The One Question you should ask your Partner before Marrying!


Valentine’s Day is around the corner and love is in the air… but, shock horror, nearly every second marriage ends in a divorce! Unfortunately, I can tell you first hand that this is an experience you’d rather not have. In this post, we see how data science, in the form of the OneR package and an interesting new data set, might potentially help you to avoid that tragedy… so read on!
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Epidemiology: How contagious is Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?


A new invisible enemy, only 30kb in size, has emerged and is on a killing spree around the world: 2019-nCoV, the Novel Coronavirus!

It has already killed more people than the SARS pandemic and its outbreak has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you want to learn how epidemiologists estimate how contagious a new virus is and how to do it in R read on!
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Does Australia need More Fires (but the Right Kind)? A Multi-Agent Simulation


We have all watched with great horror the catastrophic fires in Australia. Over many years scientists have been studying simulations to understand the underlying dynamics better. They tell us, that “what Australia needs is more fires, but of the right kind”. What do they mean by that?

One such simulation of fire is based on Multi-Agent Systems (MAS), also called Agent-Based Modelling (ABM). An excellent piece of free software (and in fact the de facto standard) is NetLogo. Even better is that NetLogo can be fully controlled by R… and we will use this feature to learn some crucial lessons!

If you want to understand more about the dynamics of fire in particular and about some fascinating properties of dynamical systems in general via controlling NetLogo with R, read on!
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Create realistic-looking Islands with R


Modern movies use a lot of mathematics for their computer animations and CGI effects, one of them is what is known under the name fractals.

In this post, we will use this technique to create islands with coastlines that look extraordinarily realistic. If you want to do that yourself read on!
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Understanding Blockchain Technology by building one in R

By now you will know that it is a good tradition of this blog to explain stuff by rebuilding toy examples of it in R (see e.g. Understanding the Maths of Computed Tomography (CT) scans, So, what is AI really? or Google’s Eigenvector… or how a Random Surfer finds the most relevant Webpages). This time we will do the same for the hyped Blockchain technology, so read on!
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Cambridge Analytica: Microtargeting or How to catch voters with the LASSO


The two most disruptive political events of the last few years are undoubtedly the Brexit referendum to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump. Both are commonly associated with the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and a technique known as Microtargeting.

If you want to understand the data science behind the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal and Microtargeting (i.e. LASSO regression) by building a toy example in R read on!
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Google’s Eigenvector… or how a Random Surfer finds the most relevant Webpages


Like most people, you will have used a search engine lately, like Google. But have you ever thought about how it manages to give you the most fitting results? How does it order the results so that the best are on top? Read on to find out!
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So, what is AI really?


One of the topics that is totally hyped at the moment is obviously Artificial Intelligence or AI for short. There are many self-proclaimed experts running around trying to sell you the stuff they have been doing all along under this new label.

When you ask them what AI means you will normally get some convoluted explanations (which is a good sign that they don’t get it themselves) and some “success stories”. The truth is that many of those talking heads don’t really know what they are talking about, yet happen to have a friend who knows somebody who picked up a book at the local station bookshop… ok, that was nasty but unfortunately often not too far away from the truth.

So, what is AI really? This post tries to give some guidance, so read on!
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