Category: Books

Selected Papers Of John H. Holland: A Pioneer In Complexity Science

With his work on computer logic, John H Holland became one of the most important founders of modern computer science. People who knew John H Holland were all amazed and deeply influenced by his incredibly imaginative and creative mind. He produced many more ideas than he could follow up in his life time. This selection of his papers in the field of computer logic entails many of his explored and unexplored ideas. Revisiting the explored ideas and exploring the unexplored ones should be of great interest to scientists of all ages, and of great value to the current research not only in computer science but in many other fields as well.


Hierarchy: Perspectives for Ecological Complexity (by T. F. H. Allen & Thomas B. Starr)

Although complexity surrounds us, its inherent uncertainty, ambiguity, and contradiction can at first make complex systems appear inscrutable. Ecosystems, for instance, are nonlinear, self-organizing, seemingly chaotic structures in which individuals interact both with each other and with the myriad biotic and abiotic components of their surroundings across geographies as well as spatial and temporal scales. In the face of such complexity, ecologists have long sought tools to streamline and aggregate information. Among them, in the 1980s, T. F. H. Allen and Thomas B. Starr implemented a burgeoning concept from business administration: hierarchy theory. Cutting-edge when Hierarchy was first published, their approach to unraveling complexity is now integrated into mainstream ecological thought.

This thoroughly revised and expanded second edition of Hierarchy reflects the assimilation of hierarchy theory into ecological research, its successful application to the understanding of complex systems, and the many developments in thought since. Because hierarchies and levels are habitual parts of human thinking, hierarchy theory has proven to be the most intuitive and tractable vehicle for addressing complexity. By allowing researchers to look explicitly at only the entities and interconnections that are relevant to a specific research question, hierarchically informed data analysis has enabled a revolution in ecological understanding. With this new edition of Hierarchy, that revolution continues.


The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures (by Antonio Damasio)

From one of our preeminent neuroscientists: a landmark reflection that spans the biological and social sciences, offering a new way of understanding the origins of life, feeling, and culture.
The Strange Order of Things is a pathbreaking investigation into homeostasis, the condition of that regulates human physiology within the range that makes possible not only the survival but also the flourishing of life. Antonio Damasio makes clear that we descend biologically, psychologically, and even socially from a long lineage that begins with single living cells; that our minds and cultures are linked by an invisible thread to the ways and means of ancient unicellular life and other primitive life-forms; and that inherent in our very chemistry is a powerful force, a striving toward life maintenance that governs life in all its guises, including the development of genes that help regulate and transmit life. In The Strange Order of Things, Damasio gives us a new way of comprehending the world and our place in it.


The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (by Pedro Domingos)

In the world’s top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask. In The Master Algorithm, Pedro Domingos lifts the veil to give us a peek inside the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and your smartphone. He assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner-the Master Algorithm-and discusses what it will mean for business, science, and society.


Bursty Human Dynamics

This book provides a comprehensive overview on emergent bursty patterns in the dynamics of human behaviour. It presents common and alternative understanding of the investigated phenomena, and points out open questions worthy of further investigations.
The book is structured as follows. In the introduction the authors discuss the motivation of the field, describe bursty phenomena in case of human behaviour, and relate it to other disciplines. The second chapter addresses the measures commonly used to characterise heterogeneous signals, bursty human dynamics, temporal paths, and correlated behaviour. These definitions are first introduced to set the basis for the discussion of the third chapter about the observations of bursty human patterns in the dynamics of individuals, dyadic interactions, and collective behaviour. The subsequent fourth chapter discusses the models of bursty human dynamics. Various mechanisms have been proposed about the source of the heterogeneities in human dynamics, which leads to the introduction of conceptually different modelling approaches. The authors address all of these perspectives objectively, highlight their strengths and shortcomings, and mention possible extensions to them. The fifth chapter addresses the effect of individual heterogeneous behaviour on collective dynamics. This question in particular has been investigated in various systems including spreading phenomena, random walks, and opinion formation dynamics. Here the main issues are whether burstiness speeds up or slows down the co-evolving processes, and how burstiness modifies time-dependent paths in the system that determine the spreading patterns of any kind of information or influence. Finally in the sixth chapter the authors end the review with a discussion and future perspectives.
It is an ideal book for researchers and students who wish to enter the field of bursty human dynamics or want to expand their knowledge on such phenomena.