Category: Books

Complex Spreading Phenomena in Social Systems

This text is about spreading of information and influence in complex networks. Although previously considered similar and modeled in parallel approaches, there is now experimental evidence that epidemic and social spreading work in subtly different ways. While previously explored through modeling, there is currently an explosion of work on revealing the mechanisms underlying complex contagion based on big data and data-driven approaches.

This volume consists of four parts. Part 1 is an Introduction, providing an accessible summary of the state-of-the-art. Part 2 provides an overview of the central theoretical developments in the field. Part 3 describes the empirical work on observing spreading processes in real-world networks. Finally, Part 4 goes into detail with recent and exciting new developments: dedicated studies designed to measure specific aspects of the spreading processes, often using randomized control trials to isolate the network effect from confounders, such as homophily.

Each contribution is authored by leading experts in the field. This volume, though based on technical selections of the most important results on complex spreading, remains quite accessible to the newly interested. The main benefit to the reader is that the topics are carefully structured to take the novice to the level of expert on the topic of social spreading processes. This book will be of great importance to a wide field: from researchers in physics, computer science, and sociology to professionals in public policy and public health.

 

Complex Spreading Phenomena in Social Systems
Influence and Contagion in Real-World Social Networks
Editors: Sune Lehmann, Yong-Yeol Ahn

Source: link.springer.com

Complex Adaptive Systems & Urban Morphogenesis

This thesis looks at how cities operate as Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). It focuses on how certain characteristics of urban form can support an urban environment’s capacity to self-organize, enabling emergent features to appear that, while unplanned, remain highly functional. The research is predicated on the notion that CAS processes operate across diverse domains: that they are ‘generalized’ or ‘universal’. The goal of the dissertation is then to determine how such generalized principles might ‘play out’ within the urban fabric. The main thrust of the work is to unpack how elements of the urban fabric might be considered as elements of a complex system and then identify how one might design these elements in a more deliberate manner, such that they hold a greater embedded capacity to respond to changing urban forces. The research is further predicated on the notion that, while such responses are both imbricated with, and stewarded by human actors, the specificities of the material characteristics themselves matter. Some forms of material environments hold greater intrinsic physical capacities (or affordances) to enact the kinds of dynamic processes observed in complex systems than others (and can, therefore, be designed with these affordances in mind). The primary research question is thus:

What physical and morphological conditions need to be in place within an urban environment in order for Complex Adaptive Systems dynamics arise – such that the physical components (or ‘building blocks’) of the urban environment have an enhanced capacity to discover functional configurations in space and time as a response to unfolding contextual conditions?

 

WOHL, Sharon. Complex Adaptive Systems & Urban Morphogenesis. A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment, [S.l.], n. 10, p. 1-238, june 2018. ISSN 2214-7233. Available at: <https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/index.php/abe/article/view/2397>. Date accessed: 12 june 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.7480/abe.2018.10.

Source: journals.open.tudelft.nl

The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect (Judea Pearl & Dana Mackenzie)

A Turing Award-winning computer scientist and statistician shows how understanding causality has revolutionized science and will revolutionize artificial intelligence
 
"Correlation is not causation." This mantra, chanted by scientists for more than a century, has led to a virtual prohibition on causal talk. Today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, instigated by Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and established causality–the study of cause and effect–on a firm scientific basis. His work explains how we can know easy things, like whether it was rain or a sprinkler that made a sidewalk wet; and how to answer hard questions, like whether a drug cured an illness. Pearl’s work enables us to know not just whether one thing causes another: it lets us explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It shows us the essence of human thought and key to artificial intelligence. Anyone who wants to understand either needs The Book of Why.

Source: www.amazon.com

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World (Simon Winchester)

The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras—and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider.

Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today’s cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia.

As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?

Source: www.amazon.com

Complex Networks in Software, Knowledge, and Social Systems (Miloš Savić, Mirjana Ivanović & Lakhmi C. Jain)

This book provides a comprehensive review of complex networks from three different domains, presents novel methods for analyzing them, and highlights applications with accompanying case studies. Special emphasis is placed on three specific kinds of complex networks of high technological and scientific importance: software networks extracted from the source code of computer programs, ontology networks describing semantic web ontologies, and co-authorship networks reflecting collaboration in science. The book is primarily intended for researchers, teachers and students interested in complex networks and network data analysis. However, it will also be valuable for researchers dealing with software engineering, ontology engineering and scientometrics, as it demonstrates how complex network analysis can be used to address important research issues in these three disciplines. 

Source: www.amazon.com