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Variations of trends of indicators describing complex systems: Change of scaling precursory to extreme events
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Socioeconomic and natural complex systems persistently generate extreme events also known as disasters, crises, or critical transitions. Here we analyze patterns of background activity preceding extreme events in four complex systems: economic recessions, surges in homicides in a megacity, magnetic storms, and strong earthquakes. We use as a starting point the indicators describing the system’s behavior and identify changes in an indicator’s trend. Those changes constitute our background events (BEs). We demonstrate a premonitory pattern common to all four systems considered: relatively large magnitude BEs become more frequent before extreme event. A premonitory change of scaling has been found in various models and observations. Here we demonstrate this change in scaling of uniformly defined BEs in four real complex systems, their enormous differences notwithstanding.
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