Tag: Neutral Theory

Critical slowing down associated with critical transition and risk of collapse in crypto-currency

The year 2017 saw the rise and fall of the crypto-currency market, followed by high variability in the price of all crypto-currencies. In this work, we study the abrupt transition in crypto-currency residuals, which is associated with the critical transition (the phenomenon of critical slowing down) or the stochastic transition phenomena. We find that, regardless of the specific crypto-currency or rolling window size, the autocorrelation always fluctuates around a high value, while the standard deviation increases monotonically. Therefore, while the autocorrelation does not display the signals of critical slowing down, the standard deviation can be used to anticipate critical or stochastic transitions. In particular, we have detected two sudden jumps in the standard deviation, in the second quarter of 2017 and at the beginning of 2018, which could have served as the early warning signals of two major price collapses that have happened in the following periods. We finally propose a mean-field phenomenological model for the price of crypto-currency to show how the use of the standard deviation of the residuals is a better leading indicator of the collapse in price than the time-series’ autocorrelation. Our findings represent a first step towards a better diagnostic of the risk of critical transition in the price and/or volume of crypto-currencies.

Source: royalsocietypublishing.org

Neutral and niche forces as drivers of species selection

The evolutionary and ecological processes behind the origin of species are among the most fundamental problems in biology. In fact, many theoretical hypothesis on different type of speciation have been proposed. In particular, models of sympatric speciation leading to the formation of new species without geographical isolation, are based on the niche hypothesis: the diversification of the population is induced by the competition for a limited set of available resources. Interestingly, neutral models of evolution have shown that stochastic forces are sufficient to generate coexistence of different species. In this work, we put forward this dichotomy within the context of species formation, studying how neutral and niche forces contribute to sympatric speciation in a model ecosystem. In particular, we study the evolution of a population of individuals with asexual reproduction whose inherited characters or phenotypes are specified by both niche-based and neutral traits. We analyze the stationary state of the dynamics, and study the distribution of individuals in the whole phenotypic space. We show, both numerically and analytically, that there is a non-trivial coupling between neutral and niche forces induced by stochastic effects in the evolution of the population allowing the formation of clusters, that is, species in the phenotypic space. Remarkably, our framework can be generalized also to sexual reproduction or other type of population dynamics.

Source: www.sciencedirect.com