# Information theory in ecology: Markov chain, Venn diagram, Kronecker (and Cartesian graph) products, and Tsallis entropy

- Date
- January 20 at 13:00 - 14:00, 2021

- Speaker
- Dr. Ryosuke Iritani (Research Scientist, iTHEMS)

- Venue
- via Zoom

- Language
- English

This is more like an introductory talk on how I was motivated to work with information theory, and include unpublished data.

Ecologists have been long interested in understanding diversity (divergence) of natural ecosystems. One possible way of accounting for diversity is to use a species' presence/absence table across spatial locations (species-location table), in which we record 1 if a focal species is present in a given site (otherwise 0). Recent interest lies in assessing how diversity (e.g., the number of species) changes with time: for instance, extinction and colonization of species may result in the modification of such tables with time. However, we are yet to have theoretical toolkits to model the dynamics of spcies-site tables. In this talk, I will introduce my model (in collaboration with R. Hamazaki, S. Tatsumi, and M Cadotte) of the dynamics of species-site tables based on Markovian stochastic processes. Specifically, our apporach allows us to analytically obtain the solution of the full stochastic dynamics by means of localizing the dynamics to a single site and then expanding it towards the global sites with Kronecker's prodcut (in linear algebra) or Cartesian product (in graph theory). Intuition obtains from illustrating the dynamics onto Venn diagram, where we draw several sets (corresponding to locations) and binary numbers (corresponding to presence-absence data) and consider random walks on Venn diagram acorss sets; also this Venn diagram based interpretation is mathematically underpinned by Cartesian product of graphs. Finally I will briefly talk about how we assess diversity of ecosystems using Tsallis entropy (or the generalized Shannon entropy).

*Detailed information about the seminar refer to the email.