Time Period: 2013 – 2016

Short DescriptionWe propose a novel approach to understanding economic development and technology innovation that is empirically grounded by Big Data analysis. We intend to study the evolution of the ecosystem of the complex space of products, industries and technologies. The datasets that we will use include a comprehensive record of patents, detailed data on production and exports and e-commerce feedback databases, that will allow to understand how also the matching of offer and demand triggers the evolution of production baskets. A common element in these data sets is that the key information is provided in terms of multi-partite networks. We will define new algorithms and metrics that will help us make sense of these data, and that will guide us in the development of a new theoretical framework enabling a deeper understanding of economic growth. Our theoretical view is that to understand growth it is necessary to focus on the complex structure of the economy starting from the micro level of technologies, products, capabilities and transactions.

This is in contrast to traditional economics, which has historically used highly aggregated data and a simplified description of the micro-structure. Our approach begins by developing product, industry, technology and country spaces as uni-partite projections of the multi-partite networks we derive them from. In this process, we will generate algorithmic metrics that characterize the complexity and network properties of the various elements of the system. It also allows us to generate new taxonomies and to study their evolution. We will use advanced data visualization techniques to communicate our results. The availability of micro level data, Big Data techniques, algorithmic methods, and network analysis makes this bottom-up picture of economic growth only very recently possible. For the first time we can have an empirically derived, granular, dynamic picture of how national and global economies evolve and grow.

TitleCrisis Lab

Time Period: 2012-2017

Short DescriptionCrisis Lab, is a novel strategic research project financed by Italian Government (Progetti di Interesse CNR) with the aim of creating an Observatory of risks in domains ranging from finance, energy, markets, transport and urban systems, with interdisciplinary methodology based on the new science of Complex Networks.

The focus of the Crisis lab is to develop models using empirical data to describe the vulnerabilities of diverse socio-technical systems which have a complex underlying dependency structure. The globalization of our planet requires state-of-the-art methodologies for better understanding the dependency structure of multi-level systems which can be vulnerable to catastrophic failure.



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