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Looking beyond conventional networks can lead to better predictions

Author: William G. Gilroy

Nitesh Chawla

Zebra mussels, a ship-borne invasive species, are such a problem in American waters that they cost the U.S. power industry alone $3.1 billion in economic losses in 1993-1999, mainly by blocking pipes that deliver water to cooling plants. Researchers looking for a way to predict where they might end up next, so that preventive measures can be taken, have relied on network science, a way to identify patterns and meaningful connections in fields ranging from invasive species to international terrorism and social networks to infectious diseases.

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