Complexity Digest 2009.21
Editor-in-Chief: Carlos Gershenson
Founding Editor: Gottfried Mayer
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- The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009, nobelprize.org
- The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009, nobelprize.org
- The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009, nobelprize.org
- From System Complexity to Emergent Properties, Springer
- On the Origin of Ecological Structure, Science
- Passion and Practicality â€" Dartmouth and the Liberating Arts, Dartmouth Speeches
- Showcasing the evidence for evolution, Nature
- Real Lives and White Lies in the Funding of Scientific Research, PLoS Biol
- Cooperation through imitation, Games and Economic Behavior
- Mutual trust and cooperation in the evolutionary hawks-doves game, Biosystems
- Feedback, punishment and cooperation in public good experiments, Games and Economic Behavior
- Anti-Newtonian dynamics, Am. J. Phys.
- Coevolutionary games - a mini review, arXiv
- Healthcare: A complex service system, Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering
- Emergence of multilevel selection in the prisoner's dilemma game on coevolving random networks, arXiv
- Disease and the Dynamics of Food Webs, PLoS Biol
- Finding the missing heritability of complex diseases, Nature
- From Autism to Humanism
- Dynamics of Unperturbed and Noisy Generalized Boolean Networks, arXiv
- Feathered dinosaurs in a tangle, Nature
- Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinase 1 Signaling Regulates Mammalian Life Span, Science
- Available All the Time: Etiquette for the Social Networking Age, Knowledge@Wharton
- Beyond Element-Wise Interactions: Identifying Complex Interactions in Biological Processes, PLoS ONE
- Coevolutionary cycling of host sociality and pathogen virulence in contact networks, J Theor Biol.
- Network structure of Japanese firms. Scale-free, hierarchy, and degree correlation: analysis from 800,000 firms, Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal
- Diversity, persistence and chaos in consumption patterns, Journal of Bioeconomics
- Book Announcements
- Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University Press
- Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business, Wiley
- Humanity, Nature and Environment: On the philosophical foundation of Ecological Economics, Routledge
- Brain-Mind Machinery: Brain-inspired Computing and Mind Opening, World Scientific Publishing Company
- Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will, Springer
- Links & Snippets
- Other Publications
- Conference Announcements
- Webcast Announcements
- Other Announcements
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009, nobelprize.org
Excerpt: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009 awards studies of one of life's core processes: the ribosome's translation of DNA information into life. Ribosomes produce proteins, which in turn control the chemistry in all living organisms. As ribosomes are crucial to life, they are also a major target for new antibiotics.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009, nobelprize.org
Excerpt: This year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to three scientists who have solved a major problem in biology: how the chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. The Nobel Laureates have shown that the solution is to be found in the ends of the chromosomes â€" the telomeres â€" and in an enzyme that forms them â€" telomerase.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009, nobelprize.org
Excerpts: This year's Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded for two scientific achievements that have helped to shape the foundations of todayâ€™s networked societies. They have created many practical innovations for everyday life and provided new tools for scientific exploration. In 1966, Charles K. Kao made a discovery that led to a breakthrough in fiber optics. (...) A large share of the traffic is made up of digital images, which constitute the second part of the award. In 1969 Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith invented the first successful imaging technology using a digital sensor, a CCD (Charge-Coupled Device).
Editor's Note: It is interesting how the boundaries of scientific disciplines have changed in time. In recent years, the Nobel prizes in Chemistry and Medicine have been awarded to developments within the life sciences, i.e. biology. Also, this year's Physics prize was awarded to computer engineers.
From System Complexity to Emergent Properties, Springer
Excerpt: This book highlights complexity modelling through dynamical or behavioral systems. The pluridisciplinary purposes, developed along the chapters, are able to design links between a wide-range of fundamental and applicative Sciences. Developing such links - instead of focusing on specific and narrow researches - is characteristic of the Science of Complexity that we try to promote by this contribution.
On the Origin of Ecological Structure, Science
Excerpt: Ecologists have wrestled with understanding what dictates the kinds and proportions of organisms in communities ranging from meadows to montane forests. Competition, predation, disturbance, and other factors have a heavy hand, and new research is showing the influential role of evolution as well. But there is still no consensus on the relative importance of the various forces.
Passion and Practicality â€" Dartmouth and the Liberating Arts, Dartmouth Speeches
Excerpts: Crucially, Deming then argued that this indispensable foundation of trust and shared commitment must be allied to a rigorous understanding of how complex systems work to produce desired results. (...) two sides of the educational mission set forth by my predecessors, a mission that in this historical moment is more vital than ever: on the one hand, the passionate commitment to making the world a better place; on the other, the practical understanding of complex systems required to deliver solutions on a global scale. Passion and practicality: Either without the other will be inadequate to tackle the challenges we face today.
Showcasing the evidence for evolution, Nature
Excerpt: I am usually reluctant to claim anything to be a 'fact'. Likewise, I shy away from the word 'proof' beyond the certainties of mathematics. But, as Richard Dawkins makes plain in The Greatest Show on Earth, cautious scientists like me should get off the fence. Our enterprise has established facts and we should have the confidence to say so. Evolution is one such fact, and the evidence for it is laid out in two new books by Dawkins and Carl Zimmer.
Real Lives and White Lies in the Funding of Scientific Research, PLoS Biol
Summary: Young scientists are bamboozled by the conflicting demands of big journals and bureaucrats. Peter A. Lawrence argues that we should simplify and speed up grant applications so that researchers can do what they were trained to do: research.
Excerpt: This paper characterizes long-run outcomes for broad classes of symmetric games, when players select actions on the basis of average historical performance. [...] Imitation robustly leads to cooperative outcomes (with highest symmetric payoffs) in the long run. Furthermore, lengthening memory reinforces this effect. This provides a rationale, for example, for collusive cartel-like behavior without collusive intent.
Mutual trust and cooperation in the evolutionary hawks-doves game, Biosystems
Excerpt: Using a new dynamical network model of society in which pairwise interactions are weighted according to mutual satisfaction, we show that cooperation is the norm in the hawksâ€"doves game when individuals are allowed to break ties with undesirable neighbors and to make new acquaintances in their extended neighborhood.
Feedback, punishment and cooperation in public good experiments, Games and Economic Behavior
Excerpt: A number of studies have shown that peer punishment can sustain cooperation in public good games. This paper shows that the format used to give subjects feedback is critical for the efficacy of punishment.
Anti-Newtonian dynamics, Am. J. Phys.
Abstract: This paper describes a world in which Newtonâ€™s first and second laws hold, but Newtonâ€™s third law takes the form that the forces between any two objects are equal in magnitude and direction. The dynamics for such a system exhibit curious and unfamiliar features including chaos for two bodies in two spatial dimensions.
- Source: Anti-Newtonian dynamics, J. C. Sprott, DOI: 10.1119/1.3157152, Am. J. Phys. 77, 783-787 (2009), 2009/06/02
- Contributed by Anton Joha - antonjohagmail.com
Coevolutionary games - a mini review, arXiv
Excerpt: Prevalence of cooperation within groups of selfish individuals is puzzling in that it contradicts with the basic premise of natural selection. Favoring players with higher fitness, the latter is key for understanding the challenges faced by cooperators when competing with defectors. (...) The introduction of coevolutionary rules to evolutionary games implies, that besides the evolution of strategies, another property may simultaneously be subject to evolution as well. Coevolutionary rules may affect the interaction network, the reproduction capability of players, their reputation, mobility or age.
Abstract: A healthcare system is an integrated and adaptive set of people, processes and products. It is, in essence, a system of systems which objectives are to enhance its efficiency (leading to greater interdependency) and effectiveness (leading to improved health). Integration occurs over the physical, temporal, organizational and functional dimensions, while adaptation occurs over the monitoring, feedback, cybernetic and learning dimensions. In sum, such service systems as healthcare are indeed complex, especially due to the uncertainties associated with the human-centered aspects of these systems. Moreover, the system complexities can only be dealt with methods that enhance system integration and adaptation.
- Source: Healthcare: A complex service system, James M. Tien, Pascal J. Goldschmidt-Clermont, DOI: 10.1007/s11518-009-5108-z, Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering, Volume 18, Number 3, 2009/09/01
- Contributed by Anton Joha - antonjohagmail.com
Emergence of multilevel selection in the prisoner's dilemma game on coevolving random networks, arXiv
Excerpt: We study the evolution of cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma game, whereby a coevolutionary rule is introduced that molds the random topology of the interaction network in two ways. First, existing links are deleted whenever a player adopts a new strategy or its degree exceeds a threshold value, and second, new links are added randomly after a given number of game iterations. (...) the coevolutionary rule evokes the spontaneous emergence of a powerful multilevel selection mechanism, which despite of the sustained random topology of the evolving network, maintains cooperation across the whole span of defection temptation values.
Disease and the Dynamics of Food Webs, PLoS Biol
Summary: What models and statistical tools can best help us assess how ecosystems respond to the impact of multiple factors, such as disease, predation, fire, and rain?
Finding the missing heritability of complex diseases, Nature
Excerpt: Here we examine potential sources of missing heritability and propose research strategies, including and extending beyond current genome-wide association approaches, to illuminate the genetics of complex diseases and enhance its potential to enable effective disease prevention or treatment.
From Autism to Humanism
Abstract: It is said that medicine is in a crisis. Of course, there is an ethical crisis concerning the question whether really everything should be done that could be done. Then there is an economic crisis as it becomes ever harder to afford all current diagnoses and treatments. But most of all, there is an epistemological crisis as the epistemic developments of the last hundred years have only hesitantly been incorporated into the medical thinking and discourse. This paper reviews tools of systems theory and complexity management and investigates their applicability for medical purposes. It shows that comparable concepts have already been used effectively in medicine. Finally, this paper tries to give an outline about how a medicine based on systems theory might look like.
Dynamics of Unperturbed and Noisy Generalized Boolean Networks, arXiv
Excerpt: For years, we have been building models of gene regulatory networks, where recent advances in molecular biology shed some light on new structural and dynamical properties of such highly complex systems. In this work, we propose a novel timing of updates in Random and Scale-Free Boolean Networks, inspired by recent findings in molecular biology. This update sequence is neither fully synchronous nor asynchronous, but rather takes into account the sequence in which genes affect each other.
Feathered dinosaurs in a tangle, Nature
Excerpt: Birds are dinosaurs. That's hardly the stuff of headlines any more, as data have streamed in revealing anatomical similarities between birds and the theropod dinosaurs from the tips of their noses to the tips of their feathered tails. More elusive have been the details of the transition to birds and the evolution of flight. On page 640 of this issue, Hu and colleagues1 present a spectacular new specimen of the feathered theropod Anchiornis huxleyi that solves some problems. But it simultaneously creates new ones, revealing what a gloriously messy business it is to tease apart the evolutionary tangles that we retrospectively anoint as an 'origin'.
Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinase 1 Signaling Regulates Mammalian Life Span, Science
Excerpt: Caloric restriction (CR) protects against aging and disease, but the mechanisms by which this affects mammalian life span are unclear. We show in mice that deletion of ribosomal S6 protein kinase 1 (S6K1), (...), led to increased life span and resistance to age-related pathologies, such as bone, immune, and motor dysfunction and loss of insulin sensitivity.
Available All the Time: Etiquette for the Social Networking Age, Knowledge@Wharton
Summary: As social networking sites and 24-hour Blackberry access blur the lines between business and personal lives, managers and employees are struggling to develop new social norms to guide them through the ongoing evolution of communications technology. Wharton faculty and other experts say the process of creating rules to cope with the ever-expanding reach of modern communications has just begun, but will be shaped largely by individuals and organizations, not top-down decrees from a digital Emily Post.
Beyond Element-Wise Interactions: Identifying Complex Interactions in Biological Processes, PLoS ONE
Excerpt: Biological processes typically involve the interactions of a number of elements (genes, cells) acting on each others. Such processes are often modelled as networks whose nodes are the elements in question and edges pairwise relations between them (transcription, inhibition). [...] Our results demonstrate that complex Granger causality can reveal new types of relation between signals and is particularly suited to biological data. Our approach raises some fundamental issues of the systems biology approach since finding all complex causalities (interactions) is an NP hard problem.
Coevolutionary cycling of host sociality and pathogen virulence in contact networks, J Theor Biol.
Excerpt: Infectious diseases may place strong selection on the social organization of animals. Conversely, the structure of social systems can influence the evolutionary trajectories of pathogens. While much attention has focused on the evolution of host sociality or pathogen virulence separately, few studies have looked at their coevolution.
Network structure of Japanese firms. Scale-free, hierarchy, and degree correlation: analysis from 800,000 firms, Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal
Abstract: We analyze fundamental characteristics of the inter-firm transaction network through the data of 800,000 Japanese firms. We find that there exists a hierarchical structure and a negative degree correlation in this transaction network. We also find that this undirected network is a scale-free network. We bring to light these characteristics of the network and discuss why there is an important need to conduct research work on the actual network structure.
- Source: Network structure of Japanese firms. Scale-free, hierarchy, and degree correlation: analysis from 800,000 firms, Tomohiko Konno, Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, 2009, vol. 3, issue 31, 2009/10/01
- Contributed by Anton Joha - antonjohagmail.com
Diversity, persistence and chaos in consumption patterns, Journal of Bioeconomics
Abstract: In this paper we present a model from which discretionary consumption dynamics can be analyzed as global properties emerging from the endogenous transformation of a society inhabited by boundedly rational interactive consumers. By considering local and global interactions among consumers, we show that behavioral diversity plays a central role in the evolution of consumption patterns. The analysis of the model reveals the existence of a regime characterized by the persistence of different social standards, and a time evolution of the social distribution of behavioral patterns towards a heteroclinic cycle. In some cases the evolution seems to be chaotic.
Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University Press
Summary: The idea of evolution: it fascinates some of us, disturbs others, and leaves only a very few people indifferent. In a major new interpretation of evolutionary theory, Michael Ruse pinpoints the common source of this attraction and discomfort. His book traces the delicate line between those who argue that science is and must be objective and those who deem science a "social construction" in the fashion of religion or the rest of culture. It offers an unparalleled account of evolutionary theory, from popular books to museums to the most complex theorizing.
Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business, Wiley
Summary: A fascinating, research-based look at the impact of social media on businesses and consumers around the world, and what's in store for the future. Brands can now be strengthened or destroyed by the use of social media. Online networking sites are being used as giant, free focus groups. Advertising is less effective at influencing consumers than the opinions of their peers. Socialnomics is essential book for anyone who wants to understand the implications of social media, and how businesses can tap the power of social media to increase their sales, cut their marketing costs, and reach consumers directly.
Humanity, Nature and Environment: On the philosophical foundation of Ecological Economics, Routledge
Summary: In today's world â€" despite the dramatic anthropogenic environmental changes â€" a proper understanding of the relationship between humanity and nature requires a certain detachment. This book develops new perspectives on fundamental questions of biology, ecology, and the economy, integrated within a framework of a terminology specially devised by the authors. The authors lay the foundations for an ecological economical and political practice which is able to tackle concrete environmental problems on an encompassing and long-term basis. This translated volume will be of great use and interest to students of ecology, economics and in particular environmental education, sustainable development and environmental ethics.
Summary: Brain and mind continue to be a topic of enormous scientific interest. This book provides a walkthrough to the world of brain-inspired computing and mind-related questions. Bringing together diverse viewpoints and expertise from multidisciplinary communities, the book explores the human quest to build a thinking machine with human-like capabilities. Readers will acquire a first-hand understanding of the brain and mind mechanisms and machineries, as well as how much we have progressed in and how far we are from building a truly general intelligent system like the human brain.
Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will, Springer
Summary: How is free will possible in the light of the physical and chemical underpinnings of brain activity and recent neurobiological experiments? The nature of our understanding of free will in the light of present-day neuroscience is becoming increasingly important because of remarkable discoveries on the topic being made by neuroscientists on the one hand, and its crucial importance for the way we view ourselves, on the other. A key tool in understanding how free will may arise in this context is the idea of downward causation in complex systems, happening coterminously with bottom up causation, to form an integral whole.
Links & Snippets
- Turing Instabilities at Hopf Bifurcation, M. R. Ricard, S. Mischler, 2009/10/01, Journal of Nonlinear Science, Volume 19, Number 5, DOI: 10.1007/s00332-009-9041-6
- Chaos and Hopf bifurcation of a finance system, Qin Gao, Junhai Ma, 2009/10/01, Nonlinear Dynamics, Volume 58, Numbers 1-2, DOI: 10.1007/s11071-009-9472-5
- Can power-law scaling and neuronal avalanches arise from stochastic dynamics?, Jonathan Touboul and Alain Destexhe, 2009/10/05, arXiv:0910.0805
- Neuroanatomical Variability of Religiosity, Kapogiannis D, Barbey AK, Su M, Krueger F, Grafman J, September 28, 2009, PLoS ONE 4(9): e7180, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007180
- Future Internet Architectures Summit, Arlington, VA, USA, 09/10/12-15
- Systems Chemistry II: Evolution and Systems, BalatonfÃ¼red/Lake Balaton, Hungary, 09/10/18-23
- First Discussion Meeting on Patterning, Segregation and Differentiation in Complex Networks, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico, 09/10/19-21
- Workshop: Computing action policies that ensure resilience of social and ecological systems, Madeira, Portugal, 09/10/21-22
- Econophysics Colloquium 2009, Erice, Sicily, Italy, 09/10/25-31
- Natural and Biomimetic Mechanosensing, Dresden, Germany, 09/10/26-28
- Lyapunov analysis, from theory to geophysical applications, Paris, France, 09/10/26-30
- The 11th International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems (SSS 2009) , Lyon, France, 09/11/03-06
- International Conference on Intelligent Networking and Collaborative Systems (INCoS 2009) , Barcelona, Spain, 09/11/4-6
- the 9th Asia-Pacific Complex Systems Conference Complex'09 How to Manage Complexity? , Tokyo, Japan, 09/11/4-7
- CAS in the Natural and Social Sciences, AAAI Fall Symposium Arlington, VA, USA, 09/11/5-7
- Ninth International Conference on Epigenetic Robotics: Modeling Cognitive Development in Robotic Systems, Venice, Italy, 09/11/12-14
- 1st Global Peter F. Drucker Forum, â€˜Managing the Futureâ€™, Vienna, Austria, 09/11/19-20
- Darwin09, International Workshop on 150 Years after Darwin: From Molecular Evolution to Language, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 09/11/23-27
- Health and Complex Systems Workshop, Lyon, France, 09/11/30-12/01
- 9th International Conference on Intelligent Systems Design and Applications, Pisa, Italy, 09/11/30-12/02
- World Congress on Nature & Biologically Inspired Computing (NaBIC 2009), Coimbatore, India, 09/12/9-11
- Dynamics Days 2010, Evanston, IL, USA, 10/01/04-07
- 5th Biennial Convention about the philosophical, epistemological, and methodological implications of the Theory of Complexity, Havana, Cuba, 10/01/6-8
- 2nd International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART 2010), Valencia, Spain, 10/01/22-24
- 20th European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research, EMCSR 2010, University of Vienna, Austria, 10/04/6-9
- EvoStar 2010 , Istanbul, Turkey, 10/04/7-10
- International Conference on Computer Supported Education, Valencia, Spain, 10/04/7-10
- The IV International Workshop on Nature Inspired Cooperative Strategies for Optimization - NICSO 2010, Granada, Spain, 10/05/12-14
- ICEIS 2010 (12th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems), Funchal-Madeira, Portugal, 10/06/6-10
- International Conference on Information Society (i-Society 2010) , London, UK, 2010/06/28-30
- 2010 World Congress on Computational Intelligence, Barcelona, Spain, 10/07/18-23
- European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI), Copenhagen, Denmark, 10/08/09-20
- Artificial Life XII (ALife XII), Odense, Denmark, 10/08/19--23
- ANTS 2010, Seventh International Conference on Swarm Intelligence, Brussels, Belgium, 10/09/8-10
- European Conference on Complex Systems, Lisbon, Portugal, 2010
- ASSYST Digital Library. Since 09/09
- Complex Systems Teleconferences. Since 09/09
Symmetry Festival 2009, Budapest, Hungary, 09/08/1-4.
- International Workshop on Coping with Crises in Complex Socio-Economic Systems, Zurich, Switzerland, 09/06/8-12
- Memorial Service for Dr Gottfried Mayer, Founding Editor Complexity Digest, Taipei, Taiwan (1954-2009). Video [RM], 09/02/13
- Making Connections: In Memory and Celebration of the Life of Dr. Gottfried Mayer (1954-2009). Video [RM] [MPG], 09/02/13
- Eulogy for Gottfried Mayer by Dean LeBaron [WMV, 25 Mb], [RM, 10 Mb], 09/02/10
- Can Ants Solve Traffic Jams?, Danielle Parsons, Slatev.com, 08/07/22
- Reseau Nationale des Systemes Complexes , (in French), 2007
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 08/01/22-27
- TED Talks, TED Conferences LLC , since 2006
- Talking Robots: The PodCast on Robotics and AI, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, 06/11/03
- Potentials of Complexity Science for Business, Governments, and the Media 2006, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/03-05
- 6th Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS), Boston, MA, 06/06/25-30
- Artificial Life X, 10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, Bloomington, IN, USA. 2006/06/03-07
- 6th Understanding Complex Systems Symposium, Urbana-Champaign, Il, 06/05/15-18
- Ralph Abraham on Complexity Digest, , Calcutta, India, 05/12/27
- An Afternoon with Michael Crichton, Washington, 05/11/06
- Illuminating the Shadow of the Future, Ann Arbor, Mi 05/09/23-25
- Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems - Brainstorming Meeting, Paris, France 05/09/19-23
- Complexity, Science & Society Conference 2005, U. Liverpool, UK 2005/09/11-14
- ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life, Canterbury, Kent, UK 2005/09/5-9
- T. Irene Sanders, Executive Director and Founder, The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy, 05/08/27, QuickTime video (10:38 min), Podcast
- North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2005 Conference, Virtual Conference Network, St. Pete's Beach, Florida, 05/06/09-11
- Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Virtual Conference Network, Urbana-Champaign, Il, UIUC, 05/05/16-19
- Nonlinearity, Fluctuations, and Complexity, with a celebration of the 65th birthday of Gregoire Nicolis. , Complexity Session, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 05/03/16
- 1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
- From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
- Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
- International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
- Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
- CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
- Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
- Edge Videos
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