Nonlinear Dynamics of Maritime Supply Chains

By volume, 90% of global supply chains are maritime. Those supply chains respond to subsystem dynamics reflecting exchange rates, trade policy, tax policy, and weather. The 2020 China pandemic inflicted its own shocks consistent with previous China pandemics.

Cuong et al., 2015 presents an interesting dynamical model of the three-stage maritime supply chain system that provide insights into supply chain stability and strategies for optimizing economic flow based on the equations of state describing the network dynamics.

Cuong et al,, 2020

x, y, z are sector-level state volume variables; a, b, c, and m are parameters characterizing transport risk (a), safety stocks and distortion coefficients (b, c), and customer satisfaction (m). The dynamical model describes the state variable variability over time time evolutions of state variables representing for volume demanded, including the shipment sent of retailer x, the inventory level of distributor y, quantity produced by manufacturer z.

All three equations constitute a general autonomous vector field defined by

This system is in equilibrium when this equation equals zero for each sector.

Cuong et al. demonstrate a number of interesting dynamics arising from coupled-information/commodity flows across three sectors.

Among the more interesting aspects of this paper is its exercising sliding mode controller to stabilize some of the harmonics.


Ngoc Cuong, T., Xu, X., Lee, S.-D., & You, S.-S. (2020). Dynamic analysis and management optimization for maritime supply chains using nonlinear control theory. Journal of International Maritime Safety Environmental Affairs and Shipping4(2), 48–55

Remember What the Constitution Says

Section 1,

“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

“The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.”

Simply put, the state legislatures can decide which slate of electors they send to the Electoral College. And if they consider the election fraudulent, they can intervene on their own.

Recall the state legislatures of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona are controlled by Republicans.

Wir sind das Volk

“Wir sind das Volk” was a chant used by the Monday demonstrators during the peaceful demonstrations of 1989/1990 to end the GDR and bring down the Berlin Wall. The slogan meant that the “simple people” would no longer endure the dictatorship, and wanted to reform the political system of the GDR.

One Middle-American Mom Rages At ‘Real-Life Idiocracy‘:

“I am done. Don’t ask me to pledge to the flag, or salute the troops, or shoot fireworks on the 4th. It’s a sick, twisted, heartbreaking joke, this bloated, unrecognizable corpse of a republic that once was ours.

“I am not alone. Not sure how things continue to function when millions of citizens no longer feel any loyalty to or from the society they live in.”

Voter Turnout Anomalies

As anyone who has been part of or through a financial audit knows, red flags are fairly common. Most people in large corporations get dragged into an audit at some point so you know what I’m talking about.

Red flags raised by auditors don’t mean there’s fraud. A few flags can mean a lot of things: sloppy records, random stuff, individual stupidity, plus, of course, outright dishonesty.

For example, there are things like this

Surely, just an innocent mistake. Or, plain stupidity. No doubt, they’ll “fix the glitch.”

But a lot of red flags are often a sign of criminal behavior somewhere.

See one cockroach, you know there are more.

One of the flags auditors look for is inordinate populations in the tail of the curves. Numbers that are too random. Or, not random enough – too good to be true.

Or, perhaps anomalies in the distribution. That’s often a sign of fraudulent behavior.

Sort of like when you see carpenter ants – you know there’s rot somewhere in the structure. Just not obvious where.

But auditors use a range of tools to test for fraud. One such tool is the Newcomb-Benford law.

The Newcomb–Benford law (NBL) defines a probability distribution describing the expected patterns of significant digits in real positive numbers. NBL tells you how the distribution should look like.

And, in real life, that distribution should not be random.

To the contrary, NBL observes the first significant digits are not uniformly scattered. Rather, the digits follow a logarithmic-type distribution.

Auditors of all kinds – tax, financial, trade data – typically employ NBL to assess the likelihood red flags are, indeed, indicative of fraud [1].

What’s applicable to process data of all kinds is readily applicable to electoral data.

Lacasa and Fernandez-Gracia [3] discuss Newcomb-Benford to electoral applications. They demonstrate that fraud can be easily inferred from electoral statistics at the macro and micro level.

Kokak et al. [2] apply these methods to a number of Russian elections over the years and highlight anomalous behavior consistent with fraud (inter alia, unusual voter turnout percentages and material changes) in the skewed results.

Kobak et al., 2016

All of this brings us to the current election.

Matt Braynard, a GOP political analyst and former Trump Data Chief, believes he can detect voter fraud by comparing absentee ballots and early voters to the Social Security Death Index and the National Change of Address Database.

Interesting idea.

He even setup a “GoFundMe” account, though the corporate captains seem to be holding him at arms length.

You can read about him here:

In the meantime, suffice to say, we will be hearing more about voter fraud in the months to come.

BTW, want to see another take on voter fraud? Check out some Russian elections.

Kobak et al., 2016

See a pattern in the distribution tail?

Getting a deja vu?

Well, let’s see:

  • Biden outperforms Senators in swing states, underperforms in VA, NH, RI
  • Biden underperforms Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in MI, PA, GA, and WI
  • Biden mail-in dumps have 100% margins
  • Down-ballot senators and congressmen get fewer votes than the top-line presidential candidate
  • GOP lose ZERO House seats

Does this look like anomalous behavior?

Sure does.


[1] Cerioli, A., Barabesi, L., Cerasa, A., Menegatti, M., & Perrotta, D. (2019). Newcomb-Benford law and the detection of frauds in international trade. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America116(1), 106–115.

[2] Kobak, D., Shpilkin, S., & Pshenichnikov, M. S. (2016). Statistical fingerprints of electoral fraud? Significance (Oxford, England)13(4), 20–23.

[3] Lacasa, L., & Fernández-Gracia, J. (2019). Election Forensics: Quantitative methods for electoral fraud detection. Forensic Science International294, e19–e22.

Chinese Corn Prices Accelerate

“China imported 1.1 million tons of corn in September, a jump of 675% from a year earlier, according to official customs data. That was the highest level since 2016. Between January and September, inbound shipments climbed 73% to 6.67 million tons, the highest since at least 2005, data showed.”,at%20least%202005%2C%20data%20showed.

Transport Volumes Up

Carloads and intermodal units up 2.2% YoY. Four carload commodities showed increases over 2019, led by grain, up 23.9%;  six were down, most notably coal (minus-20.1%) and petroleum and petroleum products (minus-19.1%).

For the year to date, total traffic is down 9.8%, with intermodal units down 5.1% and carloads down 14.9%.

Red Ponzi Saber-rattling

“Every rocket force brigade in Fujian and Guangdong is now fully equipped.” Chang asserts that this is evidence of the communist regime’s invasion plans: “The size of some of the missile bases in the Eastern and Southern theatre commands have even doubled in recent years, showing the PLA is stepping up preparations for a war targeting Taiwan.”

“When the European Union speaks as a superior, Russia wants to know: Can we do any business with the EU?”

Lavrov: “No matter what we do, the West will try to hobble and restrain us, and undermine our efforts in the economy, politics, and technology. These are all elements of one approach.”

Question: “Their national security strategy states that they will do so.”

Lavrov: “Of course it does, but it is articulated in a way that decent people can still let go unnoticed, but it is being implemented in a manner that is nothing short of outrageous.”

Question: You, too, can articulate things in a way that is different from what you would really like to say, correct?”

Lavrov: “It’s the other way round. I can use the language I’m not usually using to get the point across. However, they clearly want to throw us off balance, and not only by direct attacks on Russia in all possible and conceivable spheres by way of unscrupulous competition, illegitimate sanctions and the like, but also by unbalancing the situation near our borders, thus preventing us from focusing on creative activities. Nevertheless, regardless of the human instincts and the temptations to respond in the same vein, I’m convinced that we must abide by international law.”