Shipping can benefit from brain network science, study says

by 22, Oct, 2020Innovation

Specifically, researchers noted that brain networks and liner shipping networks show surprising similarities since they are both spatially embedded networks that utilise nodes.

When I examined the maritime network structure of the Chinese colleagues at the conference, I advanced the hypothesis that its structure displays a trade-off between high transportation efficiency and low wiring cost, similarly to the one we know is present in brain networks. We combined our knowledge in network science, maritime science and data processing, which led to new insights into the maritime network structural organization complexity and its relevance to international trade.

…as Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci, one of the study’s two initiators and research group leader for biomedical cybernetics at BIOTEC, TU Dresden, explained.

What is more, the study revealed that network science computational theories used for brain analysis can help to understand global shipping networks and their impact on world economy.

An important result of this study is the development of new computational network measures for the investigation of modular connectivity and structural core organization within complex networks in general, which here we applied to maritime science.

…Dr. Cannistraci added.

Many complex systems, including the brain and the shipping industry share basic rules of self-organisation and economical functionality that involve segregation in peripheral areas and integration in a central core.

Although the research findings don’t actually state whether any of the key values bear similarities to networks found in the brain, Mannevaara believes there is something the industry can learn from it.

Perhaps most interesting is that they were able to identify which ports globally play a significant role in contributing to a country’s international trade value, which are almost the same as which ports have the highest trade volume, but not exactly the same.

For the records, the research was issued by Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci along with Dr. Mengqiao Xu and maritime economy scientists from China.

We demonstrated that analytical methodology and concepts of brain network organization can impact maritime industry data analysis. Future studies might consider investigating whether the innovative tools developed in this maritime study might find applications back in brain science.

….Cannistraci concluded.

October 2020