Luís M. A. Bettencourt

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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)
Despite the increasing importance of cities in human societies, our ability to understand them scientifically and manage them in practice has remained limited. The greatest difficulties to any scientific approach to cities have resulted from their many interdependent facets, as social, economic, infrastructural, and spatial complex systems that exist in(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 develop a practical, distributed algorithm to detect events, identify measurement errors, and infer missing readings in ecological applications of wireless sensor networks. To address issues of non-stationarity in environmental data streams, each sensor-processor learns statistical distributions of differences between its readings and those of its(More)
The reproduction number, R, defined as the average number of secondary cases generated by a primary case, is a crucial quantity for identifying the intensity of interventions required to control an epidemic. Current estimates of the reproduction number for seasonal influenza show wide variation and, in particular, uncertainty bounds for R for the pandemic(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)
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)
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)
BACKGROUND Intricate maps of science have been created from citation data to visualize the structure of scientific activity. However, most scientific publications are now accessed online. Scholarly web portals record detailed log data at a scale that exceeds the number of all existing citations combined. Such log data is recorded immediately upon(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)