Cumulative effect in social contagion underlies many studies on the spread of innovation, behavior, and influence. However, few large-scale empirical studies are conducted to validate the existence of cumulative effect in information diffusion on social networks. In this paper, using the population-scale dataset from the largest Chinese microblogging website, we conduct a comprehensive study on the cumulative effect in information diffusion. We base our study on the diffusion network of message, where nodes are the involved users and links characterize forwarding relationship among them. We find that multiple exposures to the same message indeed increase the possibility of forwarding it. However, additional exposures cannot further improve the chance of forwarding when the number of exposures crosses its peak at two. This finding questions the cumulative effect hypothesis in information diffusion. Furthermore, to clarify the forwarding preference among users, we investigate both structural motif in the diffusion network and temporal pattern in information diffusion process. Findings provide some insights for understanding the variation of message popularity and explain the characteristics of diffusion network.
Understanding the causes and effects of network structural features is a key task in deciphering complex systems. In this context, the property of network nestedness has aroused a fair amount of interest as regards ecological networks. Indeed, Bastolla et al. introduced a simple measure of network nestedness which opened the door to analytical understanding, allowing them to conclude that biodiversity is strongly enhanced in highly nested mutualistic networks. Here, we suggest a slightly refined version of such a measure of nestedness and study how it is influenced by the most basic structural properties of networks, such as degree distribution and degree-degree correlations (i.e. assortativity). We find that most of the empirically found nestedness stems from heterogeneity in the degree distribution. Once such an influence has been discounted – as a second factor – we find that nestedness is strongly correlated with disassortativity and hence – as random networks have been recently found to be naturally disassortative – they also tend to be naturally nested just as the result of chance.
Centrality parameters in animal trade networks typically have right-skewed distributions, implying that these networks are highly resistant against the random removal of holdings, but vulnerable to the targeted removal of the most central holdings. In the present study, we analysed the structural changes of an animal trade network topology based on the targeted removal of holdings using specific centrality parameters in comparison to the random removal of holdings. Three different time periods were analysed: the three-year network, the yearly and the monthly networks. The aim of this study was to identify appropriate measures for the targeted removal, which lead to a rapid fragmentation of the network. Furthermore, the optimal combination of the removal of three holdings regardless of their centrality was identified. The results showed that centrality parameters based on ingoing trade contacts, e.g. in-degree, ingoing infection chain and ingoing closeness, were not suitable for a rapid fragmentation in all three time periods. More efficient was the removal based on parameters considering the outgoing trade contacts. In all networks, a maximum percentage of 7.0% (on average 5.2%) of the holdings had to be removed to reduce the size of the largest component by more than 75%. The smallest difference from the optimal combination for all three time periods was obtained by the removal based on out-degree with on average 1.4% removed holdings, followed by outgoing infection chain and outgoing closeness. The targeted removal using the betweenness centrality differed the most from the optimal combination in comparison to the other parameters which consider the outgoing trade contacts. Due to the pyramidal structure and the directed nature of the pork supply chain the most efficient interruption of the infection chain for all three time periods was obtained by using the targeted removal based on out-degree.
The increasing Internet coverage and the widespread use of digital devices offer the possibility to develop new digital surveillance systems potentially capable to provide important aid to epidemiological and public health monitoring and research. In France, a new nationwide surveillance system for influenza-like illness, GrippeNet.fr, was introduced since the 2011/2012 season based on an online participatory mechanism and open to the general population. We evaluate the recruitment and participation of users to the first pilot season with respect to similar efforts in Europe to assess the feasibility of establishing a participative network of surveillance in France. We further investigate the representativeness of the GrippeNet.fr population along a set of indicators on geographical, demographic, socio-economic and health aspects. Participation was widespread in the country and with rates comparable to other European countries with partnered projects running since a longer time. It was not representative of the general population in terms of age and gender, however all age classes were represented, including the older classes (65+ years old), generally less familiar with the digital world, but considered at high risk for influenza complications. Once adjusted on demographic indicators, the GrippeNet.fr population is found to be more frequently employed, with a higher education level and vaccination rate with respect to the general population. A similar propensity to commute for work to different regions was observed, and no significant difference was found for asthma and diabetes. Results show the feasibility of the system, provide indications to inform adjusted epidemic analyses, and highlight the presence of specific population groups that need to be addressed by targeted communication strategies to achieve a higher representativeness in the following seasons.
The two core systems of mathematical processing (subitizing and retrieval) as well as their functionality are already known and published. In this study we have used graph theory to compare the brain network organization of these two core systems in the cortical layer during difficult calculations. We have examined separately all the EEG frequency bands in healthy young individuals and we found that the network organization at rest, as well as during mathematical tasks has the characteristics of Small World Networks for all the bands, which is the optimum organization required for efficient information processing. The different mathematical stimuli provoked changes in the graph parameters of different frequency bands, especially the low frequency bands. More specific, in Delta band the induced network increases it’s local and global efficiency during the transition from subitizing to retrieval system, while results suggest that difficult mathematics provoke networks with higher cliquish organization due to more specific demands. The network of the Theta band follows the same pattern as before, having high nodal and remote organization during difficult mathematics. Also the spatial distribution of the network’s weights revealed more prominent connections in frontoparietal regions, revealing the working memory load due to the engagement of the retrieval system. The cortical networks of the alpha brainwaves were also more efficient, both locally and globally, during difficult mathematics, while the fact that alpha’s network was more dense on the frontparietal regions as well, reveals the engagement of the retrieval system again. Concluding, this study gives more evidences regarding the interaction of the two core systems, exploiting the produced functional networks of the cerebral cortex, especially for the difficult mathematics.
Interactions among multiple infectious agents are increasingly recognized as a fundamental issue in the understanding of key questions in public health regarding pathogen emergence, maintenance, and evolution. The full description of host-multipathogen systems is, however, challenged by the multiplicity of factors affecting the interaction dynamics and the resulting competition that may occur at different scales, from the within-host scale to the spatial structure and mobility of the host population. Here we study the dynamics of two competing pathogens in a structured host population and assess the impact of the mobility pattern of hosts on the pathogen competition. We model the spatial structure of the host population in terms of a metapopulation network and focus on two strains imported locally in the system and having the same transmission potential but different infectious periods. We find different scenarios leading to competitive success of either one of the strain or to the codominance of both strains in the system. The dominance of the strain characterized by the shorter or longer infectious period depends exclusively on the structure of the population and on the the mobility of hosts across patches. The proposed modeling framework allows the integration of other relevant epidemiological, environmental and demographic factors, opening the path to further mathematical and computational studies of the dynamics of multipathogen systems.
When multiple infectious agents circulate in a given population of hosts, they interact for the exploitation of susceptible hosts aimed at pathogen survival and maintenance. Such interaction is ruled by the combination of different mechanisms related to the biology of host-pathogen interaction, environmental conditions and host demography and behavior. We focus on pathogen competition and we investigate whether the mobility of hosts in a spatially structured environment can act as a selective driver for pathogen circulation. We use mathematical and computational models for disease transmission between hosts and for the mobility of hosts to study the competition between two pathogens providing each other full cross-immunity after infection. Depending on the rate of migration of hosts, competition results in the dominance of either one of the pathogens at the spatial level – though the two infectious agents are characterized by the same invasion potential at the single population scale – or cocirculation of both. These results highlight the importance of explicitly accounting for the spatial scale and for the different time scales involved (i.e. host mobility and spreading dynamics of the two pathogens) in the study of host-multipathogen systems.
Human behaviour is highly individual by nature, yet statistical structures are emerging which seem to govern the actions of human beings collectively. Here we search for universal statistical laws dictating the timing of human actions in communication decisions. We focus on the distribution of the time interval between messages in human broadcast communication, as documented in Twitter, and study a collection of over 160,000 tweets for three user categories: personal (controlled by one person), managed (typically PR agency controlled) and bot-controlled (automated system). To test our hypothesis, we investigate whether it is possible to differentiate between user types based on tweet timing behaviour, independently of the content in messages. For this purpose, we developed a system to process a large amount of tweets for reality mining and implemented two simple probabilistic inference algorithms: 1. a naive Bayes classifier, which distinguishes between two and three account categories with classification performance of 84.6% and 75.8%, respectively and 2. a prediction algorithm to estimate the time of a user's next tweet with an . Our results show that we can reliably distinguish between the three user categories as well as predict the distribution of a user's inter-message time with reasonable accuracy. More importantly, we identify a characteristic power-law decrease in the tail of inter-message time distribution by human users which is different from that obtained for managed and automated accounts. This result is evidence of a universal law that permeates the timing of human decisions in broadcast communication and extends the findings of several previous studies of peer-to-peer communication.
Cooperation is essential for successful human societies. Thus, understanding how cooperative and selfish behaviors spread from person to person is a topic of theoretical and practical importance. Previous laboratory experiments provide clear evidence of social contagion in the domain of cooperation, both in fixed networks and in randomly shuffled networks, but leave open the possibility of asymmetries in the spread of cooperative and selfish behaviors. Additionally, many real human interaction structures are dynamic: we often have control over whom we interact with. Dynamic networks may differ importantly in the goals and strategic considerations they promote, and thus the question of how cooperative and selfish behaviors spread in dynamic networks remains open. Here, we address these questions with data from a social dilemma laboratory experiment. We measure the contagion of both cooperative and selfish behavior over time across three different network structures that vary in the extent to which they afford individuals control over their network ties. We find that in relatively fixed networks, both cooperative and selfish behaviors are contagious. In contrast, in more dynamic networks, selfish behavior is contagious, but cooperative behavior is not: subjects are fairly likely to switch to cooperation regardless of the behavior of their neighbors. We hypothesize that this insensitivity to the behavior of neighbors in dynamic networks is the result of subjects’ desire to attract new cooperative partners: even if many of one’s current neighbors are defectors, it may still make sense to switch to cooperation. We further hypothesize that selfishness remains contagious in dynamic networks because of the well-documented willingness of cooperators to retaliate against selfishness, even when doing so is costly. These results shed light on the contagion of cooperative behavior in fixed and fluid networks, and have implications for influence-based interventions aiming at increasing cooperative behavior.
In response to the outbreak of an emerging infectious disease, e.g., H1N1 influenza, public health authorities will take timely and effective intervention measures to contain disease spread. However, due to the scarcity of required resources and the consequent social-economic impacts, interventions may be suggested to cover only certain subpopulations, e.g., immunizing vulnerable children and the elderly as well as closing schools or workplaces for social distancing. Here we are interested in addressing the question of how to identify the relative priorities of subpopulations for two measures of disease intervention, namely vaccination and contact reduction, especially when these measures are implemented together at the same time. We consider the measure of vaccination that immunizes susceptible individuals in different age subpopulations and the measure of contact reduction that cuts down individuals’ effective contacts in different social settings, e.g., schools, households, workplaces, and general communities. In addition, we construct individuals’ cross-age contact frequency matrix by inferring basic contact patterns respectively for different social settings from the socio-demographical census data. By doing so, we present a prioritization approach to identifying the target subpopulations that will lead to the greatest reduction in the number of disease transmissions. We calculate the relative priorities of subpopulations by considering the marginal effects of reducing the reproduction number for the cases of vaccine allocation by age and contact reduction by social setting. We examine the proposed approach by revisiting the real-world scenario of the 2009 Hong Kong H1N1 influenza epidemic and determine the relative priorities of subpopulations for age-specific vaccination and setting-specific contact reduction. We simulate the influenza-like disease spread under different settings of intervention. The results have shown that the proposed approach can improve the effectiveness of disease control by containing disease transmissions in a host population.
Marriage benefits both individuals and societies, and is a fundamental determinant of health. Until recently same sex couples have been excluded from legally recognized marriage in the United States. Recent debate around legalization of same sex marriage has highlighted for anti-same sex marriage advocates and policy makers a concern that allowing same sex couples to marry will lead to a decrease in opposite sex marriages. Our objective is to model state trends in opposite sex marriage rates by implementation of same sex marriages and other same sex unions.
Methods and Findings
Marriage data were obtained for all fifty states plus the District of Columbia from 1989 through 2009. As these marriage rates are non-stationary, a generalized error correction model was used to estimate long run and short run effects of same sex marriages and strong and weak same sex unions on rates of opposite sex marriage. We found that there were no significant long-run or short run effects of same sex marriages or of strong or weak same sex unions on rates of opposite sex marriage.
A deleterious effect on rates of opposite sex marriage has been argued to be a motivating factor for both the withholding and the elimination of existing rights of same sex couples to marry by policy makers–including presiding justices of current litigation over the rights of same sex couples to legally marry. Such claims do not appear credible in the face of the existing evidence, and we conclude that rates of opposite sex marriages are not affected by legalization of same sex civil unions or same sex marriages.
We construct a stochastic SIR model for influenza spreading on a D-dimensional lattice, which represents the dynamic contact network of individuals. An age distributed population is placed on the lattice and moves on it. The displacement from a site to a nearest neighbor empty site, allows individuals to change the number and identities of their contacts. The dynamics on the lattice is governed by an attractive interaction between individuals belonging to the same age-class. The parameters, which regulate the pattern dynamics, are fixed fitting the data on the age-dependent daily contact numbers, furnished by the Polymod survey. A simple SIR transmission model with a nearest neighbors interaction and some very basic adaptive mobility restrictions complete the model. The model is validated against the age-distributed Italian epidemiological data for the influenza A(H1N1) during the season, with sensible predictions for the epidemiological parameters. For an appropriate topology of the lattice, we find that, whenever the accordance between the contact patterns of the model and the Polymod data is satisfactory, there is a good agreement between the numerical and the experimental epidemiological data. This result shows how rich is the information encoded in the average contact patterns of individuals, with respect to the analysis of the epidemic spreading of an infectious disease.
Social networking services (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) are now major sources of World Wide Web (called “Web”) dynamics, together with Web search services (e.g., Google). These two types of Web services mutually influence each other but generate different dynamics. In this paper, we distinguish two modes of Web dynamics: the reactive mode and the default mode. It is assumed that Twitter messages (called “tweets”) and Google search queries react to significant social movements and events, but they also demonstrate signs of becoming self-activated, thereby forming a baseline Web activity. We define the former as the reactive mode and the latter as the default mode of the Web. In this paper, we investigate these reactive and default modes of the Web's dynamics using transfer entropy (TE). The amount of information transferred between a time series of 1,000 frequent keywords in Twitter and the same keywords in Google queries is investigated across an 11-month time period. Study of the information flow on Google and Twitter revealed that information is generally transferred from Twitter to Google, indicating that Twitter time series have some preceding information about Google time series. We also studied the information flow among different Twitter keywords time series by taking keywords as nodes and flow directions as edges of a network. An analysis of this network revealed that frequent keywords tend to become an information source and infrequent keywords tend to become sink for other keywords. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that frequent keywords form the Web's default mode, which becomes an information source for infrequent keywords that generally form the Web's reactive mode. We also found that the Web consists of different time resolutions with respect to TE among Twitter keywords, which will be another focal point of this paper.
Large scale analysis and statistics of socio-technical systems that just a few short years ago would have required the use of consistent economic and human resources can nowadays be conveniently performed by mining the enormous amount of digital data produced by human activities. Although a characterization of several aspects of our societies is emerging from the data revolution, a number of questions concerning the reliability and the biases inherent to the big data “proxies” of social life are still open. Here, we survey worldwide linguistic indicators and trends through the analysis of a large-scale dataset of microblogging posts. We show that available data allow for the study of language geography at scales ranging from country-level aggregation to specific city neighborhoods. The high resolution and coverage of the data allows us to investigate different indicators such as the linguistic homogeneity of different countries, the touristic seasonal patterns within countries and the geographical distribution of different languages in multilingual regions. This work highlights the potential of geolocalized studies of open data sources to improve current analysis and develop indicators for major social phenomena in specific communities.
A considerable amount of research has claimed that animals’ foraging behaviors display movement lengths with power-law distributed tails, characteristic of Lévy flights and Lévy walks. Though these claims have recently come into question, the proposal that many animals forage using Lévy processes nonetheless remains. A Lévy process does not consider when or where resources are encountered, and samples movement lengths independently of past experience. However, Lévy processes too have come into question based on the observation that in patchy resource environments resource-sensitive foraging strategies, like area-restricted search, perform better than Lévy flights yet can still generate heavy-tailed distributions of movement lengths. To investigate these questions further, we tracked humans as they searched for hidden resources in an open-field virtual environment, with either patchy or dispersed resource distributions. Supporting previous research, for both conditions logarithmic binning methods were consistent with Lévy flights and rank-frequency methods–comparing alternative distributions using maximum likelihood methods–showed the strongest support for bounded power-law distributions (truncated Lévy flights). However, goodness-of-fit tests found that even bounded power-law distributions only accurately characterized movement behavior for 4 (out of 32) participants. Moreover, paths in the patchy environment (but not the dispersed environment) showed a transition to intensive search following resource encounters, characteristic of area-restricted search. Transferring paths between environments revealed that paths generated in the patchy environment were adapted to that environment. Our results suggest that though power-law distributions do not accurately reflect human search, Lévy processes may still describe movement in dispersed environments, but not in patchy environments–where search was area-restricted. Furthermore, our results indicate that search strategies cannot be inferred without knowing how organisms respond to resources–as both patched and dispersed conditions led to similar Lévy-like movement distributions.
The task of extracting the maximal amount of information from a biological network has drawn much attention from researchers, for example, predicting the function of a protein from a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. It is well known that biological networks consist of modules/communities, a set of nodes that are more densely inter-connected among themselves than with the rest of the network. However, practical applications of utilizing the community information have been rather limited. For protein function prediction on a network, it has been shown that none of the existing community-based protein function prediction methods outperform a simple neighbor-based method. Recently, we have shown that proper utilization of a highly optimal modularity community structure for protein function prediction can outperform neighbor-assisted methods. In this study, we propose two function prediction approaches on bipartite networks that consider the community structure information as well as the neighbor information from the network: 1) a simple screening method and 2) a random forest based method. We demonstrate that our community-assisted methods outperform neighbor-assisted methods and the random forest method yields the best performance. In addition, we show that using the optimal community structure information is essential for more accurate function prediction for the protein-complex bipartite network of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Community detection can be carried out either using a modified modularity for dealing with the original bipartite network or first projecting the network into a single-mode network (i.e., PPI network) and then applying community detection to the reduced network. We find that the projection leads to the loss of information in a significant way. Since our prediction methods rely only on the network topology, they can be applied to various fields where an efficient network-based analysis is required.
Interactions among living organisms, from bacteria colonies to human societies, are inherently more complex than interactions among particles and non-living matter. Group interactions are a particularly important and widespread class, representative of which is the public goods game. In addition, methods of statistical physics have proved valuable for studying pattern formation, equilibrium selection and self-organization in evolutionary games. Here, we review recent advances in the study of evolutionary dynamics of group interactions on top of structured populations, including lattices, complex networks and coevolutionary models. We also compare these results with those obtained on well-mixed populations. The review particularly highlights that the study of the dynamics of group interactions, like several other important equilibrium and non-equilibrium dynamical processes in biological, economical and social sciences, benefits from the synergy between statistical physics, network science and evolutionary game theory.
cooperation; public goods; pattern formation; self-organization; coevolution
Chronic blood shortages in the U.S. would be alleviated by small increases, in percentage terms, of people donating blood. The current research investigated the effects of subtle changes in charity-seeking messages on the likelihood of people responses to a call for help. We predicted that “avoid losses” messages would lead to more helping behavior than “promote gains” messages would.
Two studies investigated the effects of message framing on helping intentions and behaviors. With the help and collaboration of the Red Cross, Study 1, a field experiment, directly assessed the effectiveness of a call for blood donations that was presented as either death-preventing (losses) or life-saving (gains), and as being of either more or less urgent need. With the help and collaboration of a local charity, Study 2, a lab experiment, assessed the effects of the gain-versus-loss framing of a donation-soliciting flyer on individuals’ expectations of others’ monetary donations as well their own volunteering behavior. Study 2 also assessed the effects of three emotional motivators - feelings of empathy, positive affect, and relational closeness.
Study 1 indicated that, on a college campus, describing blood donations as a way to “prevent a death” rather than “save a life” boosted the donation rate. Study 2 showed that framing a charity’s appeals as helping people to avoid a loss led to larger expected donations, increased intentions to volunteer, and more helping behavior, independent of other emotional motivators.
This research identifies and demonstrates a reliable and effective method for increasing important helping behaviors by providing charities with concrete ideas that can effectively increase helping behavior generally and potentially death-preventing behavior in particular.
Social movements rely in large measure on networked communication technologies to organize and disseminate information relating to the movements’ objectives. In this work we seek to understand how the goals and needs of a protest movement are reflected in the geographic patterns of its communication network, and how these patterns differ from those of stable political communication. To this end, we examine an online communication network reconstructed from over 600,000 tweets from a thirty-six week period covering the birth and maturation of the American anticapitalist movement, Occupy Wall Street. We find that, compared to a network of stable domestic political communication, the Occupy Wall Street network exhibits higher levels of locality and a hub and spoke structure, in which the majority of non-local attention is allocated to high-profile locations such as New York, California, and Washington D.C. Moreover, we observe that information flows across state boundaries are more likely to contain framing language and references to the media, while communication among individuals in the same state is more likely to reference protest action and specific places and times. Tying these results to social movement theory, we propose that these features reflect the movement’s efforts to mobilize resources at the local level and to develop narrative frames that reinforce collective purpose at the national level.
Network models extend evolutionary game theory to settings with spatial or social structure and have provided key insights on the mechanisms underlying the evolution of cooperation. However, network models have also proven sensitive to seemingly small details of the model architecture. Here we investigate two popular biologically motivated models of evolution in finite populations: Death-Birth (DB) and Birth-Death (BD) processes. In both cases reproduction is proportional to fitness and death is random; the only difference is the order of the two events at each time step. Although superficially similar, under DB cooperation may be favoured in structured populations, while under BD it never is. This is especially troubling as natural populations do not follow a strict one birth then one death regimen (or vice versa); such constraints are introduced to make models more tractable. Whether structure can promote the evolution of cooperation should not hinge on a simplifying assumption. Here, we propose a mixed rule where in each time step DB is used with probability and BD is used with probability . We derive the conditions for selection favouring cooperation under the mixed rule for all social dilemmas. We find that the only qualitatively different outcome occurs when using just BD (). This case admits a natural interpretation in terms of kin competition counterbalancing the effect of kin selection. Finally we show that, for any mixed BD-DB update and under weak selection, cooperation is never inhibited by population structure for any social dilemma, including the Snowdrift Game.
We propose a simple model for genetic adaptation to a changing environment, describing a fitness landscape characterized by two maxima. One is associated with “specialist” individuals that are adapted to the environment; this maximum moves over time as the environment changes. The other maximum is static, and represents “generalist” individuals not affected by environmental changes. The rest of the landscape is occupied by “maladapted” individuals. Our analysis considers the evolution of these three subpopulations. Our main result is that, in presence of a sufficiently stable environmental feature, as in the case of an unchanging aspect of a physical habitat, specialists can dominate the population. By contrast, rapidly changing environmental features, such as language or cultural habits, are a moving target for the genes; here, generalists dominate, because the best evolutionary strategy is to adopt neutral alleles not specialized for any specific environment. The model we propose is based on simple assumptions about evolutionary dynamics and describes all possible scenarios in a non-trivial phase diagram. The approach provides a general framework to address such fundamental issues as the Baldwin effect, the biological basis for language, or the ecological consequences of a rapid climate change.
We investigate the problem of cross-cultural interactions through mass media in a model where two populations of social agents, each with its own internal dynamics, get information about each other through reciprocal global interactions. As the agent dynamics, we employ Axelrod's model for social influence. The global interaction fields correspond to the statistical mode of the states of the agents and represent mass media messages on the cultural trend originating in each population. Several phases are found in the collective behavior of either population depending on parameter values: two homogeneous phases, one having the state of the global field acting on that population, and the other consisting of a state different from that reached by the applied global field; and a disordered phase. In addition, the system displays nontrivial effects: (i) the emergence of a largest minority group of appreciable size sharing a state different from that of the applied global field; (ii) the appearance of localized ordered states for some values of parameters when the entire system is observed, consisting of one population in a homogeneous state and the other in a disordered state. This last situation can be considered as a social analogue to a chimera state arising in globally coupled populations of oscillators.
Civil unrest is a powerful form of collective human dynamics, which has led to major transitions of societies in modern history. The study of collective human dynamics, including collective aggression, has been the focus of much discussion in the context of modeling and identification of universal patterns of behavior. In contrast, the possibility that civil unrest activities, across countries and over long time periods, are governed by universal mechanisms has not been explored. Here, records of civil unrest of 170 countries during the period 1919–2008 are analyzed. It is demonstrated that the distributions of the number of unrest events per year are robustly reproduced by a nonlinear, spatially extended dynamical model, which reflects the spread of civil disorder between geographic regions connected through social and communication networks. The results also expose the similarity between global social instability and the dynamics of natural hazards and epidemics.
We introduce the concept of control centrality to quantify the ability of a single node to control a directed weighted network. We calculate the distribution of control centrality for several real networks and find that it is mainly determined by the network’s degree distribution. We show that in a directed network without loops the control centrality of a node is uniquely determined by its layer index or topological position in the underlying hierarchical structure of the network. Inspired by the deep relation between control centrality and hierarchical structure in a general directed network, we design an efficient attack strategy against the controllability of malicious networks.
The Ultimatum game, in which one subject proposes how to share a pot and the other has veto power on the proposal, in which case both lose everything, is a paradigmatic scenario to probe the degree of cooperation and altruism in human subjects. It has been shown that if individuals are empathic, i.e., they play the game having in mind how their opponent will react by offering an amount that they themselves would accept, then non-rational large offers well above the smallest possible ones are evolutionarily selected. We here show that empathy itself may be selected and need not be exogenously imposed provided that interactions take place only with a fraction of the total population, and that the role of proposer or responder is randomly changed from round to round. These empathic agents, that displace agents with independent (uncorrelated) offers and proposals, behave far from what is expected rationally, offering and accepting sizable fractions of the amount to be shared. Specific values for the typical offer depend on the details of the interacion network and on the existence of hubs, but they are almost always significantly larger than zero, indicating that the mechanism at work here is quite general and could explain the emergence of empathy in very many different contexts.
A new word, phylodynamics, was coined to emphasize the interconnection between phylogenetic properties, as observed for instance in a phylogenetic tree, and the epidemic dynamics of viruses, where selection, mediated by the host immune response, and transmission play a crucial role. The challenges faced when investigating the evolution of RNA viruses call for a virtuous loop of data collection, data analysis and modeling. This already resulted both in the collection of massive sequences databases and in the formulation of hypotheses on the main mechanisms driving qualitative differences observed in the (reconstructed) evolutionary patterns of different RNA viruses. Qualitatively, it has been observed that selection driven by the host immune response induces an uneven survival ability among co-existing strains. As a consequence, the imbalance level of the phylogenetic tree is manifestly more pronounced if compared to the case when the interaction with the host immune system does not play a central role in the evolutive dynamics. While many imbalance metrics have been introduced, reliable methods to discriminate in a quantitative way different level of imbalance are still lacking. In our work, we reconstruct and analyze the phylogenetic trees of six RNA viruses, with a special emphasis on the human Influenza A virus, due to its relevance for vaccine preparation as well as for the theoretical challenges it poses due to its peculiar evolutionary dynamics. We focus in particular on topological properties. We point out the limitation featured by standard imbalance metrics, and we introduce a new methodology with which we assign the correct imbalance level of the phylogenetic trees, in agreement with the phylodynamics of the viruses. Our thorough quantitative analysis allows for a deeper understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of the considered RNA viruses, which is crucial in order to provide a valuable framework for a quantitative assessment of theoretical predictions.