Parakeet pecking orders, basketball match-ups, and the tenure-track: How analyzing winners and losers can reveal rank within networks

In a paper published in Science Advances, researchers from the Santa Fe Institute describe a new algorithm called SpringRank that uses wins and losses to quickly find rankings lurking in large networks. When tested on a wide range of synthetic and real-world datasets, ranging from teams in an NCAA college basketball tournament to the social behavior of animals, SpringRank outperformed other ranking algorithms in predicting outcomes and in efficiency.

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Workshop explores team culture and human performance

This question of how the collective influences individual performance is central to the work of SFI’s investigation into the limits of human performance. In a workshop that takes place June 25-27, experts from a range of disciplines, including physiology, organizational behavior, sports analytics and applied mathematics, explore how the collective affects the individual.

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Cooler computing through statistical physics?

Recent breakthroughs in nonequilibrium statistical physics have revealed opportunities to advance the "thermodynamics of computation," a field that could have far-reaching consequences for how we understand, and engineer, our computers.

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Learn agent-based modeling with Bill Rand

Agent-based modeling has been used to study everything from economics to biology to political science to business and management. This July, programmers and non-programmers alike can learn to model by enrolling in Introduction to Agent-based Modeling, Complexity Explorer’s massive open online course (MOOC).

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SFI Press publishes Emergence of Premodern States

On June 11, the SFI Press released the second volume in its Seminar Series, The Emergence of Premodern States, edited by Jeremy A. Sabloff and Paula L.W. Sabloff. This project tackles one of the most deceptively simple inquiries in archaeology: How did humans transition from hunter-gatherer societies into states — collective entities that are the movers and shakers of the modern world?

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An Introduction to SFI’s Visiting Faculty

Three researchers are spending several months at SFI to tackle some big questions: “Why do we sleep less as we get older?” “What do city pigeons have in common with drug interactions?” and “Is there a trajectory underlying human history?” to name a few.

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New study improves 'crowd wisdom' estimates

In a new study, researchers examined just how accurate our collective intelligence is and how individual bias and information sharing skew aggregate estimates. Using their findings, they developed a mathematical correction that takes into account bias and social information to generate an improved crowd estimate. 

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Machine learning yields new insights into French Revolution’s early days

New research from an interdisciplinary collaboration among historians, political scientists, and statisticians suggests that rhetorical innovations may have played a significant role in winning acceptance for the new principles of governance that built the French republic’s foundation — and inspired future democracies around the world. 

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