Santa Fe Institute

Revealing the rhythms and patterns of violence

May 2, 2013 1:43 p.m.

SFI External Professor Aaron Clauset is among a small group of scientists using statistical tools from seismology and physics to forecast future patterns of war and terrorism.

“The frequency and severity of wars has been pretty constant for 200 years despite all the massive changes in geopolitics, technology, and population,” Clauset explains.

Read the article in The Financial Times (April 26, 2013)

On average the world sees one new international war every two years and a new civil war about every 1.5 years. And while terrorist attacks typically occur in clusters...there are clear statistical rhythms there too.

They write in a 2012 paper: “Patterns observed in the frequency of severe terrorist events suggests that some aspects of this phenomenon, and possibly of other complex social phenomena, are not nearly as contingent or unpredictable as is often assumed.”

Read the article in The Financial Times (April 26, 2013)

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