Emerging locality of network influence

Complex systems of many components – the internet, economies, cells, ecosystems, and so on – depend on the rich web of interactions among many parts. In analysing such systems, however, it is natural that scientists often want to rank the components in terms Read more

Naive Probabilism and Covid-19

In the early weeks of the 2020 U.S. Covid-19 outbreak, guidance from the scientific establishment and government agencies included a number of dubious claims – masks don’t work, there’s no evidence of human-to-human transmission, and the risk to the public is low. Read more

The Global Inequality Boomerang

Since the late 1980s, global income inequality has fallen by most common definitions, largely due to the changing economic relationships between nations, including the rapid rise of China and India as economic centres. Read more

Stability of heteroclinic cycles in rings of coupled oscillators

Complex networks of interconnected physical systems arise in many areas of mathematics, science and engineering. Many such systems exhibit heteroclinic cycles – dynamical trajectories that show a roughly periodic behaviour, with non-convergent time averages. Read more

Learning a weather dictionary of atmospheric patterns using Latent Dirichlet Allocation

The mid-latitude atmospheric circulation is challenging to describe due to the turbulent and chaotic nature of the underlying flow, driven by the unstable dynamics of the jet stream. In general, the phase space of such turbulent geophysical flows appears to be large. Even so, previous work using dimensionality reduction methods has shown Read more

Metrics and Mechanisms: Measuring the Unmeasurable in the Science of Science

How does science work? What are its core mechanisms? In recent decades, research has increasingly explored such questions using a variety of quantitative metrics which can be easily calculated from publications. But some of these can be deceiving. Read more

Ranking earthquake forecasts using proper scoring rules: Binary events in a low probability environment

Probabilistic earthquake forecasts can be used to estimate the chance of future earthquake hazards, or to model important risk quantities including the number of fatalities, damaged elements of infrastructure or economic losses. The Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP) Read more

Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty

Over the past few decades, rising income inequality has spurred debates around the world. While many call for policies to help redistribute wealth and counter inequality, others argue that inequality is actually necessary to both motivate and reward hard work and economic productivity. But, as LML Fellow Ravi Kanbur and colleagues argue in a recent paper, standard measures of inequality don’t offer a useful basis for this debate over fairness. Read more

Inference on the History of a Randomly Growing Tree

The skeletal outlines of many natural processes resemble growing tree-like networks. Examples include the movement of a disease through a human community, news or rumours through social media or a computer virus through a web of connected computers. The elements in these networks correspond to nodes in the tree, and links or edges between nodes reflect some kind of connection between individuals – Read more

Interview with LML Laboratory Director Colm Connaughton

As a new feature of the LML blog, I will be running a series of occasional interviews with some of the LML Fellows and other individuals linked to the laboratory. This is an interview with Colm Connaughton, Read more