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Showing posts from January, 2007

Critical Events in Evolving Networks

Today I went to an Open Workshop of the EU-funded CREEN project (Critical Events in Evolving Networks). The members of the consortium are working on different models for network evolution, very interesting stuff.
They have compiled a catalogue of critical events in complex networks, which gives a very nice and brief introduction to the main concepts relevant to this topic.
They have produced several interesting papers, but some of them are still not online...

Peer review with prediction markets?

Marko and Jen are testing the possibility of using prediction markets as an alternative/complement of peer review. So, you can trade with my submitted papers...
A General Methodology for Designing Self-Organizing SystemsTowards Self-organizing BureaucraciesYou can also add your papers under review, just go to http://cdms.inklingmarkets.com/

What is Emergence?

A couple of weeks ago I went to the lecture "Qu'es-ce que l'émergence?" by Hugues Bersini, as a part of the Seminar series "Penser La Science", in honor of Ilya Prigogine.

"Emergence" has been a widely used and abused term, with the drawback that there is no agreed definition of it. As Jack Cohen puts it: "Emergence is like pornography. I cannot define it, but I know when I see it." Well, we can say that emergent properties are those that are not present in the components of a system, but are a product of their interactions. Phil Anderson gives the nice example of gold: its atoms do not have temperature, malleability, conductivity, colour, etc. that a piece of the metal has. Thus these properties "emerge" from the interactions between atoms.
Similarly, cells are made of non-living molecules, but their interactions generate properties that we call "living", so we can say that life is an emergent property.

What Bersini dis…