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Must be the holiday season: 4 R&Rs; 3 letters of recomendation; please 
send a partridge in a pear tree.
Oh well, they could have been only Rs, which my CHI-going friends seem 
used to

In the meantime, here are selected Complexity Digest posts

   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
   Distinguished Visiting Scholar   Social Media Lab   Ryerson University
   Distinguished Senior Advisor     	     University Learning Academy
   NETWORKED: The New Social Operating System  Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman    

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Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 12:04:05 +0000
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Subject: [utf-8] Latest Complexity Digest Posts

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

The Unforgiving Math That Stops Epidemics 

As the annual flu season approaches, medical professionals are again 
encouraging people to get flu shots. Perhaps you are among those who 
rationalize skipping the shot on the grounds that ˙˙I never get the flu˙˙ 
or ˙˙if I get sick, I get sick˙˙ or ˙˙I˙˙m healthy, so I˙˙ll get over 
it.˙˙ What you might not realize is that these vaccination campaigns for 
flu and other diseases are about much more than your health. They˙˙re 
about achieving a collective resistance to disease that goes beyond 
individual well-being ˙˙ and that is governed by mathematical principles 
unforgiving of unwise individual choices.

Source: ( )

Characterizing the structural diversity of complex networks across domains

    The structure of complex networks has been of interest in many scientific and engineering disciplines over the decades. A number of studies in the field have been focused on finding the common properties among different kinds of networks such as heavy-tail degree distribution, small-worldness and modular structure and they have tried to establish a theory of structural universality in complex networks. However, there is no comprehensive study of network structure across a diverse set of domains in order to explain the structural diversity we observe in the real-world networks. In this paper, we study 986 real-world networks of diverse domains ranging from ecological food webs to online social networks along with 575 networks generated from four popular network models. Our study utilizes a number of machine learning techniques such as random forest and confusion matrix in order to show the relationships among network domains in terms of network structure. Our results indicate
that there are some partitions of network categories in which networks are hard to distinguish based purely on network structure. We have found that these partitions of network categories tend to have similar underlying functions, constraints and/or generative mechanisms of networks even though networks in the same partition have different origins, e.g., biological processes, results of engineering by human being, etc. This suggests that the origin of a network, whether it's biological, technological or social, may not necessarily be a decisive factor of the formation of similar network structure. Our findings shed light on the possible direction along which we could uncover the hidden principles for the structural diversity of complex networks.

Characterizing the structural diversity of complex networks across domains
Kansuke Ikehara, Aaron Clauset

Source: ( )

Phase Coexistence in Insect Swarms

    Animal aggregations are visually striking, and as such are popular 
examples of collective behavior in the natural world. Quantitatively 
demonstrating the collective nature of such groups, however, remains 
surprisingly difficult. Inspired by thermodynamics, we applied topological 
data analysis to laboratory insect swarms and found evidence for emergent, 
material-like states. We show that the swarms consist of a core 
˙˙condensed˙˙ phase surrounded by a dilute ˙˙vapor˙˙ phase. These two 
phases coexist in equilibrium, and maintain their distinct macroscopic 
properties even though individual insects pass freely between them. We 
further define a pressure and chemical potential to describe these phases, 
extending theories of active matter to aggregations of macroscopic animals 
and laying the groundwork for a thermodynamic description of collective 
animal groups.

Phase Coexistence in Insect Swarms
Michael Sinhuber and Nicholas T. Ouellette
Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 178003 ˙˙ Published 24 October 2017

Source: ( )

Large-scale study of social network structure and team performance in a multiplayer online game

    A question of interest in both theory and practice is if and how 
familiarity between members of a team, expressed in terms of social 
network structure, relates to the success of the team in a given task. In 
this paper we revisit this important question in a novel manner by 
employing game outcome statistics from Dota 2, a popular team-based 
multiplayer online game, combined with network data from Steam Community, 
a social networking service for gamers. We conduct a large-scale analysis 
of 4168 teams to study how network density, and the minimum and maximum 
degree of the within-team social network are associated with team 
performance, and determine how this association is moderated by team 
skill. We observe that minimum degree is strongly associated with good 
performance, especially in teams with lower skill. Together with previous 
results on network density that we corroborate in this paper, our findings 
suggest that a successful team is not only moderately connected overall, 
but its members should also individually have not too few nor too many 
within team connections.

Large-scale study of social network structure and team performance in a multiplayer online game
Antti Ukkonen, Juho Hamari

Source: ( )

Measuring Influence in Science: Standing on the Shoulders of Which Giants?

    I study the measurement of the influence of scientists based on 
bibliographic data. I propose a new measure that accounts for indirect 
influence and allows to compare scientists across different fields of 
science. By contrast, common measures of influence that "count citations", 
such as the h-index, are unable to satisfy either of these two properties. 
I use the axiomatic method in two opposite ways: to highlight the two 
limitations of citation-counting schemes and their independence, and to 
carefully justify the assumptions made in the construction of the proposed 

Measuring Influence in Science: Standing on the Shoulders of Which Giants?
Antonin Macé

Source: ( )

Breaking the spell of nestedness

    Mutualistic interactions, which are beneficial for both interacting 
species, are recurrently present in ecosystems. Observations of natural 
systems showed that, if we draw mutualistic relationships as binary links 
between species, the resulting bipartite network of interactions displays 
a widespread particular ordering called nestedness. On the other hand, 
theoretical works have shown that a nested structure has a positive impact 
on a number of relevant features ranging from species coexistence to a 
higher structural stability of communities and biodiversity. However, how 
nestedness emerges and what are its determinants, are still open 
challenges that have led to multiple debates to date. Here, we show, by 
applying a theoretical approach to the analysis of 167 real mutualistic 
networks, that nestedness is not an irreducible feature, but a consequence 
of the degree sequences of both guilds of the mutualistic network. 
Remarkably, we find that an outstanding majority of the analyzed networks 
does not show statistical significant nestedness. These findings point to 
the need of revising previous claims about the role of nestedness and 
might contribute to expanding our understanding of how evolution shapes 
mutualistic interactions and communities by placing the focus on the local 
properties rather than on global quantities.

Breaking the spell of nestedness
Claudia Payrato Borras, Laura Hernandez, Yamir Moreno

Source: ( )

Network Theory Faculty position at UC Davis

    The University of California, Davis invites applications for a faculty position in network theory, which is an interdisciplinary academic field using graph theory, statistical mechanics, and applied mathematics to elucidate the mathematical foundations underlying the organization and function of networks across a wide range of applied disciplines. The appointment will be at the Assistant or Associate Professor level, with opportunity for a more senior level appointment for an exceptional candidate, with an intended start date of Fall 2018. The appointment will reside in the Department of Computer Science or the Department of Physics, with the ideal candidate qualified to hold a joint appointment based in both departments. To ensure full consideration, applications must be submitted by December 15th, 2017.

Source: ( )

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age (Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman) 

In their second collaboration, biographers Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman present the story of Claude Shannon˙˙one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century and the architect of the Information Age, whose insights stand behind every computer built, email sent, video streamed, and webpage loaded. Claude Shannon was a groundbreaking polymath, a brilliant tinkerer, and a digital pioneer. He constructed the first wearable computer, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots. He also wrote the seminal text of the digital revolution, which has been called ˙˙the Magna Carta of the Information Age.˙˙ In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Soni and Goodman reveal Claude Shannon˙˙s full story for the first time. With unique access to Shannon˙˙s family and friends, A Mind at Play brings this singular innovator and always playful genius to life.

Source: ( )

The Seneca Effect: Why Growth is Slow but Collapse is Rapid (Ugo Bardi) 

The essence of this book can be found in a line written by the ancient 
Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca: "Fortune is of sluggish 
growth, but ruin is rapid". This sentence summarizes the features of the 
phenomenon that we call "collapse," which is typically sudden and often 
unexpected, like the proverbial "house of cards." But why are such 
collapses so common, and what generates them? Several books have been 
published on the subject, including the well known "Collapse" by Jared 
Diamond (2005), "The collapse of complex societies" by Joseph Tainter 
(1998) and "The Tipping Point," by Malcom Gladwell (2000). Why The Seneca 
Effect? This book is an ambitious attempt to pull these various strands 
together by describing collapse from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. The 
reader will discover how collapse is a collective phenomenon that occurs 
in what we call today "complex systems," with a special emphasis on system 
dynamics and the concept of "feedback." From this foundation, Bardi 
applies the theory to real-world systems, from the mechanics of fracture 
and the collapse of large structures to financial collapses, famines and 
population collapses, the fall of entire civilzations, and the most 
dreadful collapse we can imagine: that of the planetary ecosystem 
generated by overexploitation and climate change. The final objective of 
the book is to describe a conclusion that the ancient stoic philosophers 
had already discovered long ago, but that modern system science has 
rediscovered today. If you want to avoid collapse you need to embrace 
change, not fight it. Neither a book about doom and gloom nor a 
cornucopianist's dream, The Seneca Effect goes to the heart of the 
challenges that we are facing today, helping us to manage our future 
rather than be managed by it.

Source: ( )

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

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