Month: December 2021

Paradigms of Computational Agency

Srinath Srinivasa, Jayati Deshmukh
Agent-based models have emerged as a promising paradigm for addressing ever increasing complexity of information systems. In its initial days in the 1990s when object-oriented modeling was at its peak, an agent was treated as a special kind of “object” that had a persistent state and its own independent thread of execution. Since then, agent-based models have diversified enormously to even open new conceptual insights about the nature of systems in general. This paper presents a perspective on the disparate ways in which our understanding of agency, as well as computational models of agency have evolved. Advances in hardware like GPUs, that brought neural networks back to life, may also similarly infuse new life into agent-based models, as well as pave the way for advancements in research on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

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Infodemics: A new challenge for public health

Infodemics: A new challenge for public health
Cell Volume 184, Issue 25, 9 December 2021, Pages 6010-6014

The COVID-19 information epidemic, or “infodemic,” demonstrates how unlimited access to information may confuse and influence behaviors during a health emergency. However, the study of infodemics is relatively new, and little is known about their relationship with epidemics management. Here, we discuss unresolved issues and propose research directions to enhance preparedness for future health crises.

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Autopoiesis: Foundations of Life, Cognition, and Emergence of Self/Other – Call for papers – BioSystems

The special issue “Autopoiesis: Foundations of Life, Cognition, and Emergence of Self/Other” is devised to host an interdisciplinary forum on scientific research based on autopoiesis and its role for undestanding life, cognition, the emergence of self/other, and related issues. It is open to various approaches, targets, and goals, all having autopoiesis as common denominator, sharing and applying its core concepts to face novel problems, perspectives, and activities.

We suggest interested Authors to manifest their interest by contacting the special issue Editors, providing a title and (preferably) an extended abstract (around 500 words) about the topic they intend to approach and other methodological details before May 31, 2022.

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Systemic liquidity contagion in the European interbank market

Valentina Macchiati, Giuseppe Brandi, Tiziana Di Matteo, Daniela Paolotti, Guido Caldarelli & Giulio Cimini 

Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination (2021)

Systemic liquidity risk, defined by the International Monetary Fund as “the risk of simultaneous liquidity difficulties at multiple financial institutions,” is a key topic in financial stability studies and macroprudential policy-making. In this context, the complex web of interconnections of the interbank market plays the crucial role of allowing funding liquidity shortages to propagate between financial institutions. Here, we introduce a simple yet effective model of the interbank market in which liquidity shortages propagate through an epidemic-like contagion mechanism on the network of interbank loans. The model is defined by using aggregate balance sheet information of European banks, and it exploits country and bank-specific risk features to account for the heterogeneity of financial institutions. Moreover, in order to obtain the European-wide topology of the interbank network, we define a block reconstruction method based on the exchange flows between the various countries. We show that the proposed contagion model is able to estimate systemic liquidity risk across different years and countries. Results suggest that our effective contagion approach can be successfully used as a viable alternative to more realistic but complicated models, which not only require more specific balance sheet variables with high time resolution but also need assumptions on how banks respond to liquidity shocks.

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