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  • Effective connectivity determines the critical dynamics of biochemical networks
    by cxdig on January 26, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Santosh Manicka, Manuel Marques-Pita, Luis M. Rocha Living systems operate in a critical dynamical regime -- between order and chaos -- where they are both resilient to perturbation, and flexible enough to evolve. To characterize such critical dynamics, the established 'structural theory' of criticality uses automata network connectivity and node bias (to be on or off) as tuning parameters. This parsimony in the number of parameters needed sometimes leads to uncertain predictions about the […]

  • The Sci-Hub effect on papers’ citations
    by cxdig on January 25, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Juan C. Correa, Henry Laverde-Rojas, Julian Tejada & Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos Scientometrics (2021) Citations are often used as a metric of the impact of scientific publications. Here, we examine how the number of downloads from Sci-Hub as well as various characteristics of publications and their authors predicts future citations. Using data from 12 leading journals in economics, consumer research, neuroscience, and multidisciplinary research, we found that articles downloaded from Sci-Hub […]

  • Economic complexity theory and applications
    by cxdig on January 25, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    César A. Hidalgo Nature Reviews Physics (2021) Economic complexity methods have become popular tools in economic geography, international development and innovation studies. Here, I review economic complexity theory and applications, with a particular focus on two streams of literature: the literature on relatedness, which focuses on the evolution of specialization patterns, and the literature on metrics of economic complexity, which uses dimensionality reduction techniques to create metrics […]

  • Complexity Weekend – May 21-23, 2021
    by cxdig on January 25, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Complexity Science is an interdisciplinary and inclusive framework for studying, designing, and controlling Complex system behavior, such as global pandemics, extreme weather events, electoral politics, economic recovery and poverty, and much more. Over the course of one weekend, you will experience Complexity from a variety of perspectives, while developing solutions to real-world problems in a team setting, such as:Information flow in a time of global connectivity Adaptive planning for […]

  • Short-term prediction through ordinal patterns
    by cxdig on January 21, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Yair Neuman, Yochai Cohen and Boaz Tamir Royal Society Open Science January 2021 Volume 8, Issue 1 Prediction in natural environments is a challenging task, and there is a lack of clarity around how a myopic organism can make short-term predictions given limited data availability and cognitive resources. In this context, we may ask what kind of resources are available to the organism to help it address the challenge of short-term prediction within its own cognitive limits. We point to one […]

  • A Generic Encapsulation to Unravel Social Spreading of a Pandemic: An Underlying Architecture
    by cxdig on January 19, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Saad AlqithamiComputers 2021, 10(1), 12 Cases of a new emergent infectious disease caused by mutations in the coronavirus family, called “COVID-19,” have spiked recently, affecting millions of people, and this has been classified as a global pandemic due to the wide spread of the virus. Epidemiologically, humans are the targeted hosts of COVID-19, whereby indirect/direct transmission pathways are mitigated by social/spatial distancing. People naturally exist in dynamically cascading […]

  • Self-organized biotectonics of termite nests
    by cxdig on January 19, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Alexander Heyde, Lijie Guo, Christian Jost, Guy Theraulaz, and L. MahadevanPNAS February 2, 2021 118 (5) e2006985118 Termite nests are a remarkable example of functional self-organization that show how structure and function emerge on multiple length and time scales in ecophysiology. To understand the process by which this arises, we document the labyrinthine architecture within the subterranean nests of the African termite Apicotermes lamani and develop a simple mathematical model that relies […]

  • Combinatorial approach to spreading processes on networks
    by cxdig on January 18, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Dario Mazzilli & Filippo Radicchi The European Physical Journal B volume 94, Article number: 15 (2021) Stochastic spreading models defined on complex network topologies are used to mimic the diffusion of diseases, information, and opinions in real-world systems. Existing theoretical approaches to the characterization of the models in terms of microscopic configurations rely on some approximation of independence among dynamical variables, thus introducing a systematic bias in the prediction […]

  • Survival of the Systems
    by cxdig on January 17, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Timothy M.Lenton, Timothy A.Kohler, Pablo A.Marquet, Richard A.Boyle, Michel Crucifix, David M.Wilkinson, Marten Scheffer Trends Ecol. Evol. Recent theoretical progress highlights that natural selection can occur based solely on differential persistence of biological entities, without the need for conventional replication. This calls for a reconsideration of how ecosystems and social (-ecological) systems can evolve, based on identifying system-level properties that affect their persistence. […]

  • Dynamics of cascades on burstiness-controlled temporal networks
    by cxdig on January 16, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Samuel Unicomb, Gerardo Iñiguez, James P. Gleeson & Márton Karsai Nature Communications volume 12, Article number: 133 (2021) Burstiness, the tendency of interaction events to be heterogeneously distributed in time, is critical to information diffusion in physical and social systems. However, an analytical framework capturing the effect of burstiness on generic dynamics is lacking. Here we develop a master equation formalism to study cascades on temporal networks with burstiness modelled […]

  • Quantifying the importance and location of SARS-CoV-2 transmission events in large metropolitan areas
    by cxdig on January 16, 2021 at 12:53 am

    Alberto Aleta, David Martín-Corral, Michiel A. Bakker, Ana Pastore y Piontti, Marco Ajelli, Maria Litvinova, Matteo Chinazzi, Natalie E. Dean, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Ira M. Longini Jr., Alex Pentland, Alessandro Vespignani, Yamir Moreno, Esteban Moro Detailed characterizations of SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk across different social settings can inform the design of targeted and less disruptive non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI), yet these data have been lacking. Here we integrate […]

  • Dynamics of informal risk sharing in collective index insurance
    by cxdig on January 15, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    Fernando P. Santos, Jorge M. Pacheco, Francisco C. Santos & Simon A. Levin Nature Sustainability (2021) Extreme weather events often prevent low-income farmers from accessing high-return technologies that would enhance their productivity. As a result, they often fall into poverty traps, a problem likely to worsen as the frequency of weather disasters increases due to climate change. Insurance offers, in principle, a solution for this conundrum and a means to guarantee households’ […]

  • Social Media Insights Into US Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Analysis of Twitter Data 
    by cxdig on January 15, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Danny Valdez, Marijn ten Thij, Krishna Bathina, Lauren A Rutter, Johan Bollen J Med Internet Res 2020;22(12):e21418 Background: The COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented mitigation efforts that disrupted the daily lives of millions. Beyond the general health repercussions of the pandemic itself, these measures also present a challenge to the world’s mental health and health care systems. Considering that traditional survey methods are time-consuming and expensive, we need timely and […]

  • The multidisciplinary nature of COVID-19 research
    by cxdig on January 14, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Ricardo Arencibia-Jorge, Lourdes García-García, Ernesto Galbán-Rodríguez, Humberto Carrillo-Calvet Objective We analyzed the scientific output after COVID-19 and contrasted it with studies published in the aftermath of seven epidemics/pandemics: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Influenza A virus H5N1 and Influenza A virus H1N1 human infections, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Ebola virus disease, Zika virus disease, and Dengue. Design/Methodology/Approach We examined […]

  • A scaling law in CRISPR repertoire sizes arises from avoidance of autoimmunity
    by cxdig on January 13, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Hanrong Chen, Andreas Mayer, Vijay BalasubramanianSome bacteria and archaea possess an adaptive immune system that maintains a memory of past viral infections as DNA elements called spacers, stored in the CRISPR loci of their genomes. This memory is used to mount targeted responses against threats. However, cross-reactivity of CRISPR targeting mechanisms suggests that incorporation of foreign spacers can also lead to autoimmunity. We show that balancing antiviral defense against autoimmunity […]

  • The world is not a theorem
    by cxdig on January 13, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    Stuart A. Kauffman, Andrea RoliThe evolution of the biosphere unfolds as a luxuriant generative process of new living forms and functions. Organisms adapt to their environment, and exploit novel opportunities that are created in this continuous blooming dynamics. Affordances play a fundamental role in the evolution of the biosphere, as they represent the opportunities organisms may choose for achieving their goals, thus actualizing what is in potentia. In this paper we maintain that affordances […]

  • ALIFE 2021: International conference on artificial life ALIFE 2021
    by cxdig on January 13, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    The ALIFE conferences are the major meetings of the artificial life research community since 1987. These scientific gatherings are supported by the International Society for Artificial Life (ISAL).​ The 2021 Conference on Artificial Life ALIFE 2021 will take place in Prague (Czech Republic), 19-23 July, 2021. The conference theme will be Robots: The century past and the century ahead. The world-wide used word "robot" comes from Czech. It was first used to depict a fictional humanoid in Czech […]

  • Collective Intelligence
    by cxdig on January 12, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    Collective Intelligence is a transdisciplinary journal devoted to advancing the theoretical and empirical understanding of group performance in diverse systems, from adaptive matter to cellular and neural systems to animal societies to all types of human organizations to hybrid AI-human teams and nanobot swarms. Editors-in-Chief: Jessica Flack, Panos Ipeirotis, Scott E Page & Geoff Mulgan 

  • The Complexity of Increasing Returns
    by cxdig on January 10, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    While the idea of increasing returns—the tendency for what is ahead to get further ahead—has been part of economics since the pin factory, it was long resisted by economists. The reasons were both simple and profound. For decades, economists had a strong preference for models with a single equilibrium. This preference was incompatible with the idea of increasing returns. Imagine a farmer choosing whether to use her land to grow food or raise cattle. She begins by planting her most fertile […]

  • New Quantum Algorithms Finally Crack Nonlinear Equations
    by cxdig on January 9, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Sometimes, it’s easy for a computer to predict the future. Simple phenomena, such as how sap flows down a tree trunk, are straightforward and can be captured in a few lines of code using what mathematicians call linear differential equations. But in nonlinear systems, interactions can affect themselves: When air streams past a jet’s wings, the air flow alters molecular interactions, which alter the air flow, and so on. This feedback loop breeds chaos, where small changes in initial […]

  • How Claude Shannon’s Information Theory Invented the Future
    by cxdig on January 8, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Science seeks the basic laws of nature. Mathematics searches for new theorems to build upon the old. Engineering builds systems to solve human needs. The three disciplines are interdependent but distinct. Very rarely does one individual simultaneously make central contributions to all three — but Claude Shannon was a rare individual. Read the full article at:

  • Why free will is beyond physics
    by cxdig on January 8, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Philip Ball argues that “free will” is not ruled out by physics – because it doesn’t stem from physics in the first place Read the full article at:

  • Public Discourse and Social Network Echo Chambers Driven by Socio-Cognitive Biases
    by cxdig on January 8, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    In recent years, social media has become an important platform for political discourse, being a site of both political conversations between voters and political advertisements from campaigns. While their individual influences on public discourse are well documented, the interplay between individual-level cognitive biases, social influence processes, dueling campaign efforts, and social media platforms remains unexamined. We introduce an agent-based model that integrates these dynamics and […]

  • The dynamics of injunctive social norms | Evolutionary Human Sciences
    by cxdig on January 8, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Injunctive social norms are behaviours that one is expected to follow and expects others to follow in a given social situation; they are maintained by the threat of disapproval or punishment and by the process of internalization. Injunctive norms govern all aspects of our social life but the understanding of their effects on individual and group behaviour is currently rather incomplete. Here I develop a general mathematical approach describing the dynamics of injunctive norms in heterogeneous […]

  • Fighting Misinformation on Social Media | Mohsen Mosleh | TEDxMIT
    by cxdig on January 7, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    [youtube] loadYouTubePlayer('yt_video_qtsSFHGb8EY_KWXl6It5m@YruqFv'); There is a lot of worry these days about misinformation that's being shared on social media.The success of this kind of content is both surprising and concerning, and has led to new fields of research exploring how much misinformation is out there, and what leads people to believe and share it. But much less attention has been paid to the […]

  • How the internet and social media are fueling polarization in America
    by cxdig on January 6, 2021 at 12:25 am

    Our online lives are making us hate the other side. Experts on everything from conspiracies to digital ethnography to psychology explain why. Read the full article at:

  • Modeling adaptive reversible lanes: A cellular automata approach
    by cxdig on January 5, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Dealing with traffic congestion is one of the most pressing challenges for cities. Transport authorities have implemented several strategies to reduce traffic jams with varying degrees of success. The use of reversible lanes is a common approach to improve traffic congestion during rush hours. A reversible lane can change its direction during a time interval to the more congested direction. This strategy can improve traffic congestion in specific scenarios. Most reversible lanes in urban roads […]

  • COVID Community Action Summit
    by cxdig on January 5, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Empowering global communities to end COVID through shared expertise, resources, and actions. The COVID Community Action Summit (C-CAS) will empower global communities to end COVID-19 through shared expertise, resources, and actions. C-CAS will be held virtually January 26-28 and is free to attend. This international summit will inspire individuals and communities to act while providing the tools and expertise necessary for success. Participants will learn best practices from localities and […]

  • CCS2020 – Conference on Complex System 2020 – Book of Abstracts
    by cxdig on January 5, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    During this year 2020, and for the first time in the history of the series of Conferences sponsored by the Complex Systems Society, the CCS series, the annual meeting was organized virtually in the period December 7-11, 2020 and the young researchers CCS2020 Warm Up sessions on December 4, 2020. This Conference is in line with the series of meetings previously held in Singapore (2019), Thessaloniki, Greece (2018), Cancun, Mexico (2017), Amsterdam, Netherlands (2016), Tempe, Arizona, USA (2015), […]

  • Ingredients for robustness
    by cxdig on December 13, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    Nihat Ay Theory in Biosciences volume 139, pages309–318 (2020) A core property of robust systems is given by the invariance of their function against the removal of some of their structural components. This intuition has been formalised in the context of input–output maps, thereby introducing the notion of exclusion independence. We review work on how this formalisation allows us to derive characterisation theorems that provide a basis for the design of robust systems. Read the full article […]

  • Eight years of homicide evolution in Monterrey, Mexico: a network approach
    by cxdig on December 12, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Rodrigo Dorantes-Gilardi, Diana García-Cortés, Hiram Hernández-Ramos & Jesús Espinal-Enríquez Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 21564 (2020) Homicide is without doubt one of Mexico’s most important security problems, with data showing that this dismal kind of violence sky-rocketed shortly after the war on drugs was declared in 2007. Since then, violent war-like zones have appeared and disappeared throughout Mexico, causing unfathomable human, social and economic losses. […]

  • Biological information
    by cxdig on December 11, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Jürgen Jost Theory in Biosciences volume 139, pages361–370(2020) In computer science, we can theoretically neatly separate transmission and processing of information, hardware and software, and programs and their inputs. This is much more intricate in biology. Nevertheless, I argue that Shannon’s concept of information is useful in biology, although its application is not as straightforward as many people think. In fact, the recently developed theory of information decomposition can shed […]

  • Arithmetic success and gender-based characterization of brain connectivity across EEG bands
    by cxdig on December 11, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Sait Demir, İlker Türker Biomedical Signal Processing and ControlVolume 64, February 2021, 102222 • Functional brain networks employing coherence method is conducted in a comparative manner across EEG bands. • Female brain is more connected under rest condition, while male brain boosts connectivity under arithmetic workload. • Unsuccessful brains yield more assortative behavior based on beta band networks. • Arithmetically successful brains yield greater connectivity under rest […]

  • How Neutral Theory Altered Ideas About Biodiversity
    by cxdig on December 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    The simple insight that most changes are random had a profound effect on genetics, evolution and ecology. Read the full article at:

  • Edge-based analysis of networks: curvatures of graphs and hypergraphs
    by cxdig on December 9, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    Marzieh Eidi, Amirhossein Farzam, Wilmer Leal, Areejit Samal & Jürgen Jost Theory in Biosciences volume 139, pages337–348(2020) The relations, rather than the elements, constitute the structure of networks. We therefore develop a systematic approach to the analysis of networks, modelled as graphs or hypergraphs, that is based on structural properties of (hyper)edges, instead of vertices. For that purpose, we utilize so-called network curvatures. These curvatures quantify the local […]

  • Representing Fitness Landscapes by Valued Constraints to Understand the Complexity of Local Search
    by cxdig on December 9, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Artem Kaznatcheev, David Cohen, Peter Jeavons JAIR Vol. 69 (2020) Local search is widely used to solve combinatorial optimisation problems and to model biological evolution, but the performance of local search algorithms on different kinds of fitness landscapes is poorly understood. Here we consider how fitness landscapes can be represented using valued constraints, and investigate what the structure of such representations reveals about the complexity of local search. First, we show that for […]

  • The Emergence of Higher-Order Structure in Scientific and Technological Knowledge Networks
    by cxdig on December 8, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Thomas Gebhart, Russell J. Funk The growth of science and technology is a recombinative process, wherein new discoveries and inventions are built from prior knowledge. Yet relatively little is known about the manner in which scientific and technological knowledge develop and coalesce into larger structures that enable or constrain future breakthroughs. Network science has recently emerged as a framework for measuring the structure and dynamics of knowledge. While helpful, existing approaches […]

  • What’s next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries
    by cxdig on December 8, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Hybrid models of remote work are likely to persist in the wake of the pandemic, mostly for a highly educated, well-paid minority of the workforce.Read the full article at:

  • Information Length Analysis of Linear Autonomous Stochastic Processes
    by cxdig on December 3, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Adrian-Josue Guel-Cortez and Eun-jin Kim Entropy 2020, 22(11), 1265; When studying the behaviour of complex dynamical systems, a statistical formulation can provide useful insights. In particular, information geometry is a promising tool for this purpose. In this paper, we investigate the information length for n-dimensional linear autonomous stochastic processes, providing a basic theoretical framework that can be applied to a large set of problems in engineering and physics. A specific […]

  • Extending Genetic Programming for use in Big Data Analytics: BEACON alum Amir Gandomi
    by Danielle Whittaker on November 30, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Former BEACON Distinguished Postdoc Amir H. Gandomi has received a 2021 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council. Amir was a BEACON postdoc from 2015-2017, and is now a Professor of Data Science at University of Technology Sydney in … Continue reading →

  • Recovery Coupling in Multilayer Networks
    by cxdig on November 30, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Michael M. Danziger, Albert-László Barabási The increased complexity of infrastructure systems has resulted in critical interdependencies between multiple networks---communication systems require electricity, while the normal functioning of the power grid relies on communication systems. These interdependencies have inspired an extensive literature on coupled multilayer networks, assuming that a component failure in one network causes failures in the other network, a hard interdependence […]

  • To Regulate or Not: A Social Dynamics Analysis of an Idealised AI Race
    by cxdig on November 30, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    The Anh Han, Luis Moniz Pereira, Francisco C. Santos, Tom Lenaerts Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research Rapid technological advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as the growing deployment of intelligent technologies in new application domains, have generated serious anxiety and a fear of missing out among different stake-holders, fostering a racing narrative. Whether real or not, the belief in such a race for domain supremacy through AI, can make it real simply from its […]

  • Robots are not immune to bias and injustice
    by cxdig on November 29, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Ayanna Howard and Monroe Kennedy III Science Robotics 18 Nov 2020:Vol. 5, Issue 48, eabf1364DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.abf1364 Human-human social constructs drive human-robot interactions; robotics is thus intertwined with issues surrounding inequity and racial injustices. Read the full article at:

  • Meet GPT-3. It Has Learned to Code (and Blog and Argue)
    by cxdig on November 28, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    The latest natural-language system generates tweets, pens poetry, summarizes emails, answers trivia questions, translates languages and even writes its own computer programs. Read the full article at:

  • NERCCS 2021: Fourth Northeast Regional Conference on Complex Systems
    by cxdig on November 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    NERCCS 2021: The Fourth Northeast Regional Conference on Complex Systems will follow the success of the previous NERCCS conferences to promote the emerging venue of interdisciplinary scholarly exchange for complex systems researchers in the Northeast U.S. region (and beyond) to share their research outcomes through presentations and online publications, network with their peers, and promote interdisciplinary collaboration and the growth of the research community. NERCCS will particularly focus […]

  • Urban sensing as a random search process
    by cxdig on November 23, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Kevin O’Keeffe, Paolo Santi, Brandon Wang, CarloRatti Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its ApplicationsVolume 562, 15 January 2021, 125307 We study a new random search process: the taxi drive. The motivation for this process comes from urban sensing in which sensors are mounted on moving vehicles such as taxis, allowing urban environments to be opportunistically monitored. Inspired by the movements of real taxis, the taxi drive is composed of both random and regular parts: passengers are […]

  • Adapting to the challenges of warming | Science
    by cxdig on November 22, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Steven C. Sherwood Science 13 Nov 2020:Vol. 370, Issue 6518, pp. 782-783Heat extremes on Earth have reached a disturbing new level in recent years. The July 2020 temperatures soared across Siberia and reached a record-breaking 38°C inside the Arctic Circle, continuing a line of record heat events globally. “Event attribution” calculations, which are an endeavor to apportion blame for extreme events through quantitative modeling, suggest that some events would have been nearly impossible […]

  • Mobility network models of COVID-19 explain inequities and inform reopening
    by cxdig on November 21, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Serina Chang, Emma Pierson, Pang Wei Koh, Jaline Gerardin, Beth Redbird, David Grusky & Jure Leskovec Nature (2020)The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed human mobility patterns, necessitating epidemiological models which capture the effects of changes in mobility on virus spread1. We introduce a metapopulation SEIR model that integrates fine-grained, dynamic mobility networks to simulate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in 10 of the largest US metropolitan statistical areas. Derived from […]

  • Scientists Find Vital Genes Evolving in Genome’s Junkyard
    by cxdig on November 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Even genes essential for life can be caught in an evolutionary arms race that forces them to change or be replaced. Read the full article at:

  • Heterogeneity in social and epidemiological factors determines the risk of measles outbreaks
    by cxdig on November 20, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    Paolo Bosetti, Piero Poletti, Massimo Stella, Bruno Lepri, Stefano Merler, and Manlio De DomenicoPNAS The recent increase in large-scale migration trends generates several concerns about public health in destination countries, especially in the presence of massive incoming human flows from countries with a disrupted healthcare system. Here, we analyze the flow of 3.5 M Syrian refugees toward Turkey to quantify the risk of measles outbreaks. Our results suggest that heterogeneity in immunity, […]

  • Engineering self-organized criticality in living cells
    by cxdig on November 20, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Blai Vidiella, Antoni Guillamon, Josep Sardanyés, Victor Maull, Nuria Conde-Pueyo, Ricard Solé Complex dynamical fluctuations, from molecular noise within cells, collective intelligence, brain dynamics or computer traffic have been shown to display noisy behaviour consistent with a critical state between order and disorder. Living close to the critical point can have a number of adaptive advantages and it has been conjectured that evolution could select (and even tend to) these critical […]

  • NEAT Project
    by Daniel Junghans on July 21, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Link to my blog Introduction I began my current research project with a simple question: can I evolve an artificial neural network (ANN) to accurately predict the closing price of a stock? Artificial Neural Networks ANNs are inspired by biological brains and are made up of densely interconnected nodes. Instead of neurons and synapses, ANNs utilize artificial neurons (nodes) and connections. Figure 1 Visual representation of an artificial neural network. The circles represent nodes and the lines […]

  • Nitty Gritty on Professional Jekyll Posts
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on July 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. Class blogs have grown into a core tool of the educational experiences, like the CSE 491 Advanced C++ Seminar and this summer’s WAVES Workshop, I’ve had the pleasure of facilitating. I typically have students contribute to the blog as part of their own learning experience. I love this format because it helps, develop students’ professional communication skills, provide students a sense of […]

  • Evolutionary AI site with expert podcasts and a COVID-19 intervention demo
    by Danielle Whittaker on July 15, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    The Evolutionary AI research group at Sentient has moved to Cognizant Technology Solutions. The group includes several current and past BEACONites, including Risto Miikkulainen, Elliot Meyerson, Jason Liang, and Santiago Gonzalez, and past interns Aditya Rawal and Khaled Talukder.  The group … Continue reading →

  • Life Hacks RE: Too Much Zoom & Too Much Email
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on July 2, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. 🔗 You’ve Got Mail! Ah, email. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. None. Zero ways. Pick an academic of your choice with a twitter. Search their username and the word “email.” Enjoy the snarky 2 to 7+ tweets that appear. I’ve curated a few of my favorites here. 🔗 A Tale as Old as Time Itself Or, at least, email itself. Don Knuth — of complexity analysis & LaTeX fame — […]

  • Engaging Galápagos Students and Educators in Evolutionary Activities
    by Danielle Whittaker on May 20, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    This blog post is by Madison Bovee, Alexa Warwick, John G. Phillips, Brant G. Miller, and Christine Parent. Evolutionary research is conducted across the globe, yet no location may be as emblematic as the Galápagos Islands (Figure 1). Made famous by … Continue reading →

  • Logistical Lessons Learned about Administering Workshop Applications
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on May 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. We’re in the process of wrapping up participant selection for our upcoming Workshop for Avida-ED Software Development (WAVES). This workshop will team up early-career participants with mentors to help build the software foundation that will underly the next version of Avida-ED (as well as more broadly supporting web-based scientific apps and digital evolution research). So far, almost everything’s […]

  • Social distancing socials in the Devolab
    by Alex Lalejini on March 24, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    👋 We’re now almost two weeks into our lab’s full-scale social distancing efforts. On March 11th, Michigan State University suspended in-person classes and shifted all coursework to virtual instruction. Around the same time, our lab shifted to working remotely and began conducting all meetings virtually over Zoom. So, we’ve all been hunkered down in our apartments/homes slowly succumbing to cabin fever. Fortunately, we study digital critters, so our work is conducive to working remotely […]

  • An 11th Way to Convert a char to a string in C++
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on February 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. If by some miracle of search engine optimization you landed here first just googling around for a C++ code snippet or for some reason you found Techie Delight’s listicle 10 ways to convert a char to a string in C++ inadequately delightful, here’s your payoff right out of the gate. std::string res{'c'}; Great! You’re free to go… 🔗 or: How I Learned that Braces and Parens Aren’t the Same […]

  • So You Want To Retrieve and Extract .tar.gz Archives with Empscripten
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on January 27, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. As part of ongoing work with my scientific project’s cool cool web interface, I spent this afternoon and evening figuring out how to download configuration and data files into the browser. I figured I should share what I learned! Emscripten’s nifty file packaging, which prepares elements of the browser file system at compile time and packages it with your “executable,” had been my go to for a […]

  • Profiling Empirical’s BitSet and BitVector
    by Santiago Rodriguez-Papa on January 24, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Our lab’s software project, the Empirical C++ Library, provides two containers implemented for dealing with data at the bit level: BitSet and BitVector. emp::BitSet (emp is Empirical’s namespace) is—at its core—a reimplementation of std::bitset with some additional features, such as support for bitmagic bitwise operations and convenient accessors and modifiers. emp::BitSet and std::bitset are both fixed-sized containers. emp::BitVector provides many of the same features as emp::BitSet […]

  • Anti-Peacocking [January 21, 2020]
    by Tom Barbalet on January 22, 2020 at 4:04 am

    Anton hit a roadblock with the Moveable Feast Machine due to some GPU compiler issues. Tom has been working on a project called libdeep to answer some interesting questions about how to make software that is useful for a variety of folks. They digress into the Roomba. How good is machine learning and why hasn't artificial life done just as well? What is still yet to be found useful in the field. Anton wants to understand more about the ApeSDK. Tom introduces Ecosim (after the recording Tom […]

  • Evaluating Function Dispatch Methods in SignalGP
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on December 17, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. 🔗 Introduction Way back before we both joined the halfway-to-fifty club, fellow-DEVOLAB student Alexander Lalejini started developing an event-driven genetic programming system called SignalGP. His work aims to enable practitioners to better evolve agents that exhibit responsiveness to their surroundings — changing conditions in their environment & messages from other agents. The stock […]

  • So You Want a vector of Uninitialized Elements?
    by Matthew Andres Moreno on December 13, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    This material is cross-posted from my personal blog. You can find the original version here. In ongoing work to parallelize evolution-of-multicellularity research software, we want to interface the cleverly-named serialization framework cereal with the matter-of-factly named Message Passing Interface. The basic idea is to take C++ objects, use cereal to turn them into bitstreams (plain Jane 0’s and 1’s), and then use MPI to send the bitstreams between compute nodes. However, the cereal […]

  • How Claire from the BA test kitchen made me rethink our scientific role models
    by Danielle Whittaker on December 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    This blog post is by MSU faculty member Arend Hintze. I love making stuff, let it be wood crafting or building cosplay Halloween costumes for my kids. However, I also like to do things the right way.  Consequently, I have … Continue reading →

  • Biota [December 8, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on December 8, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Tom provides a footnote to Biota.

  • Goodman Extends BEACON’s Collaborations in China
    by Danielle Whittaker on November 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

    This post is by BEACON’s Executive Director Erik Goodman. On Oct. 19, 2019, I left East Lansing for China, with stops in Shantou, Guangzhou and Shanghai. I received a warm and wonderful reception everywhere I went, in spite of tariffs, … Continue reading →

  • Using lessons from Facebook and fence-building to understand the evolution of deadly bacteria
    by Danielle Whittaker on October 28, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    This blog post is by University of Idaho graduate student Clinton Elg. Evolution of a Deadly Bacteria Vibrio cholerae is bacteria that resides in water and causes deadly cholera disease. While areas of the world with functional sewage and potable … Continue reading →

  • An Instinct for Truth: a new book by BEACON co-founder Robert T. Pennock
    by Danielle Whittaker on October 11, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Robert T. Pennock, a BEACON co-founder and co-PI, has just published a new book. An Instinct for Truth: Curiosity and the Moral Character of Science is an exploration of the scientific mindset—such character virtues as curiosity, veracity, attentiveness, and humility to evidence—and … Continue reading →

  • BEACON alum Wendy Smythe receives AISES Professional of the Year award
    by Danielle Whittaker on September 5, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Dr. Wendy Smythe, former BEACON Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2016-2018) received the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Professional of the Year Award.  Wendy Smythe, now a tenure track assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), received the AISES award … Continue reading →

  • The evolution of academic posters: from Poster 1.0 to Better Poster 2.0 to Hybrid Poster 1.5
    by Joel Slade on September 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    By: Natalie Vande Pol (PhD Candidate, Michigan State University) This week marks the start of my 6th year as a PhD student in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics program at Michigan State University. I have been extremely fortunate to attend a … Continue reading →

  • Nerd Obsessive Enterprises [August 9, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on August 10, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Anton has been porting Movable Feast Machine to the GPU. They discuss work waivers. Tom discusses what an iPhone app means. How about Patreon? Anton and Tom finish the podcast talking about Kickstarters too.

  • Creating the Surroundings [August 5, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on August 6, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Tom welcomes back on Dr. Bruce Damer. Tom asks for Bruce's thoughts on the Wikipedia situation. Bruce talks about the Biota Institute in understanding the origin of life and a new company, Epsilonics. They discuss Tom Ray's criticism of artificial life for doing open ended simulation. What has Deepak Chopra provided in feedback to Bruce? Tom raises the idea that emergent complexity is the panacea for the media-centric world. Bruce talks about his responsibility to the issues impacting the […]

  • BEACON Team wins Best Paper Award in Evolutionary Machine Learning Track at GECCO 2019
    by Danielle Whittaker on July 31, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Congratulations to BEACONites Zhichao Lu, Ian Whalen, Vishnu Boddeti, Yashesh Dhebar, Kalyanmoy Deb, Erik Goodman, and Wolfgang Banzhaf! Their paper “NSGA-Net: Neural Architecture Search using Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm” won the Best Paper Award in the Evolutionary Machine Learning track at GECCO 2019 in … Continue reading →

  • Galapagotchi with Gerald de Jong [July 6, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on July 6, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Gerald de Jong has been in and out of creating simulations over the past eight years but he's returned to work on Galapagotchi. Tom tries very hard to create distinctions between springs and tensegrity structures but Gerald isn't having any of it. Gerald gives a definition of Galapagotchi. How have Gerald's thoughts changed about artificial life in the past eight years? What's the distinction between water and land?

  • Moveable Fiesta [June 28, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on June 29, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Tom welcomes on Professor David Ackley who introduces his interests in artificial life and how he developed Evolutionary Reinforcement Learning. Can this work map back into biology? What does it take to get this kind of cross disciplinary collaboration? Tom asks about Professor Ackley's motivation to put so much information on YouTube. How is this different to publicly accessible papers? Does it bring students to the field? Professor Ackley talks about the vision of a new computer architecture: […]

  • Veritable Feast [June 7, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on June 8, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Anton returns to talk about Lenia, David H. Ackley's Movable Feast Machine Tom and Anton do a deep dive into the many flavors of parallelism Tom has used with Noble Ape. Anton also likes GPU programming. If you would like to be on a Biota podcast, please get in contact with Tom - barbalet at the email address noted.

  • GenePool Revisited [May 25, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on May 26, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Tom Barbalet welcomes back Jeffrey Ventrella to talk about his ongoing projects, GenePool and Wiggle Planet, with longtime co-developer, Brian Dodd. They talk about open source and Jeffrey's other projects: a book on fractal curves and taking artificial life to the traditional art world.

  • Surviving Notability, Simulation as a Service and Self-Replicating Steam Engines [May 19, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on May 19, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Tom Barbalet welcomes back Tim Taylor to talk about how we communicate on the field of artificial life. They also discuss Tim's ideas on simulation as a service and Tim's new book on self-replicating machine discussions through history.

  • Deletions, Simulation as a Service, ApeScript and the Curse [May 13, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on May 14, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Tom Barbalet talks with Anton Mikhailov on a variety of topics. Will they continue the podcast after the meeting? Time will tell.

  • The Secret Life of Simulators and Bees [April 26, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on April 27, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Tom Barbalet talks with Anton Mikhailov about his bee simulation, moving it open source and some of the historical pitfalls in making artificial life your day job. If you would like to ask further questions and topics for Anton and Tom, please email barbalet at gmail dot com. We'd really appreciate the topics and feedback.

  • Ape Reality Simulcast 157. Noble Ape Seminar at the Beacon Center, Michigan State University [July 27, 2012]
    by Tom Barbalet on April 17, 2019 at 5:22 am

    This is a talk given primarily to biologists on the Noble Ape Simulation. The academics who don't introduce themselves are Prof. Fred Dyer, Dr. Aaron Wagner and Prof. Robert Pennock.

  • Long Funk Simulcast 51. A Shared Language in [March 31, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on April 1, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Tom discusses the background and potential of Noble Ape in the cloud with JSON.

  • Long Funk Simulcast 45. Bob Mottram and Leeds [February 12, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on February 13, 2019 at 4:40 am

    Noble Ape banter is a real luxury.

  • Restarting the Biota Podcast [January 26, 2019]
    by Tom Barbalet on January 26, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Tom Barbalet is interested in restarting the podcast but he needs your help. barbalet at gmail dot com for more!

  • Announcement: is the New Location For the Podcast
    by Tom Barbalet on August 5, 2018 at 5:40 am

    The Biota Podcast's home has moved to

  • Simulcast: Early Morning Weather Development [April 1, 2018]
    by Tom Barbalet on April 1, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Tom Barbalet, the creator of Noble Ape, talks about what he's working on at 3am.

  • Simulcast Long Funk 1. Introducing the Format [December 9, 2017]
    by Tom Barbalet on December 10, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Tom introduces the podcast by discussing his many podcasts and what he has learnt from all these recording. To subscribe go to

  • Simulcast: Tom Barbalet and Bruce Damer Have a Chat [May 3, 2015]
    by Tom Barbalet on May 4, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Originally intended for Bruce's Levity Zone podcast, the following recording seemed a better fit for those who were artificial life savvy. Bruce concludes the conversation with how he may be doing something with deep computation in the future after all.'

  • The VIDA Awards enter a new era
    by VIDA on February 25, 2015 at 9:51 am

    After 16 years, the competition will come to an end. New exhibitions will showcase the latest trends in art and new media

  • Simulcast: Crime Fighting Noble Apes [February 02, 2015]
    by Tom Barbalet on February 3, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Tom Barbalet presents a new project using Noble Ape to provide analysis of murder crimes with agent and language simulation.

  • The Iron Ring by Cecilia Jonsson, in ebook
    by VIDA on January 27, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The The Iron Ring projectby the artist Cecilia Jonsson, winner of Second Prize at VIDA 16.0, tells a long, labyrinthine story which can be followed in a publication produced by the V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media centre in Rotterdam. The idea arose during a residency at V2 in the summer of 2013. The Iron

  • Benjamin Grosser: the quantification of our social life
    by VIDA on January 20, 2015 at 9:30 am

    In an article published in the academic journal Computational Culture, the artist Benjamin Grosser, winner of First Prize at VIDA 16.0 for his Computers Watching Movies project (2013), analyses the way in which the social media site Facebook encourages its users’ activities through the quantification of their actions. Under the title “What Do Metrics Want?

  • Koli, art and the environment in Finland
    by VIDA on January 13, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The KOLI Environmental Art Festival has announced an open call for the submission of artistic projects to 31 January 2015. The festival, held in Koli National Park in Finland, focuses on the presentation of artistic works in a natural setting, establishing a creative and environmentally-friendly dialogue. The event will be taking place in summer 2015,

  • Announcement: is the New Location For the Podcast
    by Tom Barbalet on January 4, 2015 at 5:40 am

    The Biota Podcast's home has moved to

  • Roger Malina: “art leads to new science”
    by VIDA on December 22, 2014 at 9:30 am

      Roger F. Malina is an astronomer and editor. He is a Distinguished Professor of Art and Technology at the University of Texas, Dallas where he is developing Art-Science R and D and Experimental publishing research. Former Director of the Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence. His specialty is in space instrumentation; he was the Principal

  • “Cultivos” by Gilberto Esparza: biology and robotics with a critical vision
    by VIDA on December 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Gilberto Esparza, prizewinner at VIDA 9.0 and VIDA 13.0, is presenting his individual exhibition Cultivos at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica de Lima in Peru

  • Kerstin Ergenzinger: Drawing defines time and space
    by VIDA on December 2, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Until 8 February 2015 the Kunstmuseum Bonnis hosting the exhibition Zeich[n]enby artist Kerstin Ergenzinger

  • Telefónica R&D Incentives Prize
    by VIDA on November 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    The VIDA Awards rank among the most important distinctions in the field of new media art. Created in 1999 by Fundación Telefónica, they are currently the only prizes dedicated to art and artificial life. Over the past 15 years, VIDA has consolidated its firm commitment to defining and developing new contemporary artistic practices in the context of

  • Incentives for Production Prizes
    by VIDA on November 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    The VIDA Awards rank among the most important distinctions in the field of new media art. Created in 1999 by Fundación Telefónica, they are currently the only prizes dedicated to art and artificial life. Over the past 15 years, VIDA has consolidated its firm commitment to defining and developing new contemporary artistic practices in the context of