Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What do short messages and earthquakes have in common?

19.10.2010
According to a new study, communication via short messaging can be described with the same mathematical laws used for describing the occurrence of earthquakes, strong rainfalls and forest fires, the electrical firing of neurons, or even stock trading.

The occurrence of these events is apparently chaotic but they obey the same statistical principles, a German-Chinese team of scientists around Jürgen Kurths from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) reports in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

A typical conversation using short messages starts with an initial message followed by a series of mutual sending and replying. The time between two such events shows the same typical pattern as an earthquake followed by a series of aftershocks.

Whereas intervals between two initial messages are usually long and erratic, intervals between replies are comparatively shorter – much like those between aftershocks following an earthquake.

Similar principles can be found in many other types of human communication like e-mail exchanges or internet chats. It is expected that precise mathematical descriptions of these events will allow for optimizing communication infrastructures in future. “Based on these results, we should even be able to derive ways for improving phone-line availability or the allocation of internet bandwidths,” says Jürgen Kurths.

The mathematical methods used by the researchers to investigate short messaging behaviour are also used in climate research to reveal the principles underlying the occurrence of extreme climate and weather events and to improve their predictability. Moreover, the principles which underlie modern communication are essential building blocks for computer simulations of social systems. Such simulations are currently developed at PIK.

Article: Ye Wu, Changsong Zhou, Jinghua Xiao, Jürgen Kurths, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber: Evidence for a bimodal distribution in human communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (2010), doi:10.1073/pnas.101314010710.1073

Supplemental material: http://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1013140107/-/DCSupplemental

For further information please contact the PIK press office:

Phone: +49 331 288 2507
E-mail: press@pik-potsdam.de

Uta Pohlmann | idw
Further information:
http://www.pik-potsdam.de
http://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1013140107/-/DCSupplemental

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Diving robots find Antarctic winter seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide

15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Early opaque universe linked to galaxy scarcity

15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>