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

Note: The Beach Boys and the Mamas and Papas owe me a refund.
It ALWAYS RAINS in Southern California this February.
Oy vey.
Edited complexities below
   Barry Wellman

    A vision is just a vision if it's only in your head
    Step by step, link by link, putting it together
   NetLab Network                 FRSC                      INSNA Founder           twitter: @barrywellman
   NETWORKED: The New Social Operating System  Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:02:36 +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

Immigrants Do Not Increase Crime, Research Shows

Across our studies, one finding remains clear: Cities and neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigrants have lower rates of crime and violence, all else being equal.

Source: (

Control of finite critical behaviour in a small-scale social system

    Many adaptive systems sit near a tipping or critical point. For systems near a critical point small changes to component behaviour can induce large-scale changes in aggregate structure and function. Criticality can be adaptive when the environment is changing, but entails reduced robustness through sensitivity. This tradeoff can be resolved when criticality can be tuned. We address the control of finite measures of criticality using data on fight sizes from an animal society model system (Macaca nemestrina, n=48). We find that a heterogeneous, socially organized system, like homogeneous, spatial systems (flocks and schools), sits near a critical point; the contributions individuals make to collective phenomena can be quantified; there is heterogeneity in these contributions; and distance from the critical point (DFC) can be controlled through biologically plausible mechanisms exploiting heterogeneity. We propose two alternative hypotheses for why a system decreases the
distance from the critical point.

Control of finite critical behaviour in a small-scale social system
Bryan C. Daniels, David C. Krakauer & Jessica C. Flack
Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14301 (2017)

Source: (

Network Medicine: Complex Systems in Human Disease and Therapeutics

    Big data, genomics, and quantitative approaches to network-based 
analysis are combining to advance the frontiers of medicine as never 
before. Network Medicine introduces this rapidly evolving field of medical 
research, which promises to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of 
human diseases. With contributions from leading experts that highlight the 
necessity of a team-based approach in network medicine, this definitive 
volume provides readers with a state-of-the-art synthesis of the progress 
being made and the challenges that remain.

Medical researchers have long sought to identify single molecular defects 
that cause diseases, with the goal of developing silver-bullet therapies 
to treat them. But this paradigm overlooks the inherent complexity of 
human diseases and has often led to treatments that are inadequate or 
fraught with adverse side effects. Rather than trying to force disease 
pathogenesis into a reductionist model, network medicine embraces the 
complexity of multiple influences on disease and relies on many different 
types of networks: from the cellular-molecular level of protein-protein 
interactions to correlational studies of gene expression in biological 
samples. The authors offer a systematic approach to understanding complex 
diseases while explaining network medicine˙˙s unique features, including 
the application of modern genomics technologies, biostatistics and 
bioinformatics, and dynamic systems analysis of complex molecular networks 
in an integrative context.

By developing techniques and technologies that comprehensively assess 
genetic variation, cellular metabolism, and protein function, network 
medicine is opening up new vistas for uncovering causes and identifying 
cures of disease.

Source: (

Synergy from reproductive division of labor and complexity drive the evolution of sex

    Computer experiments, testing features proposed to explain the 
evolution of sexual recombination, show that this evolution is better 
described as a network of interactions between possible sexual forms, 
including diploidy, thelytoky, facultative sex, assortation, bisexuality, 
and division of labor, rather than a simple transition from 
parthenogenesis to sexual recombination. Results show that sex is an 
adaptation to manage genetic complexity in evolution; that bisexual 
reproduction emerges only among anisogamic diploids with a synergistic 
division of reproductive labor; and that facultative sex is more likely to 
evolve among haploids practicing assortative mating. Looking at the 
evolution of sex as a complex system explains better the diversity of 
sexual strategies known to exist in nature. The paper shows that 
Analytical mathematics used in theoretical biology has limitations in 
tackling complex problems. Switching to algorithmic mathematics, such as 
ABM, will be important in advancing our understanding of complex issues. 
More sophisticated models will enlighten more aspects of this complex 
dynamics with implications for the understanding biological and cultural 
evolution, intelligence, and complex systems in general.

Synergy from reproductive division of labor and complexity drive the evolution of sex
Klaus Jaffe

Source: (

The Lexicocalorimeter: Gauging public health through caloric input and output on social media

We propose and develop a Lexicocalorimeter: an online, interactive 
instrument for measuring the ˙˙caloric content˙˙ of social media and other 
large-scale texts. We do so by constructing extensive yet improvable 
tables of food and activity related phrases, and respectively assigning 
them with sourced estimates of caloric intake and expenditure. We show 
that for Twitter, our naive measures of ˙˙caloric input˙˙, ˙˙caloric 
output˙˙, and the ratio of these measures are all strong correlates with 
health and well-being measures for the contiguous United States. Our 
caloric balance measure in many cases outperforms both its constituent 
quantities; is tunable to specific health and well-being measures such as 
diabetes rates; has the capability of providing a real-time signal 
reflecting a population˙˙s health; and has the potential to be used 
alongside traditional survey data in the development of public policy and 
collective self-awareness. Because our Lexicocalorimeter is a linear 
superposition of principled phrase scores, we also show we can move beyond 
correlations to explore what people talk about in collective detail, and 
assist in the understanding and explanation of how population-scale 
conditions vary, a capacity unavailable to black-box type methods.

Alajajian SE, Williams JR, Reagan AJ, Alajajian SC, Frank MR, Mitchell L, et al. (2017) The Lexicocalorimeter: Gauging public health through caloric input and output on social media. PLoS ONE 12(2): e0168893. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168893

Source: (

See Also

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.