Friday, July 18, 2008

Zanette's Nature-Essay "Playing by numbers"

Nature 453, 988-989 (19 June 2008)
  • In 1955, social scientist Herbert Simon pointed out that Zipf’s law can be quantitatively explained by assuming that the usage frequency of a word increases proportionally to its previous appearances.
  • As the message flows, a context emerges, favouring the appearance of some elements at the expense of others.
  • Segmentation, for instance, can be used to detect portions of a sequence that differ as much as possible in the frequencies of different symbols. The product is a dissection of the sequence into domains which are maximally divergent.
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