What do have financial transactions, on-line markets and web-based encyclopedias in common?

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What do have financial transactions, on-line markets and web-based encyclopedias in common?

Peter Richmond, chair of the COST action "Physics of Competition and Conflicts" visited the Knowledge Space Lab and the Virtual Knowledge Studio from June 9-10, 2010. He gave a talk about possible "toy models" to explain strange regularities in statistical features of stock markets. Interestingly, complex systems of different nature express similar statistical properties. Statistical physics has developed an apparatus to analyze phenomena as phase transitions (sudden changes in the overall system behavior) and statistical fingerprints of non-linear interactions. Beyond the descriptive analysis physics also proposes "generic model types" which relate special types of interactions (such as imitating, rebelling, competing) with special collective phenomena such as uneven distributions or segregation. For the humanities and social sciences such models (their specific conceptual take on problems and their mathematically based decomposition of possible causes) offer another perspective, complementary to social, philosophical, or historic schools of thought and reflection.

09/06/2010 - 10/06/2010,
Locations: Amsterdam
Institutions: Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and the Social Sciences, KNAW
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