Check out our new preprint entitled “Searching for structure in collective systems” by Colin Twomey (U Penn) as the main author, co-authored by Pawel Romanczuk. The manuscript proposes a novel, information theoretic method for quantifying collective systems. The method does not make any assumptions about the nature of interactions in the collective, e.g. it does not rely on assuming pairwise interactions. Our approach is complementary to both, a bottom-up approach focusing on microscopic (binary) interactions (e.g. analyzing pairwise correlations), and a macroscopic approach focusing on aggregated collective variables. Thus it can provide important insights with respect to the, possibly dynamic, meso-scale structure of collectives, from fish schools to neurons.