I am a Professor in the School of Sustainability and the Director of the Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment. I want to understand how people solve collective problems at different levels of scale, especially those problems related to sustainability of our environment. Our society experience unprecedented challenged to sustain common resource for future generations at a scale we have never experienced before. What makes groups cooperate? What is the role of information? How does the ecological context affect the social fabric? How do they deal with a changing environment? How can we use these insight to address global challenges? To do this research I combine behavioral experiments, agent-based modeling and case study analysis.
My profound interest in networks convinced me to work in these subjects and start my master project on an application of social network analysis for detecting organized fraud in Automobile insurance, which helps to flag groups of fraudsters. The key point of this project is simply to find fraudulent rings, while the most of traditional methods have only taken opportunistic fraud into consideration. My duty in research is to design an algorithm for identifying cyclic components, then to be compared with theoretical ones. This project showed me how networks are used in the analysis of relations.
Community assembly after intervention by coral transplantation
The potential of transplantation of scleractinian corals in restoring degraded reefs has been widely recognized. Levels of success of coral transplantation have been highly variable due to variable environmental conditions and interactions with other reef organisms. The community structure of the area being restored is an emergent outcome of the interaction of its components as well as of processes at the local level. Understanding the
coral reef as a complex adaptive system is essential in understanding how patterns emerge from processes at local scales. Data from a coral transplantation experiment will be used to develop an individual-based model of coral community development. The objectives of the model are to develop an understanding of assembly rules, predict trajectories and discover unknown properties in the development of coral reef communities in the context of reef restoration. Simulation experiments will be conducted to derive insights on community trajectories under different disturbance regimes as well as initial transplantation configurations. The model may also serve as a decision-support tool for reef restoration.
Eric Kameni holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science option modeling and application from the Radboud University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, after a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science in Application Development and a Diploma in Master’s degree with Thesis in Computer Science on “modeling the diffusion of trust in social networks” at the University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon. My doctoral thesis focused on developing a model-based development approach for designing ICT-based solutions to solve environmental problems (Natural Model based Design in Context (NMDC)).
The particular focus of the research is the development of a spatial and Agent-Based Model to capture the motivations underlying the decision making of the various actors towards the investments in the quality of land and institutions, or other aspects of land use change. Inductive models (GIS and statistical based) can extrapolate existing land use patterns in time but cannot include actors decisions, learning and responses to new phenomena, e.g. new crops or soil conservation techniques. Therefore, more deductive (‘theory-driven’) approaches need to be used to complement the inductive (‘data-driven’) methods for a full grip on transition processes. Agent-Based Modeling is suitable for this work, in view of the number and types of actors (farmer, sedentary and transhumant herders, gender, ethnicity, wealth, local and supra-local) involved in land use and management. NetLogo framework could be use to facilitate modeling because it portray some desirable characteristics (agent based and spatially explicit). The model develop should provide social and anthropological insights in how farmers work and learn.
Farzaneh Davari is a social science researcher who has worked in many diverse fields, including agriculture, conflict, health, and human rights, just to name a few. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in Computational Social Science, focusing on social-ecological complex systems and applying computational science and Agent-Based Modeling to understand resilience procedure through self-organizing and learning. Meanwhile, she is a designer and instructor of the online graduate level course of Decision-making in Complex Environments in Virginia Tech.
Social-ecological complex system, resilience-building, conflictual environment
Muaz is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has more than 15 years of professional, teaching and research experience. Muaz has been working on Communication Systems and Networks since 1995. His BS project in 1995 was on the development of a Cordless Local Area Network. In 1996, his postgraduate project was on Wireless Connectivity of devices to Computers. In addition to his expertise as an Communications engineer, his areas of research interest are in the development of agent-based and complex network-based models of Complex Adaptive Systems. He has worked on diverse case studies ranging from Complex Communication Networks, Biological Networks, Social Networks, Ecological system modeling, Research and Scientometric modeling and simulation etc. He has also worked on designing and developing embedded systems, distributed computing, multiagent and service-oriented architectures.
Senior (Tenure-Track) Assistant Professor in Work and Organizational Psychology (WOP) at the Human Sciences Department of Verona University. My expertise lies in organizational behavior, individual differences and decision-making at work, and social dynamics in the applied psychology field. In the field of fundamental research my studies explore the role of individual antecedents (e.g., Personality traits, Risk attitudes, etc.) in relation to classic I/O models (e.g., Job Demands-Resources model, Effort-Reward model, etc.). My applied research focuses on the development of interventions and policies for enhancing decision-making, and in turn well-being and job performance. Finally, in industrial research, my research aims to better integrate cognitive and behavioral theories (e.g., Theory of Planned Behavior, Prospect theory, etc.) for designing predictive models – based on agents – of social and organizational behaviors.
Secondary education, agent-based modeling and computational science in education
I am a modeler scientist at CIRAD. As member of the Green Research Unit, I contribute to promote the Companion Modeling approach (http://www.commod.org). Through the development of CORMAS, a Framework for Agent-Based Models (http://cormas.cirad.fr), I have been focusing on the development and the use of multi-agent simulations for renewable resource management issues. I have been based several years in Brazil, at the University of Brasilia and at the PUC-Rio University, until 2014. I developed models related to environmental management, such as breeding adaptation to drought in the Uruguay or as breeding and deforestation in the Amazon. I am currently based in Costa Rica, firstly at the University of Costa Rica working on adaptation of agriculture and livestock to Climate Changes, and now at CATIE, working on coffe rust.
Participatory modeling, including collective design of model and interactive simulation
I am a spatial (GIS) agent-based modeler i.e. modeler that simulates the impact of various individual decisions on the environment. My work is mainly methodological i.e. I develop tools that make agent-based modeling (ABM) easier to do. I especially focus on developing tools that allow for evaluating various uncertainties in ABM. One of these uncertainties are the ways of quantifying agent decisions (i.e. the algorithmic representation of agent decision rules) for example to address the question of “How do the agents decide whether to grow crops or rather put land to fallow?”. One of the methods I developed focuses on representing residential developers’ risk perception for example to answer the question: “to what extent is the developer risk-taking and would be willing to build new houses targeted at high-income families (small market but big return on investment)?”. Other ABM uncertainties that I evaluate are various spatial inputs (e.g. different representations of soil erosion, different maps of environmental benefits from land conservation) and various demographics (i.e. are retired farmers more willing to put land to conservation?). The tools I develop are mostly used in (spatial) sensitivity analysis of ABM (quantitative, qualitative, and visual).