Sean Gourley on the mathematics of war

Sean Gourley

Dr. Gourley’s team wrote a Nature paper defining how to measure an insurgency.
“Common Ecology Quantifies Human Insurgency“
The size distributions of casualties both in whole wars from 1816 to 1980 and terrorist attacks have separately been shown to follow approximate power-law distributions6, 7, 9, 10. However, the possibility of universal patterns ranging across wars in the size distribution or timing of within-conflict events has barely been explored. Here we show that the sizes and timing of violent events within different insurgent conflicts exhibit remarkable similarities. We propose a unified model of human insurgency that reproduces these commonalities, and explains conflict-specific variations quantitatively in terms of underlying rules of engagement. Our model treats each insurgent population as an ecology of dynamically evolving, self-organized groups following common decision-making processes

See also http://mathematicsofwar.com/

I want to link his evolution of insurgency models to my own viral evolution work. He specifically discusses that when an insurgent group breaks up, the parts don’t dissapear, they re-associate with remaining groups– showing preferential attachment. Also, strongest groups grow fastest.

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Posted on August 30, 2011, in evolution and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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