ABS: Piqueria, Zipf's law organizes a psychatric ward

Gretchen Whitney gwhitney at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU
Fri Nov 19 17:53:40 EST 1999

Zipf's law organizes a psychiatric ward
Piqueira JRC, Monteiro LHA, de Magalhaes TMC, Ramos RT,
Sassi RB, Cruz EG

Piqueira JRC, Univ Sao Paulo, Escola Politecn, Dept Engn Eletron, Lab
Automocao & Controle, Av Prof Luciano
Gualberto, Travessa 3, N 380, BR-05508900 Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Univ Sao Paulo, Escola Politecn, Dept Engn Eletron, Lab Automocao &
Controle, BR-05508900 Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Univ Sao Paulo, Fac Med, Inst Psiquiatria, BR-05508900 Sao Paulo, Brazil.

198: (3) 439-443 JUN 7 1999

We developed a simple mathematical model based on power law fitting for
describing the interactions among patients from a psychiatric ward. First
we defined a protocol in order to evaluate in a quantative way the state
of the patient, measuring sociability/restlessness through a daily
analysis of the behavior and attributing a grade for both parameters, per
patient. The grades were checked by two different specialists and a table
of incidence was constructed. This table generated power laws for the
grades and their variations. We concluded that power laws, like Zipf's
law, may be good to explain the data, showing a self-organizing process
that indicates a strong interaction component determining the whole
behavior. We would like to see more data being collected, in other centers
and among normal populations, trying to quantify complex collective
behavioral phenomena using self-organizing criticality laws. (C) 1999
Academic Press.

c. ISI, Reprinted with permission
Please visit their website at www.isinet.com

Gretchen Whitney, PhD tel 423.974.7919 School of Information Sciences fax
423.974.4967 University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN 37996 USA
gwhitney at utk.edu http://web.utk.edu/~gwhitney/

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