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selected abstracts

   Barry Wellman
   FRSC		              NetLab Network              INSNA Founder
   Dept of Communication & New Media    National University of Singapore
   University of Toronto                                  Toronto Canada          twitter: @barrywellman
   NETWORKED:The New Social Operating System. Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman
   MIT Press        Print $15  Kindle $9
              Happy Year of the Horned Hairy Fluffy Ruminant

Settlement scaling and increasing returns in an ancient society

    A key property of modern cities is increasing returns to scale˙˙the 
finding that many socioeconomic outputs increase more rapidly than their 
population size. Recent theoretical work proposes that this phenomenon is 
the result of general network effects typical of human social networks 
embedded in space and, thus, is not necessarily limited to modern 
settlements. We examine the extent to which increasing returns are 
apparent in archaeological settlement data from the pre-Hispanic Basin of 
Mexico. We review previous work on the quantitative relationship between 
population size and average settled area in this society and then present 
a general analysis of their patterns of monument construction and house 
sizes. Estimated scaling parameter values and residual statistics support 
the hypothesis that increasing returns to scale characterized various 
forms of socioeconomic production available in the archaeological record 
and are found to be consistent with key expectations from settlement 
scaling theory. As a consequence, these results provide evidence that the 
essential processes that lead to increasing returns in contemporary cities 
may have characterized human settlements throughout history, and 
demonstrate that increasing returns do not require modern forms of 
political or economic organization.

Settlement scaling and increasing returns in an ancient society
Scott G. Ortman, Andrew H. F. Cabaniss, Jennie O. Sturm, Luís M. A. Bettencourt

Science Advances 01 Feb 2015: Vol. 1 no. 1 e1400066 ;

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Sex redefined

    The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.

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The Heterogeneous Dynamics of Economic Complexity

    What will be the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the 
competitiveness of China, United States, and Vietnam in the next 3, 5 or 
10 years? Despite this kind of questions has a large societal impact and 
an extreme value for economic policy making, providing a scientific basis 
for economic predictability is still a very challenging problem. Recent 
results of a new branch˙˙Economic Complexity˙˙have set the basis for a 
framework to approach such a challenge and to provide new perspectives to 
cast economic prediction into the conceptual scheme of forecasting the 
evolution of a dynamical system as in the case of weather dynamics. We 
argue that a recently introduced non-monetary metrics for country 
competitiveness (fitness) allows for quantifying the hidden growth 
potential of countries by the means of the comparison of this measure for 
intangible assets with monetary figures, such as GDP per capita . This 
comparison defines the fitness-income plane where we observe that country 
dynamics presents strongly heterogeneous patterns of evolution. The flow 
in some zones is found to be laminar while in others a chaotic behavior is 
instead observed. These two regimes correspond to very different 
predictability features for the evolution of countries: in the former 
regime, we find strong predictable pattern while the latter scenario 
exhibits a very low predictability. In such a framework, regressions, the 
usual tool used in economics, are no more the appropriate strategy to deal 
with such a heterogeneous scenario and new concepts, borrowed from 
dynamical systems theory, are mandatory. We therefore propose a 
data-driven method˙˙ the selective predictability scheme ˙˙in which we 
adopt a strategy similar to the methods of analogues , firstly introduced 
by Lorenz, to assess future evolution of countries.


Matthieu Cristelli , Andrea Tacchella, Luciano Pietronero

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Link removal for the control of stochastically evolving epidemics over networks: A comparison of approaches

    For many communicable diseases, knowledge of the underlying contact 
network through which the disease spreads is essential to determining 
appropriate control measures. When behavior change is the primary 
intervention for disease prevention, it is important to understand how to 
best modify network connectivity using the limited resources available to 
control disease spread. We describe and compare four algorithms for 
selecting a limited number of links to remove from a network

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Indirect reciprocity with optional interactions

    Indirect reciprocity means that my behavior towards you also depends on 
what you have done to others. Indirect reciprocity is associated with the 
evolution of social intelligence and human language. Most approaches to 
indirect reciprocity assume obligatory interactions, but here we explore 
optional interactions.

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A Course on Cooperative Game Theory (by Satya R. Chakravarty et al.)

    Cooperative game theory deals with situations where objectives of participants of the game are partially cooperative and partially conflicting. It is in the interest of participants to cooperate in the sense of making binding agreements to achieve the maximum possible benefit. When it comes to distribution of benefit/payoffs, participants have conflicting interests. Such situations are usually modelled as cooperative games. While the book mainly discusses transferable utility games, there is also a brief analysis of non-transferable utility games. Alternative solution concepts to cooperative game theoretic problems are presented in chapters 1-9 and the next four chapters present issues related to computations of solutions discussed in the earlier chapters. The proofs of all results presented in the book are quite explicit. Additionally the mathematical techniques employed in demonstrating the results will be helpful to those who wish to learn application of mathematics for
solving problems in game theory.

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Network structure beyond food webs: mapping non-trophic and trophic interactions on Chilean rocky shores

    Chilean Marine Ecological Network

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Founding Editor: Gottfried Mayer.
Editor-in-Chief: Carlos Gershenson.

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