Archives for Systems Theory

Use of Role Classes to Define Predicate Semantics: Proposal for Semantic Web Best-Practice

This article proposes a design pattern for ontologies and the Semantic Web based on the concept of formally defined Roles as a means to richly express the semantics of relationships among entities in ontologies. Roles are special types of n-ary relations, and thus the use of Roles is a subset of the Semantic Web best-practices recommendation for N-Ary Relations.Read More “Use of Role Classes to Define Predicate Semantics: Proposal for Semantic Web Best-Practice”

Great Article on Psychohistory and Sociophysics — Can We Predict Behavior?

Great find from Rob Usey at Psydex Corporation: This article is a survey of the emerging field of “sociophysics” which attempts to apply statistical mechanics to predict human social behavior. It’s very cool stuff if you’re interested in social networks, memes, sociology and prediction science.… Read More “Great Article on Psychohistory and Sociophysics — Can We Predict Behavior?”

Detailed Analysis of GoMeme 1.0 Results

Greg Tyrell, a PhD student with a strong interest in bioinformatics, has put together a detailed analysis and report on the GoMeme 1.0 experiment, containing several visualizations and results of the survey. Nice work Greg!

Also in other news, Google has started indexing the results.… Read More “Detailed Analysis of GoMeme 1.0 Results”

Modular by Design

Over the next few days, my friend Tristan Louis is unrolling a series of entries under the heading of “Modular By Design”, and looking into the impact of modular approaches in the convergence business. Some of the areas he’s looking into are music, music downloads, telephony, broadcast TV, cable TV, news gathering, and software.… Read More “Modular by Design”

GoMeme 2.0 – Help Test This Meme

Note: This experiment is now finished.

GoMeme 2.0 — Copy This GoMeme From This Line to The End of this article, and paste into your blog. Then follow the instructions below to fill it out for your site.

Steal This Post!!!!… Read More “GoMeme 2.0 – Help Test This Meme”

FAQ for GoMeme 2.0

This posting is the FAQ and introduction for a new, improved, second-generation meme experiment that is designed to spread faster and more broadly than the first meme experiment. We call this kind of meme a “GoMeme” (pronounced Go-Meem), because it is a meme that is designed to Go.… Read More “FAQ for GoMeme 2.0”

GoMeme 1.0 — Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

NOTE: This experiment is now finished.

This is an experiment in spreading ideas across weblogs using the principles of viral marketing and social networks using a new method for making content more viral, which we call a "GoMeme."

Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind

Draft 1.1 for Review (integrates some fixes from readers)
Nova Spivack (


This article presents some thoughts about the future of intelligence on Earth. In particular, I discuss the similarities between the Internet and the brain, and how I believe the emerging Semantic Web will make this similarity even greater.… Read More “Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind”

Artificial War

Here is a book that readers who are interested in multi-agent systems will find useful. The author, Andrew Ilachinski is also a reader of this blog, by the way — it’s called “Artificial War: Multiagent-Based Simulation of Combat” and provides an examination of the thesis that what happens on a battlefield (though the arena can be much more general of course) is a self-organized emergent phenomenon that can be understood, at least in part, by examining relatively “simple” underlying rules.… Read More “Artificial War”

How to Build a Network Automaton

Here is a cool new kind of complex system I am thinking about a lot that we might call a “network-automaton” or a “graph automaton” — a system that evolves networks (graphs) over time. This rule is similar to cellular automata rules such as the famous “Life” rule discovered by John Conway, however instead of computing the states of cells on a grid, it computes the shape of a network.
Read More “How to Build a Network Automaton”

The Physics of the Web

This is a very good article on the physics of scale-free networks such as the Web.

Lately I have been getting increasingly interested in graph theory and also in knot theory. There is a similarity between networks and knots and it should be possible to do a mapping such that the theorems and algorithms of knot theory could be translated to apply to network topologies.… Read More “The Physics of the Web”

Chaotic Computing – Alternative to Quantum Computing?

A new approach to computing called Chaotic Computing has been proposed. It uses chaotic elements to simulate logical operations. The benefits are that such systems may be dynamically reconfigurable in real-time, and may be able to perform multiple operations at the same time.… Read More “Chaotic Computing – Alternative to Quantum Computing?”

New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net



Many people have requested this graph and so I am posting my latest version of it. The Metaweb is the coming “intelligent Web” that is evolving from the convergence of the Web, Social Software and the Semantic Web. The Metaweb is starting to emerge as we shift from a Web focused on information to a Web focused on relationships between things — what I call “The Relationship Web” or the “Relationship Revolution.”… Read More “New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net”

A really cool search engine you might not need…

Today I found a very cool project at AT&T Research, a search engine for number sequences.. Just enter a series of integers and it will return any formulas or theorems related to them. I tried a whole slew of exotic sequences — like the prime gaps, series of prime gaps of different sizes, results of various operations on prime series, etc.,… Read More “A really cool search engine you might not need…”

Finding Primes Using Cellular Automata

It just occurred to me that distribution of primes looks VERY much like the output of a cellular automaton rule. This makes me wonder whether it might be possible to use a cellular automaton to generate prime numbers. If we can find the rule that generates the prime numbers, perhaps this rule has other important properties.… Read More “Finding Primes Using Cellular Automata”

First Ever Hurricane in South Atlantic – Global Warming?

For the first time in recorded history a hurricane has formed in the south Atlantic, off the coast of Brazil. Is this a precursor of coming climate changes?

A New Way to Find Patterns in Distributions of Numbers

Mar 26, 2004

This evening I had an interesting idea for a new way to look for patterns in the distribution of numbers such as the prime numbers and the digits of Pi. In a nutshell I propose that there may be patterns in these number sequences that might not be evident to a computer but could be evident to the human eye and human intelligence, which among other things is tuned to find order in chaos, even when that order is “fuzzy.”… Read More “A New Way to Find Patterns in Distributions of Numbers”

We've Already Sent Life to Mars, It Turns Out…

It turns out that we’ve already sent life to Mars, and it may be still living there, according to a researcher who has studied the decontamination methods used by NASA. Only our early Viking landers were fully heat sterilized. Subsequent missions have most likely been contaminated with bacteria from Earth.… Read More “We've Already Sent Life to Mars, It Turns Out…”

The Metaweb is Coming… See this Diagram…

This diagram (click to see larger version) illustrates why I believe technology evolution is moving towards what I call the Metaweb. The Metaweb is emerging from the convergence of the Web, Social Software and the Semantic Web.


Gallery of Network Images

Here is a really cool gallery of images of networks that you must see. Great stuff!

Have you Seen the Buddhabrot Set Fractal?

I just found a really cool new fractal visualization based on the Mandelbrot set. A slight modification to the algorithm results in a Buddha-like image that is self-similar at every level of scale. Very nice. See this page for some very high quality visualizations from a very nice online Gallery of Computation that has a number of images I have never seen before.… Read More “Have you Seen the Buddhabrot Set Fractal?”

Calculating the Maximum Effective Size of a Social Network?

Dave Douglas has asked an interesting question about my article about Some Hypothetical Laws of Social Networks, which I am excerpting here because I think it is a worthwhile thread to follow-up on:

Monday, January 26, 2004

Just read Nova Spivack’s attempt at some Laws for Social Networking.

Read More “Calculating the Maximum Effective Size of a Social Network?”

Social Networks, Physics, Civilizations — Do they All Obey the Same Underlying Rules?

I am having an interesting conversation with Howard Bloom, author, memeticist, historian, scientist, and social theorist. We have been discussing network models of the universe and the underlying “metapatterns” that seem to unfold at every level of scale. Below is my reply to his recent note, followed by his note which is extremely well written and interesting…

From: Nova Spivack
To: Howard Bloom
Subject: Re: Graph Automata — Is the Universe Similar to a Social Network?

Read More “Social Networks, Physics, Civilizations — Do they All Obey the Same Underlying Rules?”

Graph Automata — What Can Social Networks Teach us About Underlying Physical Laws?

Hello all, I have been thinking about the general problems of social networks on the Internet. It occurs to me that these issues are closely related to digital physics. For more on digital physics see the work of Ed Fredkin, Stephen Wolfram, Norman Margolus, Tomasso Toffoli, and other pioneers of the field of cellular automata.… Read More “Graph Automata — What Can Social Networks Teach us About Underlying Physical Laws?”

Optimization of Social Network Architectures Using Tiling Rules

Here’s an interesting follow-up thought on my suggestion of some Hypothetical Laws of Social Networks.

What if in fact there is an entirely new way to design social networks, based on the mathematics of tilings? A tiling is a method of filling a space with geometric shapes.… Read More “Optimization of Social Network Architectures Using Tiling Rules”

Some Hypothetical "Laws of Social Networks"

In this article I discuss some insights about optimization of social networks. Basically I suggest that “trust is not preserved” along relationship paths of more than 3 hops. In other words, social networks should never forward messages beyond 3 hops. Doing so makes the communication of that message effectively arbitrary, adding noise to the system and degrading utility for users.… Read More “Some Hypothetical "Laws of Social Networks"”

The Emerging Problem of "Social Overload"

Thanks to the recent mushrooming of social networking systems, I am starting to experience a new problem that I call “social overload.” Now that I am connected to the world via LinkedIn, Ryze, Plaxo, Orkut, and Typepad, as well 6 different IM systems, and several email accounts, I am finding that an increasing amount of my time is spent on “relationship maintenance” tasks like approving or declining relationship and referral requests.… Read More “The Emerging Problem of "Social Overload"”

Using Nanoparticles to Augment Human Brains…?

CNN posted an article today about the potential risk of nanotechnology on the human brain. Basically some research shows that nano-scale particles such as industrial waste, or even components of nanotechnologies, can migrate through the human circulatory system and eventually lodge in the brain.… Read More “Using Nanoparticles to Augment Human Brains…?”

The Metaweb: The Global Mind Just Got Smarter

One of the many cool things about the Metaweb is that it functions as a vast bottom-up collaborative filtering system. RSS feeds represent perspectives of publishers. Because feed publishers can automatically or manually include content from other feeds they can “republish,” annotate and filter content.… Read More “The Metaweb: The Global Mind Just Got Smarter”

The Solution to the Patent Problem

Today I realized that the solution to the failing patent law system in the US and abroad is not to eliminate patents, or prevent patents in certain areas. Nor is it to have more or better patent examiners, or stricter guidelines for prior art analysis and appeals.… Read More “The Solution to the Patent Problem”