Urban Swarms: A new approach for autonomous waste management

Modern cities are growing ecosystems that face new challenges due to the increasing population demands. One of the many problems they face nowadays is waste management, which has become a pressing issue requiring new solutions. Swarm robotics systems have been attracting an increasing amount of attention in the past years and they are expected to become one of the main driving factors for innovation in the field of robotics. The research presented in this paper explores the feasibility of a swarm robotics system in an urban environment. By using bio-inspired foraging methods such as multi-place foraging and stigmergy-based navigation, a swarm of robots is able to improve the efficiency and autonomy of the urban waste management system in a realistic scenario. To achieve this, a diverse set of simulation experiments was conducted using real-world GIS data and implementing different garbage collection scenarios driven by robot swarms. Results presented in this research show that the proposed system outperforms current approaches. Moreover, results not only show the efficiency of our solution, but also give insights about how to design and customize these systems.


Urban Swarms: A new approach for autonomous waste management
Antonio Luca Alfeo, Eduardo Castelló Ferrer, Yago Lizarribar Carrillo, Arnaud Grignard, Luis Alonso Pastor, Dylan T. Sleeper, Mario G. C. A. Cimino, Bruno Lepri, Gigliola Vaglini, Kent Larson, Marco Dorigo, Alex `Sandy’ Pentland

Source: arxiv.org

Quantifying reputation and success in art

In areas of human activity where performance is difficult to quantify in an objective fashion, reputation and networks of influence play a key role in determining access to resources and rewards. To understand the role of these factors, we reconstructed the exhibition history of half a million artists, mapping out the coexhibition network that captures the movement of art between institutions. Centrality within this network captured institutional prestige, allowing us to explore the career trajectory of individual artists in terms of access to coveted institutions. Early access to prestigious central institutions offered life-long access to high-prestige venues and reduced dropout rate. By contrast, starting at the network periphery resulted in a high dropout rate, limiting access to central institutions. A Markov model predicts the career trajectory of individual artists and documents the strong path and history dependence of valuation in art.


Quantifying reputation and success in art
Samuel P. Fraiberger, Roberta Sinatra, Magnus Resch, Christoph Riedl, Albert-László Barabási
Science  08 Nov 2018:

DOI: 10.1126/science.aau7224

Source: science.sciencemag.org

How algorithmic popularity bias hinders or promotes quality

Algorithms that favor popular items are used to help us select among many choices, from top-ranked search engine results to highly-cited scientific papers. The goal of these algorithms is to identify high-quality items such as reliable news, credible information sources, and important discoveries–in short, high-quality content should rank at the top. Prior work has shown that choosing what is popular may amplify random fluctuations and lead to sub-optimal rankings. Nonetheless, it is often assumed that recommending what is popular will help high-quality content “bubble up” in practice. Here we identify the conditions in which popularity may be a viable proxy for quality content by studying a simple model of a cultural market endowed with an intrinsic notion of quality. A parameter representing the cognitive cost of exploration controls the trade-off between quality and popularity. Below and above a critical exploration cost, popularity bias is more likely to hinder quality. But we find a narrow intermediate regime of user attention where an optimal balance exists: choosing what is popular can help promote high-quality items to the top. These findings clarify the effects of algorithmic popularity bias on quality outcomes, and may inform the design of more principled mechanisms for techno-social cultural markets.


How algorithmic popularity bias hinders or promotes quality
Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Azadeh Nematzadeh, Filippo Menczer & Alessandro Flammini
Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 15951 (2018)

Source: www.nature.com

The Network Science of Success

In this episode, Haley talks with Albert-László Barabási. Barabasi is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and a Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research. He is also a renowned author of several books including his newly released book, The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success, which he discusses in-depth during his interview. Barabási shares key takeaways and important lessons from his new book and research on the science of success. He also gives us insights from his journey of learning about and pioneering the young field of network science and shares his hopes for the future of this field.

Source: www.human-current.com

Scale-free Networks Well Done

We bring rigor to the vibrant activity of detecting power laws in empirical degree distributions in real-world networks. We first provide a rigorous definition of power-law distributions, equivalent to the definition of regularly varying distributions in statistics. This definition allows the distribution to deviate from a pure power law arbitrarily but without affecting the power-law tail exponent. We then identify three estimators of these exponents that are proven to be statistically consistent — that is, converging to the true exponent value for any regularly varying distribution — and that satisfy some additional niceness requirements. Finally, we apply these estimators to a representative collection of synthetic and real-world data. According to their estimates, real-world scale-free networks are definitely not as rare as one would conclude based on the popular but unrealistic assumption that real-world data comes from power laws of pristine purity, void of noise and deviations.


Scale-free Networks Well Done
Ivan Voitalov, Pim van der Hoorn, Remco van der Hofstad, Dmitri Krioukov

Source: arxiv.org