Researchers develop a method for predicting unprecedented events

Science Daily  July 23, 2020
Challenging the quintessentially unpredictable nature of black swan events researchers at Stanford University developed a forecasting method based on natural systems. They leveraged increasingly available long-term high-frequency ecological tracking data, to analyze multiple natural and experimental ecosystems (marine plankton, deciduous forest), and recovered hidden linearity embedded in universal ‘scaling laws’ of species dynamics. They developed a method using these scaling laws to reduce data dependence in ecological forecasting and accurately predict extreme events beyond the span of historical observations in diverse ecosystems. They would like to expand the application of their method to other systems in which black swan events are also present, such as in economics, epidemiology, politics, and physics…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Ecological fluctuations show universal avalanche scaling laws. Credit: PLoS Comput Biol 16(6): e1008021. 

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