Mathematics and computing

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Natural creatures, from fish to snake and birds, combine neural control, sensory feedback and compliant mechanics to operate across uncertain environments. Here the authors present a versatile modeling approach to the dynamic simulation of their architectures based on the assembly of Cosserat rods.

    • Xiaotian Zhang
    • , Fan Kiat Chan
    •  & Mattia Gazzola
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The scale and dimensionality of imaging data means information is commonly overlooked. Here, using recurrent neural networks we understand temporal dependencies in hyperspectral imagery, enabling the observation of differences in ferroelectric switching mechanisms in PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 thin films due to formation of charged domain walls.

    • Joshua C. Agar
    • , Brett Naul
    •  & Lane W. Martin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The extent to which brain structure and function are coupled remains a complex question. Here, the authors show that coupling strength between structural connectivity and functional activity can be quantified and reveals a cortical gradient spanning from lower-level sensory areas to high-level cognitive ones.

    • Maria Giulia Preti
    •  & Dimitri Van De Ville
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though conductivity doping in organic semiconductors has been widely studied in organic electronics, a clear mechanistic picture that explains the phenomenon is still lacking. Here, the authors report a theoretical approach to elucidate the role of disorder compensation in doped organic materials.

    • Artem Fediai
    • , Franz Symalla
    •  & Wolfgang Wenzel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The inverse DFT problem of mapping the ground-state density to its exchange correlation potential has been numerically challenging so far. Here, the authors propose an approach for an accurate solution to the inverse DFT problem, enabling the evaluation of exact exchange and correlation potential from an ab initio density.

    • Bikash Kanungo
    • , Paul M. Zimmerman
    •  & Vikram Gavini
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Viruses have evolved protein containers with a wide spectrum of icosahedral architectures but the geometric constraints defining these container designs remain to be understood. Here authors revisit the construction of icosahedral architectures using the Archimedean lattices that explain the outliers to the current classification scheme.

    • Reidun Twarock
    •  & Antoni Luque
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neural signalling is directional, but non-invasive neuroimaging methods are unable to map directed connections between brain regions. Here, the authors show how network communication measures can be used to infer signalling directionality from the undirected topology of brain structural connectomes.

    • Caio Seguin
    • , Adeel Razi
    •  & Andrew Zalesky
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The hidden matching communication problem features an exponential classical-quantum gap, but a demonstration is extremely challenging. Here, the authors define a more feasible variant called sampling matching problem, and realise a proof-of-principle implementation beating the best known classical protocol.

    • Niraj Kumar
    • , Iordanis Kerenidis
    •  & Eleni Diamanti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forecasting aftershock earthquakes is a critical step in improving seismic hazard mitigation. The authors here combine Bayesian methods with extreme value theory to tackle this problem - and manage to estimate the maximum magnitude of an expected earthquake as well as the arrival times in a pre-defined window.

    • Robert Shcherbakov
    • , Jiancang Zhuang
    •  & Yosihiko Ogata
  • Article
    | Open Access

    When a viscous fluid is displaced by a less viscous phase between two plates, a finger-like instability occurs. Here the authors demonstrate how applying an external electric field can suppress the fingering instability without the need to alter the fluid flow rate or the gap geometry.

    • Tao Gao
    • , Mohammad Mirzadeh
    •  & Martin Z. Bazant
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Systematic methods to characterize human mobility can lead to more accurate forecasting of epidemic spreading and better urban planning. Here the authors present a methodology to analyse daily commuting data by representing it with an irrotational vector field and a corresponding scalar potential.

    • Mattia Mazzoli
    • , Alex Molas
    •  & José J. Ramasco
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Primary visual cortical neurons exhibit diverse responses to visual stimuli yet how these signals are integrated during visual perception is not well understood. Here, the authors show that optogenetic stimulation of neurons situated near the visually‐driven population leads to improved orientation detection in monkeys through changes in correlated variability.

    • Ariana R. Andrei
    • , Sorin Pojoga
    •  & Valentin Dragoi
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    Recent gains in artificial neural networks rely heavily on large amounts of training data. Here, the author suggests that for AI to learn from animal brains, it is important to consider that animal behaviour results from brain connectivity specified in the genome through evolution, and not due to unique learning algorithms.

    • Anthony M. Zador
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The role of climate change (CC) contrarians is neglected in climate change communication studies. Here the authors used a data-driven approach to identify CC contrarians and CC scientists and found that CC scientists have much higher citation impact than those for contrarians but lower media visibility.

    • Alexander Michael Petersen
    • , Emmanuel M. Vincent
    •  & Anthony LeRoy Westerling
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Oral care based foods are of great interest for increasing the dental health of animals. Here, the authors report on computer simulations to optimise the texture and geometry of food in order to maximise tooth abrasion and enhance cleaning efficiency.

    • C. G. Skamniotis
    • , M. Elliott
    •  & M. N. Charalambides
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Plasmodesmata channels connect neighbouring plant cells and respond to external stimuli via changes in permeability. Here Park et al. propose that mechanical forces can displace the dumbbell-shaped ER-desmotubule complex that spans the central plasmodesmatal cylinder leading to closure of the pore.

    • Keunhwan Park
    • , Jan Knoblauch
    •  & Kaare H. Jensen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There is a lack of systematic approaches to identify and analyze the hierarchical structure of geo-industrial clusters at the global scale. Here the authors use LinkedIn's employment history data to construct a global labor flow network from which they find that the resulting geo-industrial clusters exhibit a stronger association between the influx of educated-workers and financial performance compared to existing aggregation units.

    • Jaehyuk Park
    • , Ian B. Wood
    •  & Yong-Yeol Ahn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Designing alternative paradigms for bio-inspired analog computing that harnesses collective dynamics remains a challenge. Here, the authors exploit the synchronization dynamics of coupled vanadium dioxide-based insulator-to-metal phase-transition nano-oscillators for adaptive locomotion control.

    • Sourav Dutta
    • , Abhinav Parihar
    •  & Suman Datta
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Anonymization has been the main means of addressing privacy concerns in sharing medical and socio-demographic data. Here, the authors estimate the likelihood that a specific person can be re-identified in heavily incomplete datasets, casting doubt on the adequacy of current anonymization practices.

    • Luc Rocher
    • , Julien M. Hendrickx
    •  & Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Approaches to examine the urbanization impact on climate change ignore that interactions between size and density may have an important influence on urban emissions. Here the authors show that variations in the emissions associated with changes in population or density may not only depend on the magnitude of these changes but also on the initial values of these quantities.

    • Haroldo V. Ribeiro
    • , Diego Rybski
    •  & Jürgen P. Kropp
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whole-genome sequencing data reveals a large number of variants for testing their associations with phenotypic traits and diseases. Here, the authors develop WGScan, a statistical method for detecting the existence and estimating the locations of the association signal at genome-wide scale.

    • Zihuai He
    • , Bin Xu
    •  & Iuliana Ionita-Laza
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Most microbiome studies make conclusions based on changes in relative abundance of taxa, inferred from sequencing data. Here, the authors highlight common pitfalls in comparing relative abundance across samples, and identify solutions that reveal microbial changes without the need to estimate total microbial load.

    • James T. Morton
    • , Clarisse Marotz
    •  & Rob Knight
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding local dynamical processes in materials is challenging due to the complexity of the local atomic environments. Here the authors propose a graph dynamical networks approach that is shown to learn the atomic scale dynamics in arbitrary phases and environments from molecular dynamics simulations.

    • Tian Xie
    • , Arthur France-Lanord
    •  & Jeffrey C. Grossman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deconfined quantum critical points separate two phases with different broken symmetries, which puts them beyond the standard Landau theory of phase transitions. Here the authors present a model with a monopole-free deconfined quantum critical point, making it more amenable to detailed numerical studies.

    • Yuhai Liu
    • , Zhenjiu Wang
    •  & Fakher F. Assaad
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    Questions of causality are ubiquitous in Earth system sciences and beyond, yet correlation techniques still prevail. This Perspective provides an overview of causal inference methods, identifies promising applications and methodological challenges, and initiates a causality benchmark platform.

    • Jakob Runge
    • , Sebastian Bathiany
    •  & Jakob Zscheischler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Social contagion cannot only be understood in terms of pairwise interactions among individuals. Here, the authors include higher-order social interactions, the effects of groups, in their model of social contagion, enabling insight into why critical masses are required to initiate social changes.

    • Iacopo Iacopini
    • , Giovanni Petri
    •  & Vito Latora
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Failure to account for heterogeneity in TB risk can mislead model-based evaluation of proposed interventions. Here, the authors introduce a metric to estimate the distribution of risk in populations from routinely collected data and find that variation in infection acquisition is the most impactful.

    • M. Gabriela M. Gomes
    • , Juliane F. Oliveira
    •  & Christian Lienhardt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) are a major threat during explosive volcanic eruptions, hence the possibility to forecast them would be a vital improvement for risk mitigation. Here the authors present a 3D flow model to quantify the thermal patterns leading to volcanic ash plume collapse conditions.

    • Matteo Trolese
    • , Matteo Cerminara
    •  & Guido Giordano
  • Article
    | Open Access

    For most actors sustained productivity defines success. Here the authors study the careers of actors and identify a "rich-get-richer" mechanism with respect to productivity, the emergence of hot streaks and the presence of gender bias, and are able to predict whether the most productive year of an actor is yet to come.

    • Oliver E. Williams
    • , Lucas Lacasa
    •  & Vito Latora
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Evaporation plays a key role in applications such as cooling and desalination. Here, the authors experimentally demonstrated a unifying relationship between dimensionless flux and driving potential for evaporation kinetics under different working conditions.

    • Zhengmao Lu
    • , Ikuya Kinefuchi
    •  & Evelyn N. Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cellular uptake of nanoparticles is highly variable between individual cells in a population. Here, the authors show that this heterogeneity is a result of varying numbers of nanoparticle-containing endosomes while the nanoparticle dose per endosome remains constant.

    • Paul Rees
    • , John W. Wills
    •  & Huw D. Summers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some next-generation computing may be based in physical systems that respond directly and reciprocally to environmental stimuli. Here, the authors describe a photoresponsive material that autonomously performs computations with incident beams of incoherent white light.

    • Alexander D. Hudson
    • , Matthew R. Ponte
    •  & Kalaichelvi Saravanamuttu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) enables recording both morphological and biochemical information, but image acquisition time and geometric distortions limit its clinical applicability. Here the authors overcome these challenges with an endoscope combining HSI and white light to correct for image distortion during freehand operation.

    • Jonghee Yoon
    • , James Joseph
    •  & Sarah E. Bohndiek
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Microfluidic multipoles use arrays of sources and sinks to confine fluids and reagents without the use of physical channels. Here the authors use conformal mappings to predict both convective and diffusive transport in these flows and 3D print multipoles to automate surface-based immunoassays.

    • Pierre-Alexandre Goyette
    • , Étienne Boulais
    •  & Thomas Gervais
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Polygenic risk scores (PRS) have the potential to predict complex diseases and traits from genetic data. Here, Ge et al. develop PRS-CS which uses a Bayesian regression framework, continuous shrinkage (CS) priors and an external LD reference panel for polygenic prediction of binary and quantitative traits from GWAS summary statistics.

    • Tian Ge
    • , Chia-Yen Chen
    •  & Jordan W. Smoller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recovering the properties of a network which has suffered adversarial intervention can find applications in uncovering targeted attacks on social networks. Here the authors propose a causal statistical inference framework for reconstructing a network which has suffered non-random, targeted attacks.

    • Yuankun Xue
    •  & Paul Bogdan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The impacts of technological development on social sphere lack strong empirical foundation. Here the authors presented quantitative analysis of the phenomenon of social acceleration across a range of digital datasets and found that interest appears in bursts that dissipate on decreasing timescales and occur with increasing frequency.

    • Philipp Lorenz-Spreen
    • , Bjarke Mørch Mønsted
    •  & Sune Lehmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    DNA as a high density storage medium is receiving increasing attention, but long term physical storage is an unsolved problem. Here the authors show that up to 1 TB of data stored as dehydrated DNA spots on a glass cartridge can be retrieved in a spot of water using digital microfluidics with minimal data loss and contamination.

    • Sharon Newman
    • , Ashley P. Stephenson
    •  & Luis Ceze
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have reached human-level benchmarks in classifying images, but they can be “fooled” by adversarial examples that elicit bizarre misclassifications from machines. Here, the authors show how humans can anticipate which objects CNNs will see in adversarial images.

    • Zhenglong Zhou
    •  & Chaz Firestone
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nonlinear machine learning methods have good predictive ability but the lack of transparency of the algorithms can limit their use. Here the authors investigate how these methods approach learning in order to assess the dependability of their decision making.

    • Sebastian Lapuschkin
    • , Stephan Wäldchen
    •  & Klaus-Robert Müller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Resource sharing over peer-to-peer technological networks is emerging as economically important, yet little is known about how people choose to share in this context. Here, the authors introduce a new game to model sharing, and test how players form sharing strategies depending on technological constraints.

    • Hirokazu Shirado
    • , George Iosifidis
    •  & Nicholas A. Christakis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Universal cluster states for quantum computing can be assembled without feed-forward by fusing n-photon clusters with linear optics if the fusion success probability is above a threshold p. The authors bound p in terms of n and provide protocols for n = 3 clusters requiring lower fusion probability than before.

    • Mihir Pant
    • , Don Towsley
    •  & Saikat Guha
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Disordered hyperuniformity implies a hidden order on length scales that can be found in various amorphous materials. Klatt et al. analyse the evolution of random point patterns using Llyod’s algorithm and show that they converge to an effectively hyperuniform state regardless of the initial conditions.

    • Michael A. Klatt
    • , Jakov Lovrić
    •  & Salvatore Torquato
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The resolution limitations when using the ubiquitous algorithms that process images obtained using modern techniques are not straightforward to define. Here, the authors examine the performance of localization algorithms and use spatial statistics to provide a metric for assessing the resolution limit of such algorithms.

    • Edward A. K. Cohen
    • , Anish V. Abraham
    •  & Raimund J. Ober