The Loh Down On Science

Smartest Model

With the help of the garment industry, researchers develop a model to explain how networks de-evolve.

It's America's most smartest model!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

Introducing the Generalized Model of Contraction!

Which is cooler than it sounds.

Serguei Saavedra of Oxford University and his colleagues were curious about DE-evolution-- Or how the networks that make up complex systems devolve when things start breaking down. Like--say --the global economy.

Their subject of analysis was the New York garment industry--how its size and earnings alternately swelled and shrunk during a gradual two-decades-long decline.

The scientists expected to see the huge network crumble into a bunch of competing mini-networks. Instead, they found even when the number of players in the industry plummeted, a complex, robust network among the survivors remained. It just shrunk.

They stitched together a model combining the phenomenon with theories on how networks GROW. Its simulations matched the observed boom and bust cycles to a Tee... shirt.

With minor tinkering, the model should predict everything from species extinctions to neuronal degeneration.

As for when your mutual funds will grow back--good luck. But we're thinking of you.


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