I am interested in questions of method, and in the application of computational social models to a wide variety of national security questions (such as counterterrorism and counterinsurgency) as well as decision-making around complex natural resources such as water. My methods interest center on the use of qualitative social theory to inform the structure of computational social models, and the ways in which such models handle qualitative data. This raises questions around the nature of data and the ways in which computational social models convey information to decision-makers.
I have been involved in agent-based modelling since the early nineties with a consistent attention to methdological improvement, institutional development and empirical issues. My mission is that ABM should be a routinely accepted research method (with a robust methodology) across the social sciences. To this end I have built diverse models and participated in research projects across economics, law, medicine, psychology, anthropology and sociology. I took a DPhil in economics on adaptive firm behaviour and then was involved in two research projects on money management and farmer decision making. Since 2006 I have worked at the Department of Sociology (now the School of Media, Communication and Sociology) at the University of Leicester. I was involved in the founding of JASSS and (more recently RofASSS https://rofasss.org) and have regularly served on the review panels for international conferences in the ABM community.
Decision making, research design and research methods, social networks, innovation diffusion, secondhand markets.
As publically funded science has become increasingly complex, the policy and management literature has begun to focus more attention on how science is structured and organized. My research interests reside at the nexus of science and technology policy, organizational theory, and complexity theory—I am interested in how the management and organization of S&T research influences the implementation of policies and the emergence of organizational strategies and innovation. Although my research involves the use of multiple qualitative and quantitative methods, I rely heavily on agent based modeling and system dynamics approaches in addressing my research questions.
I am a data scientist employing a variety of ecoinformatic tools to understand and improve the sustainability of complex social-ecological systems. I am also working to apply Science and Technology Studies to my modeling processes in order to make social-ecological system management more just. I prefer to work collaboratively with communities on modeling, both teaching mapping and modeling skills as well as analyzing and synthesizing community-held data as appropriate. At the same time, I look for ways to create space for qualitative and other forms of knowledge to reside alongside quantitative analysis. Recent projects include: 1) studying Californian forest dynamics using Bayesian statistical models and object-based image analysis (datasets included forest inventories and historical aerial photographs); 2) indigenous mapping and community-based modeling of agro-pastoral systems in rural Zimbabwe (methods included GPS/GIS, agent-based modeling and social network analysis).
I am an anthropological archaeologist with broad interests in hunter-gatherers, lithic technology, human evolution, and complex systems theory. I am particularly interested in understanding processes of long term social, evolutionary, and adaptational change among hunter-gatherers, specifically by using approaches that combine archaeological data, ethnographic data, and computational modeling.
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.
I am a lowly civil servant moonlighting as a PhD student interested in urban informatics, Smart Cities, artificial intelligence/machine learning, all-things geospatial and temporal, advanced technologies, agent-based modeling, and social complexity… and enthusiastically trying to find a combination thereof to form a disseration. Oh… and I would like to win the lottery.
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.
My interests lie in the intersection of economics, networks, and computation. I am currently studying labour dynamics as a process where people flow throughout the economy by moving from one firm to another. I study these flows by looking at detailed data about employment histories of each individual and every firm in entire economies. Using this information, I construct networks of firms in order to map the roads that people take throughout their careers. This allows to study labour markets at an unprecedented fine-grained level of detail. I employ agent-based computing methods to understand how economic shocks and policies alter labour flows, which eventually translate into unemployment and other related problems.
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.