use of hashtags as self-labels in over 85,000 actively-maintained Twitter user profiles spanning 2017-2019. Collective identities emerge from a graph model of individuals’ overlapping self-labels, producing a hierarchy of graph clusters. Each cluster is bound together and characterized semantically by specific hashtags key to its formation. We define and apply two information-theoretic measures to quantify the strength of identities in the hierarchy. First we measure collective identity coherence to determine how integrated any identity is from local to global scales. Second, we consider the conspicuousness of any identity given its vocabulary versus the global identity map. Our work reveals a rich landscape of online identity emerging from the hierarchical alignment of uncoordinated self-labeling actions.

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The World Health Network: a global citizens’ initiative

The COVID-19 pandemic has cost more than 4 million lives, left millions of people with persistent symptoms (ie, long COVID), and has devastated societies, with already disadvantaged communities being hit hardest. The tragedy is that much of this harm was preventable, as shown early on by many Asia-Pacific countries that pursued elimination of COVID-19 and protected both their public health and economies. The rest of the world can still work towards elimination. The World Health Network (WHN) is a coalition of citizens and experts who are committed to global action to protect public health through progressive elimination of COVID-19.

Yaneer Bar-Yam, Deepti Gurdasani, Michael G Baker, Gabriel Scally, Simone George, Amanda Kvalsvig, Sinéad Ní Fhaoláin, Shu-Ti Chiou, John Drury, Stephen Duckett, Eric L Ding, Carlos Gershenson, Christine Gibson, Trisha Greenhalgh, Adam Hamdy, Zoë Hyde, Tiffany James, Jose L Jimenez, Martin McKee, Susan Michie, Christina Pagel, Cecile Philippe, Kim Prather, Sunil K Raina, Walter Ricciardi, Meir Rubin, Tomás Ryan, Matthias F Schneider, Anthony Staines, Robert West, Hisham Ziauddeen

The Lancet VOLUME 398, ISSUE 10311, P1567-1568, OCTOBER 30, 2021

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Cryptic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the first COVID-19 wave

Jessica T. Davis, Matteo Chinazzi, Nicola Perra, Kunpeng Mu, Ana Pastore y Piontti, Marco Ajelli, Natalie E. Dean, Corrado Gioannini, Maria Litvinova, Stefano Merler, Luca Rossi, Kaiyuan Sun, Xinyue Xiong, Ira M. Longini Jr, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Cécile Viboud & Alessandro Vespignani
Nature (2021)

Considerable uncertainty surrounds the timeline of introductions and onsets of local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 globally1–7. Although a limited number of SARS-CoV-2 introductions were reported in January and February 20208,9, the narrowness of the initial testing criteria, combined with a slow growth in testing capacity and porous travel screening10, left many countries vulnerable to unmitigated, cryptic transmission. Here we use a global metapopulation epidemic model to provide a mechanistic understanding of the early dispersal of infections, and the temporal windows of the introduction and onset of SARS-CoV-2 local transmission in Europe and the United States. We find that community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was likely in several areas of Europe and the United States by January 2020, and estimate that by early March, only 1 to 3 in 100 SARS-CoV-2 infections were detected by surveillance systems. The modelling results highlight international travel as the key driver of the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 with possible introductions and transmission events as early as December 2019–January 2020. We find a heterogeneous, geographic distribution of cumulative infection attack rates by 4 July 2020, ranging from 0.78%–15.2% across US states and 0.19%–13.2% in European countries. Our approach complements phylogenetic analyses and other surveillance approaches and provides insights that can be used to design innovative, model-driven surveillance systems that guide enhanced testing and response strategies.

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Courses: SFI Complexity Interactive | Santa Fe Institute

SFI Complexity Interactive (SFI-CI) combines the dynamic interactions of an in-person course with the flexibility to learn from anywhere in the world. This three-week, part-time, online course offers participants a theory- and applications-based view of complexity science. Complexity Interactive provides a foundation for thinking broadly about complex systems, encouraging participants to explore syntheses across systems in an open dialog with SFI faculty. The program’s size is limited to ensure everyone has ample opportunity to discuss with faculty and with each other.

In 2022, the curriculum will explore scaling, robustness, and feedbacks, with a particular focus on sustainability and climate change.

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