Luís M. A. Bettencourt

Learn More
Humanity has just crossed a major landmark in its history with the majority of people now living in cities. Cities have long been known to be society's predominant engine of innovation and wealth creation, yet they are also its main source of crime, pollution, and disease. The inexorable trend toward urbanization worldwide presents an urgent challenge for(More)
We apply an information-theoretic treatment of action potential time series measured with microelectrode arrays to estimate the connectivity of mammalian neuronal cell assemblies grown in vitro. We infer connectivity between two neurons via the measurement of the mutual information between their spike trains. In addition we measure higher-point(More)
We investigate the relationship between patenting activity and the population size of metropolitan areas in the United States over the last two decades (1980–2001). We find a clear superlinear effect, whereby new patents are granted disproportionately in larger urban centers, thus showing increasing returns in inventing activity with respect to population(More)
We analyze the advent and development of eight scientific fields from their inception to maturity and map the evolution of their networks of collaboration over time, measured in terms of co-authorship of scientific papers. We show that as a field develops it undergoes a topological transition in its collaboration structure between a small disconnected graph(More)
All higher order central nervous systems exhibit spontaneous neural activity, though the purpose and mechanistic origin of such activity remains poorly understood. We quantitatively analyzed the ignition and spread of collective spontaneous electrophysiological activity in networks of cultured cortical neurons growing on microelectrode arrays. Leader(More)
We analyze the temporal evolution of emerging fields within several scientific disciplines in terms of numbers of authors and publications. From bibliographic searches we construct databases of authors, papers, and their dates of publication. We show that the temporal development of each field, while different in detail, is well described by population(More)
The size of cities is known to play a fundamental role in social and economic life. Yet, its relation to the structure of the underlying network of human interactions has not been investigated empirically in detail. In this paper, we map society-wide communication networks to the urban areas of two European countries. We show that both the total number of(More)
With urban population increasing dramatically worldwide, cities are playing an increasingly critical role in human societies and the sustainability of the planet. An obstacle to effective policy is the lack of meaningful urban metrics based on a quantitative understanding of cities. Typically, linear per capita indicators are used to characterize and rank(More)
—We present a comparative analysis of the behav-ioral dynamics of rural and urban societies using four years of mobile phone data from all 1.4M subscribers within a small country. We use information from communication logs and top up denominations to characterize attributes such as socioeconomic status and region. We show that rural and urban communities(More)
Email is an increasingly important and ubiquitous means of communication, both facilitating contact between individuals and enabling rises in the productivity of organizations. However, the relentless rise of automatic unauthorized emails, a.k.a. spam is eroding away much of the attractiveness of email communication. Most of the attention dedicated to spam(More)