The quantitative understanding of human dynamics is one of the most under-explored area of contemporary science. We are witnessing rapid changes, however, thanks to the emergence of detailed datasets that capture human behavior, which allow us to follow specific human actions in ultimate detail. Our interest in the subject is driven by a need for a general understanding of complex systems. Currently social systems offer some of the best mapped datasets on the dynamics of any complex system, when the action of each component (individual) can be followed in ultimate detail.
This webpage summarizes our attempts to understand the nature of time in complex systems. When do things happen in a complex system? When do we send an email, receive a phone call, and check out a book from the library? While traditional models have assumed that the timing of human actions is random, we are finding increasing evidence that they are not. Instead, the statistics of human activity patterns have a bursty character, which can be predicted by simple models.