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Collective Behavior

Why I am writing about football

DAVID SUMPTER 6 DAYS AGO

Create your own current reinforced random walk

DAVID SUMPTER 1 MONTH AGO

In the standard random walk model, particles move around a graph, choosing a new edge at random at each point. When these particles are released from a source they diffuse away from it creating a cloud emanating from the source. A natural extension to the random walk is to include path reinforcement, ...

Language in a shrinking world

ALEX SZORKOVSZKY 1 MONTH AGO

The number of species on Earth is declining at an alarming rate due to human influence. A similar event is underway within human society: the extinction of a vast majority of human languages. While species decline in competition with humans for resources, thousands of local tongues are no match for t...

The mind is alive, but the intelligence explosion is rubbish

DAVID SUMPTER 2 MONTHS AGO

The “intelligence explosion” or “intelligence singularity” is a fun idea. Computers are getting more powerful, they are integrated into all parts of our lives, and machine learning tools allow us to search for and process information better than ever before. Maybe we are nearing the point wher...

How different slime mould strains make decisions.

STAMATIOS NICOLIS 2 MONTHS AGO

One of the best-known manifestations of collective behavior is decision-making, whereby a group composed of many individuals (an insect colony, a swarm of bees, a population of fish) chooses among different available options. In a recent paper [1] we investigated a new paradigm of decision-making, o...

Identifying the real success stories in development

SHYAM RANGANATHAN 3 MONTHS AGO

Many sub-Saharan African countries have failed to fulfil the Millenium Development Goals. But a closer look at the data and a comparison with a mathematical model, shows that these goals were unfair. In fact, many African countries have "over performed" in reducing child mortality over the last 25 yea...

Beat the ants to the best food.

LIU YU (ERNEST) 3 MONTHS AGO

Choosing where to go to lunch is never easy. For example, think about deciding which restaurant to go to from work. Imagine there are two choices, one is the friendly Central Perk and the other is the more idiosyncratic Monk's Cafe. But these restaurants are not reliable. The lunches vary in quality ...

Is network science falling back to earth?

HONGLI ZENG 3 MONTHS AGO

Scientists are increasingly obsessed with their own impact and how to measure it. In some ways, this obsession has been forced on them, by the movement in the 1990s to using number of citations to measure impact. But, even without these external pressures to perform, tools like Google scholar make it ...

The 24-Hour Science Challenge: A Social Experiment in Ope...

DAMIEN FARINE 4 MONTHS AGO

Scientific papers are the bread and butter of scientific discourse. Most papers reflect the final product of months, if not years or even decades, of effort. They are meant to be high-quality, well-thought-out, polished works. So when we say that we decided to try to write a paper in 24 hours, we can ...

The evolution of football formations

DAVID SUMPTER 4 MONTHS AGO

Natural selection has shaped a whole range of different animal groups, from V-like formations of geese to circular mills of schooling fish. These shapes are the result of millions of years of evolution. Animals that hold their formation survive and those that don’t follow the group die out, either l...

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