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   Barry Wellman
   FRSC                 INSNA Founder               University of Toronto           twitter: @barrywellman
   NETWORKED:The New Social Operating System.  Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman
   MIT Press          Print $14  Kindle $9

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Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:03:27 +0000
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Learn about the latest and greatest related to complex systems research. More at

Information measures and cognitive limits in multilayer navigation

    Cities and their transportation systems become increasingly complex and multimodal as they grow, and it is natural to wonder if it is possible to quantitatively characterize our difficulty to navigate in them and whether such navigation exceeds our cognitive limits. A transition between different searching strategies for navigating in metropolitan maps has been observed for large, complex metropolitan networks. This evidence suggests the existence of another limit associated to the cognitive overload and caused by large amounts of information to process. In this light, we analyzed the world's 15 largest metropolitan networks and estimated the information limit for determining a trip in a transportation system to be on the order of 8 bits. Similar to the "Dunbar number," which represents a limit to the size of an individual's friendship circle, our cognitive limit suggests that maps should not consist of more than about 250 connections points to be easily readable. We also
show that including connections with other transportation modes dramatically increases the information needed to navigate in multilayer transportation networks: in large cities such as New York, Paris, and Tokyo, more than 80% of trips are above the 8-bit limit. Multimodal transportation systems in large cities have thus already exceeded human cognitive limits and consequently the traditional view of navigation in cities has to be revised substantially.

Information measures and cognitive limits in multilayer navigation
Riccardo Gallotti, Mason A. Porter, Marc Barthelemy

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The Majority Illusion in Social Networks

    Social behaviors are often contagious, spreading through a population 
as individuals imitate the decisions and choices of others. A variety of 
global phenomena, from innovation adoption to the emergence of social 
norms and political movements, arise as a result of people following a 
simple local rule, such as copy what others are doing. However, 
individuals often lack global knowledge of the behaviors of others and 
must estimate them from the observations of their friends' behaviors. In 
some cases, the structure of the underlying social network can 
dramatically skew an individual's local observations, making a behavior 
appear far more common locally than it is globally. We trace the origins 
of this phenomenon, which we call "the majority illusion," to the 
friendship paradox in social networks. As a result of this paradox, a 
behavior that is globally rare may be systematically overrepresented in 
the local neighborhoods of many people, i.e., among their friends. Thus, 
the "majority illusion" may facilitate the spread of social contagions in 
networks and also explain why systematic biases in social perceptions, for 
example, of risky behavior, arise. Using synthetic and real-world 
networks, we explore how the "majority illusion" depends on network 
structure and develop a statistical model to calculate its magnitude in a 

The Majority Illusion in Social Networks
Kristina Lerman, Xiaoran Yan, Xin-Zeng Wu

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Postdoctoral position in complex systems (Econophysics)

    Are you fascinated by interdisciplinary work? ˙˙ Are you into data analysis and model building? If yes, you might be interested in this position. In the last decades Econophysics emerged as a new, interdisciplinary field. Our group has longstanding expertise. We develop models for various issues in the economy, particularly in the financial markets. We apply the same standards as in traditional physics and base our models as much as possible on the empirical information.

University of Duisburg-Essen

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Satellite: The Industrial Age and Thermodynamics; the Information Age and˙˙ What?

    Social change is intricately linked to technological progress, which is intricately linked to scientific understanding, which again influences how we interpret the world around us. For example, the co-formulator of the theory of evolution, A.R. Wallace, proposed natural selection as a kind of feedback mechanism which ˙˙is exactly like that of the centrifugal governor of the steam engine˙˙. Currently, information and communication technologies transform our lives. And once again, the emerging theories have an important influence on the way we interpret the world around us. It is not surprising to hear laypeople and scientists alike suggesting that ˙˙evolution computes˙˙, ˙˙the economy processes information˙˙, ˙˙code is law˙˙, ˙˙ecosystems are communication networks˙˙, and ˙˙culture executes algorithms˙˙. This Session explores formal advancements in the application of information sciences to social and biological systems. We call for papers that explore the explicit application of
theories, concepts, and mathematical tools developed in fields like information theory and computer science to all branches of ecological and social systems, including evolutionary ecology, economics, sociology, communication, political science, anthropology, and social psychology.

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Complex and Adaptive Dynamical Systems: A Primer - Claudius Gros

    This primer offers readers an introduction to the central concepts that form our modern understanding of complex and emergent behavior, together with detailed coverage of accompanying mathematical methods. All calculations are presented step by step and are easy to follow.
This new fourth edition has been fully reorganized and includes new chapters, figures and exercises. The core aspects of modern complex system sciences are presented in the first chapters, covering network theory, dynamical systems, bifurcation and catastrophe theory, chaos and adaptive processes, together with the principle of self-organization in reaction-diffusion systems and social animals. Modern information theoretical principles are treated in further chapters, together with the concept of self-organized criticality, gene regulation networks, hypercycles and coevolutionary avalanches, synchronization phenomena, absorbing phase transitions and the cognitive system approach to the brain.
Technical course prerequisites are the standard mathematical tools for an advanced undergraduate course in the natural sciences or engineering. Each chapter includes exercises and suggestions for further reading, and the solutions to all exercises are provided in the last chapter.

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

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