Dynamics of correlated novelties

Vittorio Loreto talks about the dynamics of correlated novelties in the evolution of biological systems, human society and technology.

One new thing often leads to another. Such correlated novelties are a familiar part of daily life. They are also thought to be fundamental to the evolution of biological systems, human society and technology. By opening new possibilities, one novelty can pave the way for others in a process that Kauffman has called “expanding the adjacent possible”. However, correlated novelties and how they change over time have yet to be quantified empirically or modeled mathematically. Nowadays, thanks to the availability of extensive longitudinal records of human activity online, it has become possible to test whether everyday novelties crop up by chance alone, or whether one truly does pave the way for another.

In this talk Vittorio Loreto proposes a simple mathematical framework that mimics the process of exploring a physical, biological or conceptual space that enlarges whenever a novelty occurs. He tests the predictions on four data sets of human activity. He also highlights future directions: the interplay between individual and collective effects and the different mechanisms supposedly leading to innovation.

London Institute Seminars

London Institute Seminars are given by invited speakers to members of the Institute and nearby universities. They start at the end of the day with drinks and after the talk informal discussion continues into the evening. The goal of the talk is to inspire as much as to inform.

Dynamics of  correlated novelties