Applications of agent-based modeling and complexity theory to real-world problems. I am particular interested in stigmergic polyagents, their relation to the path integral formalization of quantum physics, and their application to combinatorially explosive problems, but also work extensively in modeling social systems.
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
MY research aims to give artists better 3D references and scene reconstructions which can be directly fed into the creative pipeline. This is motivated by increasing public demand for detailed, complex 3D worlds and the resulting demand this places on world design artists.
This project lookings at developing acquisition and modelling technologies that provide more than just a visual reference: in the context of this project, visual acquisition and reconstruction methods shall be developed that provide richer, three-dimensional references, and that ultimately yield scene reconstructions that can directly be fed into the content creation pipeline. The project will focus on natural environments (as opposed to urban scenes) and may combine multi-spectral imaging, wide-baseline stereo reconstruction and semantic scene analysis to obtain approximate procedural representations of natural scenes.
I am an environmental economist at UFZ - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany. I did my PhD (Dr. rer. pol.) in environmental economics at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2017. Before that, I received my master’s (2013; economics) and bachelor’s degrees (2010; cultural studies) from the same university.
My research focus is on the economic analysis of agri-environmental policy instruments as means to navigate ecosystem service trade-offs in multifunctional landscapes. In this context, I am particularly interested in identifying policy instruments and instrument mixes allowing to align societal preferences with biophysical potential of landscapes to provide multiple ecosystem services. Here, the mutual relationship between regulatory and incentive-based instruments is of much interest. Using agent-based modelling, but also more qualitative approaches, I look at the emerging landscape-level patterns that result from various policy mixes given realistic descriptions of farmers’ behaviour and institutional settings.
Ms. Stringfellow is a PhD candidate whose goal is to identify ways to build and leverage the natural support systems of people who are experiencing problems related to their illicit drug use. Her current interest is in how these support systems operate in small towns with limited formal resources for quitting. To that end, she recently began conducting in-depth qualitative interviews for her dissertation in a semi-rural county in eastern Missouri. These interviews will be used to build an agent-based model, a type of dynamic simulation modeling that can be used to represent heterogeneous actors with multiple goals and perceptions. As a research assistant and dissertation fellow with the Social System Design Lab, she has also been trained in system dynamics, an aggregate-level dynamic simulation modeling method.
Prior to joining the PhD program, she worked as a research associate at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program from 2008-2012. BHCHP is an exemplar model of providing patient-centered care for people who have experienced homelessness. There, she gained significant experience in managing research projects, collecting qualitative and quantitative data, and program evaluation. She earned her MSW from the University of Michigan in 2007, with a focus on policy and evaluation in community and social systems, and a BA in sociology in 2005, also at the University of Michigan. Ms. Stringfellow was born and raised in a small town in Michigan.
My research centers on isolating how and to what extent political institutions themselves shape policy. I use computational modeling (agent-based and simulation) to gain theoretical leverage on the issue. This approach allows me to place groups of actors with given preferences into different institutional settings in order to gauge the effect of the rules of the game on political outcomes. Most of my research examines the ways in which legislative processes affect issues of political economy, such as income redistribution.
Sae Schatz, Ph.D., is an applied human–systems researcher, professional facilitator, and cognitive scientist. Her work focuses on human–systems integration (HSI), with an emphasis on human cognition and learning, instructional technologies, adaptive systems, human performance assessment, and modeling and simulation (M&S). Frequently, her work seeks to enhance individual’s higher-order cognitive skills (i.e., the mental, emotional, and relational skills associated with “cognitive readiness”).
My research is focused on understanding the importance of spatial and temporal environmental variability on communities and populations. The key question I aim to address is how the anthropogenic impacts, such as disturbances of individual animals or changed landscape heterogeneity associated with climate changes, influence the persistence of species. The harbour porpoise is an example of a species that is influenced by anthropogenic disturbances, and much of my research has focused on how the Danish porpoise populations are influenced by noise from offshore constructions. I use a wide range of modelling tools to assess the relative importance of different sources of environmental variation, including individual-based/agent based models, spatial statistics, and classical population models. This involves development of computer programs in R and NetLogo. In addition to my own research I currently supervise three PhD students and participate in the management of Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University.
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.
Dissertation: Narrative Generation for Agent-Based Models
Abstract: This dissertation proposes a four-level framework for thinking about having agent-based models (ABM) generate narrative describing their behavior, and then provides examples of models that generate narrative at each of those levels. In addition, “interesting” agents are identified in order to direct the attention of researchers to the narratives most likely to be worth spending their time reviewing. The focus is on developing techniques for generating narrative based on agent actions and behavior, on techniques for generating narrative describing aggregate model behavior, and on techniques for identifying “interesting” agents. Examples of each of these techniques are provided in two different ABMs, Zero-Intelligence Traders (Gode & Sunder, 1993, 1997) and Sugarscape (Epstein & Axtell, 1996).