Two themes unite my research: a commitment to methodological creativity and innovation as expressed in my work with computational social sciences, and an interest in the political economy of “globalization,” particularly its implications for the ontological claims of international relations theory.
I have demonstrated how the methods of computational social sciences can model bargaining and social choice problems for which traditional game theory has found only indeterminate and multiple equilibria. My June 2008 article in International Studies Quarterly (“Coordination in Large Numbers,” vol. 52, no. 2) illustrates that, contrary to the expectation of collective action theory, large groups may enjoy informational advantages that allow players with incomplete information to solve difficult three-choice coordination games. I extend this analysis in my 2009 paper at the International Studies Association annual convention, in which I apply ideas from evolutionary game theory to model learning processes among players faced with coordination and commitment problems. Currently I am extending this research to include social network theory as a means of modeling explicitly the patterns of interaction in large-n (i.e. greater than two) player coordination and cooperation games. I argue in my paper at the 2009 American Political Science Association annual convention that computational social science—the synthesis of agent-based modeling, social network analysis and evolutionary game theory—empowers scholars to analyze a broad range of previously indeterminate bargaining problems. I also argue this synthesis gives researchers purchase on two of the central debates in international political economy scholarship. By modeling explicitly processes of preference formation, computational social science moves beyond the rational actor model and endogenizes the processes of learning that constructivists have identified as essential to understanding change in the international system. This focus on the micro foundations of international political economy in turn allows researchers to understand how social structural features emerge and constrain actor choices. Computational social science thus allows IPE to formalize and generalize our understandings of mutual constitution and systemic change, an observation that explains the paradoxical interest of constructivists like Ian Lustick and Matthew Hoffmann in the formal methods of computational social science. Currently I am writing a manuscript that develops these ideas and applies them to several challenges of globalization: developing institutions to manage common pool resources; reforming capital adequacy standards for banks; and understanding cascading failures in global networks.
While computational social science increasingly informs my research, I have also contributed to debates about the epistemological claims of computational social science. My chapter with James N. Rosenau in Complexity in World Politics (ed. by Neil E. Harrison, SUNY Press 2006) argues that agent-based modeling suffers from underdeveloped and hidden epistemological and ontological commitments. On a more light-hearted note, my article in PS: Political Science and Politics (“Clocks, Not Dartboards,” vol. 39, no. 3, July 2006) discusses problems with pseudo-random number generators and illustrates how they can surprise unsuspecting teachers and researchers.
The Global Resource Observatory (GRO)
The Global Resource Observatory is largest single research project being undertaken at the GSI, it investigates how the scarcity of finite resources will impact global social and political fragility in the short term. The ambitious three year project, funded by the Dawe Charitable Trust, will enable short term decision making to account for ecological and financial constraints of a finite planet.
GRO will include an open source multidimensional model able to quantify the likely short term interactions of the human economy with the carrying capacity of the planet and key scarce resources. The model will enable exploration of the complex interconnections between the resource availability and human development, and provides projections over the next 5 years.
Data and scenarios will be geographically mapped to show the current and future balance and distribution of resources across and within countries. The GRO tool will, for the first time, enable the widespread integration of the implications of depleting key resource into all levels of policy and business decision-making.
Aniruddha Belsare is a disease ecologist with a background in veterinary medicine, interspecific transmission, pathogen modeling and conservation research. Aniruddha received his Ph.D. in Wildlife Science (Focus: Disease Ecology) from the University of Missouri in 2013 and subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship there (University of Missouri, May 2014 – June 2017). He then was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Modeling Complex Interactions at the University of Idaho (June 2017 - March 2019) and later a Research Associate with the Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center, Michigan State University (March 2019 - Jan 2021). He is currently a Computational Ecologist in the Civitello Lab at Emory University.
My research interests primarily lie at the interface of ecology and epidemiology, and include host-pathogen systems that are of public health or conservation concern. I use ecologic, epidemiologic and model-based investigations to understand how pathogens spread through, persist in, and impact host populations. Animal disease systems that I am currently working on include canine rabies, leptospirosis, chronic wasting disease, big horn sheep pneumonia, raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis), and Lyme disease.
I am a geographer interested in exploring tourism system dynamics and assessing tourism’s role in environmental sustainability using agent-based modelling (ABM). My current work focus is on human complex systems interactions with the environment and on the application of tools (such as scenario analysis, network analysis and ABM) to explore topics systems adaptation, vulnerability and resilience to global change. I am also interested in looking into my PhD future research directions which pointed the potential of Big Data, social media and Volunteer Geographical Information to increase destination awareness.
I have extensive experience in GIS, quantitative and qualitative methods of research. My master thesis assessed the potential for automatic feature extraction from QuickBird imagery for municipal management purposes. During my PhD I have published and submitted several scientific papers in ISI indexed journals. I have a good research network in Portugal and I integrate an international research network on the topic “ABM meets tourism”. I am a collaborator in a recently awarded USA NCRCRD grant project “Using Agent Based Modelling to Understand and Enhance Rural Tourism Industry Collaboration” and applied for NSF funding with the project “Understanding and Enhancing the Resilience of Recreation and Tourism Dependent Communities in the Gulf”.
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.
After being the economic development officer for the Little/Salmon Carmacks First Nation, Tim used all his spare time trying to determine a practical understanding of the events he witnessed. This led him to complexity, specifically human emergent behaviour and the evolutionary prerequisites present in human society. These prerequisites predicted many of the apparently immutable ‘modern problems’ in society. First, he tried disseminating the knowledge in popular book form, but that failed – three times. He decided to obtain PhD to make his ‘voice’ louder. He chose sociology, poorly as it turns out as he was told his research had ‘no academic value whatsoever’. After being forced out of University, he taught himself agent-based modelling to demonstrate his ideas and published his first peer-reviewed paper without affiliation while working as a warehouse labourer. Subsequently, he managed to interest Steve Keen in his ideas and his second attempt at a PhD succeeded. His most recent work involves understanding the basic forces generated by trade in a complex system. He is most interested in how the empirically present evolutionary prerequisites impact market patterns.
Economics, society, complexity, systems, ecosystem, thermodynamics, agent-based modelling, emergent behaviour, evolution.
I am Colombian with passion for social impact. I believe that change starts at the individual, community, local and then global level. I have set my goal in making a better experience to whatever challenges I encounter and monetary systems and governance models is what concerns me at the time.
In my path to understanding and reflecting about these issues I have found my way through “Reflexive Modeling”. Models are just limited abstractions of reality and is part of our job as researchers to dig in the stories behind our models and learn to engage in a dialogue between both worlds.
Technology empowers us to act locally, autonomously and in decentralized ways and my research objective is to, in a global context, find ways to govern, communicate and scale the impact of alternative monetary models. This with a special focus on achieving a more inclusive and community owned financial system.
As a Ph.D. fellow for the Agenda 2030 Graduate School, I expect to identify challenges and conflicting elements in the sustainability agenda, contribute with new perspectives, and create solutions for the challenges ahead
Sedar is a PhD student at the University of Leeds, department of Geography. He graduated in Computer Science at King’s College London 2018. From a very early stage of his degree, he focused on artificial intelligence planning implementations on drones in a search and rescue domain, and this was his first formal attempt to study artificial intelligence. He participated in summer school at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul working on programming techniques to reduce execution time. During his final year, he concentrated on how argumentation theory with natural language processing can be used to optimise political influence. In the midst of completing his degree, he applied to Professor Alison Heppenstall’s research proposal focusing on data analytics and society, a joint endeavour with the Alan Turing Institute and the Economic and Social Research Council. From 2018 - 2023 he will be working on his PhD at the Alan Turing Institute and Leeds Institute for Data Analytics.
Sedar will be focusing on data analytics and smart cities, developing a programming library to try simulate how policies can impact a small world of autonomous intelligent agents to try deduce positive or negative impact in the long run. If the impact is positive and this is conveyed collectively taking into consideration the agent’s health, happiness and other social characteristics then the policy can be considered. Furthermore, he will work on agent based modelling to solve and provide faster solutions to economic and social elements of society, establishing applied and theoretical answers. Some other interests are:
Ifigeneia Koutiva (female) is a senior environmental engineer, holding a PhD in Civil Engineering (NTUA), a Postgrad Diploma in Water Resources and Environmental Management (Un. of Belgrade - e-learning), an MSc in Environmental Technology (Imperial College London) and an MSc in Mining and Metallurgy Engineering (NTUA). Her PhD was funded by the Greek Ministry of Education through Heracleitous II scholarship. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar of the State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) for 2020 - 2021. She has 10 years of experience in various EU funded research projects, both as a researcher and as a project manager, in the fields of socio-technical simulation, urban water modelling, modelling and assessment of alternative water technologies, artificial intelligence, social quantitative research, KPI and water indicators development and assessment and analysis of large data sets. She is very competent with programming for creating ICT tools for agent based modelling and data analysis tools and she is an experienced user of spatial analysis software and tools. She is also actively involved in the design and implementation of numerous consultation workshops and conferences. She has authored more than 20 scientific journal articles, conferences articles and research reports.
My research interests lay within the interface of social, water and modelling sciences. I have created tools that explore the effects of water demand management policies in domestic urban water demand behaviour and the effects of civil decision making in flood risk management. I am interested in agent based modelling, artificial intelligence techniques, the creation of ABM tools for civil society, Circular Economy, distributed water technologies and overall urban water management.
Dr. William G. Kennedy, “Bill,” is continuing to learn in a third career, this time as an academic, a computational social scientist.
His first a career was in military service as a Naval Officer, starting with the Naval Academy, Naval PostGraduate School (as the first computer science student from the Naval Academy), and serving during the Cold War as part of the successful submarine-based nuclear deterrent. After six years of active duty service, he served over two decades in the Naval Reserves commanding three submarine and submarine-related reserve units and retiring after 30 years as a Navy Captain with several personal honors and awards.
His second career was in civilian public service: 10 years at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and 15 years with the Department of Energy. At the NRC he rose to be an advisor to the Executive Director for Operations and the authority on issues concerning the reliance on human operators for reactor safety, participating in two fly-away accident response teams. He left the NRC for a promotion and to lead, as technical director, the entrepreneurial effort to explore the use of light-water and accelerator technologies for the production of nuclear weapons materials. That work led to him becoming the senior policy officer responsible for strategic planning and Departmental performance commitments, leading development of the first several DOE strategic plans and formal performance agreements between the Secretary of Energy and the President.
Upon completion of doctoral research in Artificial Intelligence outside of his DOE work, he began his third career as a scientist. That started with a fully funded, three-year post-doctoral research position in cognitive robotics at the Naval Research Laboratory sponsored by the National Academy of Science and expanding his AI background with research in experimental Cognitive Science. Upon completion, he joined the Center for Social Complexity, part of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University in 2008 where he is now the Senior Scientific Advisor. His research interests range from cognition at the individual level to models of millions of agents representing individual people. He is currently leading a multi-year project to characterize the reaction of the population of a mega-city to a nuclear WMD (weapon of mass destruction) event.
Dr. Kennedy holds a B.S. in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy, and Master of Science in Computer Science from the Naval PostGraduate School, and a Ph.D. in Information Technology from George Mason University and has a current security clearance. Dr. Kennedy is a member of Sigma Xi, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and a life member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is a STEM volunteer with the Senior Scientists and Engineers/AAAS Volunteer Program for K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in the DC-area schools.
Cognitive Science, Computational Social Science, Social Cognition, Autonomy, Cognitive Robotics