*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****

   Barry Wellman

    A vision is just a vision if it's only in your head
    Step by step, link by link, putting it together

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...
  well, I have others." Groucho Marx

   NetLab Network                 FRSC                      INSNA Founder           twitter: @barrywellman
   NETWORKED: The New Social Operating System  Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2016 12:02:47 +0000
From: "[utf-8] Complexity Digest" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
To: "[utf-8] Barry" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [utf-8] Latest Complexity Digest Posts

Learn about the latest and greatest related to complex systems research. More at

Social status alters immune regulation and response to infection in macaques

    Rhesus macaques experience variable levels of stress on the basis of 
their position in the social hierarchy. To examine how stress affects 
immune function, Snyder-Mackler et al. manipulated the social status of 
individual macaques (see the Perspective by Sapolsky). Social status 
influenced the immune system at multiple levels, from immune cell numbers 
to gene expression, and altered signaling pathways in a model of response 
to infection. Macaques possess a plastic and adaptive immune response 
wherein social subordination promotes antibacterial responses, whereas 
high social status promotes antiviral responses.

Source: (

Visual Analysis of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems: Chaos, Fractals, Self-Similarity and the Limits of Prediction
An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions

The emergence in the United States of large-scale ˙˙megaregions˙˙ centered 
on major metropolitan areas is a phenomenon often taken for granted in 
both scholarly studies and popular accounts of contemporary economic 
geography. This paper uses a data set of more than 4,000,000 commuter 
flows as the basis for an empirical approach to the identification of such 
megaregions. We compare a method which uses a visual heuristic for 
understanding areal aggregation to a method which uses a computational 
partitioning algorithm, and we reflect upon the strengths and limitations 
of both. We discuss how choices about input parameters and scale of 
analysis can lead to different results, and stress the importance of 
comparing computational results with ˙˙common sense˙˙ interpretations of 
geographic coherence. The results provide a new perspective on the 
functional economic geography of the United States from a megaregion 
perspective, and shed light on the old geographic problem of the division 
of space into areal units.

Dash Nelson G, Rae A (2016) An Economic Geography of the United States: From Commutes to Megaregions. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166083. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166083

Source: (

Generic temporal features of performance rankings in sports and games

Many complex phenomena, from trait selection in biological systems to 
hierarchy formation in social and economic entities, show signs of 
competition and heterogeneous performance in the temporal evolution of 
their components, which may eventually lead to stratified structures such 
as the worldwide wealth distribution. However, it is still unclear whether 
the road to hierarchical complexity is determined by the particularities 
of each phenomena, or if there are generic mechanisms of stratification 
common to many systems. Human sports and games, with their (varied but 
simple) rules of competition and measures of performance, serve as an 
ideal test-bed to look for universal features of hierarchy formation. With 
this goal in mind, we analyse here the behaviour of performance rankings 
over time of players and teams for several sports and games, and find 
statistical regularities in the dynamics of ranks. Specifically the rank 
diversity, a measure of the number of elements occupying a given rank over 
a length of time, has the same functional form in sports and games as in 
languages, another system where competition is determined by the use or 
disuse of grammatical structures. We use a Gaussian random walk model to 
reproduce the rank diversity of the studied sports and games. We also 
discuss the relation between rank diversity and the cumulative rank 
distribution. Our results support the notion that hierarchical phenomena 
may be driven by the same underlying mechanisms of rank formation, 
regardless of the nature of their components. Moreover, such regularities 
can in principle be used to predict lifetimes of rank occupancy, thus 
increasing our ability to forecast stratification in the presence of 

Generic temporal features of performance rankings in sports and games

José A Morales, Sergio Sánchez, Jorge Flores, Carlos Pineda, Carlos Gershenson, Germinal Cocho, Jerónimo Zizumbo, Rosalío F Rodríguez, Gerardo Ińiguez

EPJ Data Sci. (2016) 5: 33. doi:10.1140/epjds/s13688-016-0096-y

Source: (

Sponsored by the Complex Systems Society.
Founding Editor: Gottfried Mayer.
Editor-in-Chief: Carlos Gershenson.

You can contribute to Complexity Digest selecting one of our topics ( ) and using the "Suggest" button.

SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.