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25 FEBRUARY 2016

Universal resilience patterns in complex networks

"Resilience, a system's ability to adjust its activity to retain its basic functionality when errors, failures and environmental changes occur, is a defining property of many complex systems. Despite widespread consequences for human health, the economy and the environment, events leading to loss of resilience—from cascading failures in technological systems to mass extinctions in ecological networks—are rarely predictable and are often irreversible. These limitations are rooted in a theoretical gap: the current analytical framework of resilience is designed to treat low-dimensional models with a few interacting components, and is unsuitable for multi-dimensional systems consisting of a large number of components that interact through a complex network. Here we bridge this theoretical gap by developing a set of analytical tools with which to identify the natural control and state parameters of a multi-dimensional complex system, helping us derive effective one-dimensional dynamics that accurately predict the system's resilience. The proposed analytical framework allows us systematically to separate the roles of the system's dynamics and topology, collapsing the behaviour of different networks onto a single universal resilience function. The analytical results unveil the network characteristics that can enhance or diminish resilience, offering ways to prevent the collapse of ecological, biological or economic systems, and guiding the design of technological systems resilient to both internal failures and environmental changes."

(Jianxi Gao, Baruch Barzel & Albert-László Barabási, 17 February 2016, Nature)

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TAGS

2016Albert-Laszlo Barabasi • Baruch Barzel • biological systems • cascading failure • Cognitive Visualization Lab • complex networkscomplex systems • critical phenomena • data visualisationdroughtecological balance • ecological networks • ecological sustainability • ecological systems • ecosystemenvironmental changeenvironmental statisticsextinctionglobal issuesIBM • IBM Watson • interrelationships • irreversible change • Jianxi Gao • loss of resilience • Mauro Martino • multidimensional systems • network dynamics • network earth • network ecologynetwork model • network relationships • networked interaction • nonlinear phenomena • Northeastern University • one-dimensional dynamics • phase transitions • resiliencespeciationsustainability • system collapse • technological systems • universal resilience function • universal resilience patterns • visual explanations • visual representation graphicallyvisual representations of scientific conceptsvisualising data • wildfire

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 APRIL 2013

Chasing Ice: a call to action about climate change

"Chasing Ice is the story of one man's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time–lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi–year record of the world's changing glaciers.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon–powered planet."

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2012Arcticcall to actioncarbon emissionscarbon footprintchanging planet • Chasing Ice (film) • climate changeconsequences • Davis Coombe • documentaryeco documentaryecological balance • ecological documentary • environmental changeenvironmental crisisenvironmental warmingethicsfeature film • glacier • global crisisglobal warmingiceIcelandinternational environmental health and sustainability issues • James Balog • Jeff Orlowski • Jerry Aronson • Mark Monroe • National Geographicnatural environmentnatureour planet • Paula DuPre Pesmen • subzero • timelapse • untested technology

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 MARCH 2013

ECOS: everyday energy consumption through interactive data visualisation

"Inviting play and reflection on the role of green buildings, ECOS presents data on the Cube using a simple and interactive game–like application. The data shows how energy consumption and generation impacts people in a variety of climates within a five–star rated green building like the Science and Engineering Centre (SEC), where the Cube is located.

ECOS incorporates live weather data into an interactive illustration and places a fictional green building into different climates, allowing users to play with the parameters of the buildings and observe the results and the possible impacts on people.

ECOS promotes behavioural change by demonstrating the factors that influence sustainable energy consumption and generation."

Project team: Prof Jeff Jones (Cube Project Leader), Debra Polson (Project Leader), David Wallace, Cassie Selin, Warwick Mellow

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2013Australiabehavioural change • Cassie Selin • Creative Industries Faculty • Creative Industries Research • data visualisationDavid Wallace Debra Polsonecological balance • ECOS • energy consumption • energy generation • environmental challengesenvironmental change • environmental impacts • environmental issues • everyday energy consumption • game-like application • green building • green energy • heating efficiency • information aestheticsinformation interaction designinteraction design • interactive data • Jeff Jones • live data • our planetpatterns of consumptionQUTQUT Cube ProjectsScience and Engineering Centresustainable consumptionWarwick Mellowworld energy consumption

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 MARCH 2012

Home: a call to action to halt global warming

"In the past 200,000 years, humans have upset the balance of planet Earth, a balance established by nearly four billion years of evolution. We must act now. It is too late to be a pessimist. The price is too high. Humanity has little time to reverse the trend and change its patterns of consumption.

Through visually stunning footage from over fifty countries, all shot from an aerial perspective, Yann Arthus–Bertrand shows us a view most of us have never seen. He shares with us his sense of awe about our planet and his concern for its health. With this film, Arthus–Bertrand hopes to provide a stepping–stone to further the call to action to take care of our HOME.

HOME is the first film that has been made using aerial–only footage. The film marks artist–activist Yann Arthus–Bertrand's feature film directorial debut.

HOME the movie is carbon offset. All of the CO2 emissions engendered by the making of the film are calculated and offset by sums of money that are used to provide clean energy to those who do not have any. For the last ten years, all the work of Yann Arthus–Bertrand has been carbon offset."

(Yann Arthus–Bertrand)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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