Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), we have become acutely aware of critical events, where things go from bad to worse very quickly.
Director of Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) Centre for Research into Complex Systems believes researchers are a step closer to being able to predict when these so-called ‘critical phenomena’ could occur using complex systems models.
Professor in Information Technology Terry Bossomaier, said “these tipping points are common in natural and man-made complex systems”.
“They can include stock market crashes as seen during the 2008 GFC, failed firms such as photographic giant Kodak, or societal changes such as the recent ‘Arab Spring’. In nature, they include many threats to Australian environment, such as the availability of fresh water or the possible extinction of the Tasmanian Devil.”
Professor Bossomaier, together with Dr Lionel Barnett from the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and other collaborators, have discovered a new predictor known as Transfer Entropy (TE).
“When physicists want to understand the mathematics behind some widespread phenomena they currently use standard models, such as the Ising Model, for studying important critical transitions, widely used to identify tipping points.
In a new paper in the international journal Physical Review Letters, the team has shown that TE peaks before the transition and so can predict the tipping point, the first such predictive tool as many previous measures peak at the transition itself.
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