Agent-based models of human behaviour, from cognitive modelling through to cognitively-rich social simulation.
In my research I focus on understanding human behaviour in group(s) as a part of a complex (social) system. My research can be characterised by the overall question: ‘How does group or collective behaviour arise or change given its social and physical context?‘ More specifically, I have engaged with: ‘How is (individual) human behaviour affected by being in a crowd?’, ‘Why do some groups (cooperatively) use their resources sustainably, whereas others do not?‘, ‘What is the role of (often implicit simplistic) assumptions regarding human behaviour for science and/or management?’
To address these questions, I use computational simulations to integrate and reflect synthesised knowledge from literature, empirics and experts. Models, simulation and data analysis are my tools for gaining a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying such systems. More specifically, I work with agent-based modelling (ABM), simulation experiments and data analysis of large datasets. Apart from crowd modelling and social-ecological modelling, I also develop methodological tools to analyse social simulation data and combining ABM with other methods, such as behavioural experiments.
Flood Risk Management, Coupled Human-Natural System Modelling, Socio-hydrological Modelling, Agent-Based Modelling, Human Behaviour Modelling, Agent-Based Social Simulation, Hydrological and Hydraulic Modeling, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Mapping, Risk Modelling and Risk Visualization, Disaster Risk Reduction
Agent-based modeling of human behaviour; virtual experiments
I am currently head of the Junior Research Group POLISES which uses agent-based models to study intended and unintended effects of global policy instruments on the social-ecological resilience of smallholders. In this project, we focus on the impact of policies targeting climate risk in two common property regimes of pastoralists in Africa (Morocco and Kenya/Ethiopia).
On a conceptual level, I work in an international team of modellers, psychologists and natural scientists on adequate representations of human behaviour in agent-based models. Furthermore, I am interested in how to describe models in an appropriate and standardised manner to increase their comprehensibility and comparison.
I obtained my undergraduate degree in Mathematics at Worcester College, Oxford University. I then worked for 9 years for the UK government before returning to university to study for a MSc and PhD at UCL. On leaving UCL I started working in the insurance industry, where I develop models of cyber catastrophe events.
Key research interests are how to build models of complex human behaviour.
My PhD research project was focussed on building a model of the process by which people develop the propensity to commit acts of crime or terrorism, from which came a computer simulation of the radicalisation process.
My current research interest is on creating models of cyber threats.
Improving agent models and architectures for agent-based modelling and simulation applied to crisis management. In particular modelling of BDI agents, emotions, cognitive biases, social attachment, etc.
Designing serious games to increase awareness about climate change or natural disasters; to improve civil engagement in sustainable urban planning; to teach Artificial Intelligence to the general public; to explain social phenomena (voting procedures; sanitary policies; etc).