17 Feb 2017

Discussion paper: "Co-developing beliefs and social influence networks – towards understanding Brexit"

Centre for Policy Modelling Discussion paper: CPM-17-235


A relatively simple model is presented where the beliefs of agents and their social network co-develop. Agents can either hold or not each of a fixed menu of candidate beliefs. Depending on their type, agents have different coherency functions between beliefs, so that they are more likely to adopt a belief from a neighbour or drop a belief where this increases the total coherency of their belief set. With given probabilities links are randomly dropped or added but, if possible, links are made to a “friend of a friend”. The outcomes when both belief and link change processes occur are qualitatively different from either alone, showing the necessity of representing both cognitive and social processes together. Some example results are shown which moves a little towards modelling the processes behind divisive collective decisions, such as the Brexit vote.


15 Feb 2017

Slides from talk on "Simulating Superdiversity"

#cfpm_org #abm #ethnosim
An invited talk to the Institute for research into superdiversity (IRIS), University of Birmingham, 31st Jan 2017.

Abstract: A simulation to illustrate how the complex patterns of cultural and genetic signals might combine to define what we mean by "groups" of people is presented. In this model both (a) how each individual might define their "in group" and (b) how each individual behaves to others in 'in' or 'out' groups can evolve over time.  Thus groups are not something that is precisely defined but is something that emerges in the simulation. The point is to illustrate the power of simulation techniques to explore such processes in a non-prescriptive way that takes the micro-macro distinction seriously and represents them within complex simulations. In the particular simulation presented, groups defined by culture strongly emerge as dominant and ethnically defined groups only occur when they are also culturally defined.

Slides available at: http://www.slideshare.net/BruceEdmonds/simulating-superdiversity

Linked to the upcoming workshop on simulating ethonocentrism and diversity, Manchester 7/8 July 2017: 

3 Jan 2017

Sad to announce the death of my mother, Anne Gillian Edmonds ("Gill") 1935-2016

My mother died on the 24th of December, 2016. 

She was a loving and effective mother to us four (Bruce, Juliet, Nicola and Malcolm), encouraging us all to be creative, independent and care about social concerns. This little 'wave' of people continues with her grandchildren: Thomas, Ruth, Duncan, Orlanda, Patsy, Sophie, Ben, Iona, Kaila, and Joshua and great-grandchild, William.

As well as raising us mob, she pursued an active career as a social worker for Oxfordshire district council (and in the last couple of years of her work, the RAF). She was an active campaigner on Green and development issues, bombarding David Cameron (her local MP) with letters on these issues before he became PM.  She contributed actively to local life in Burford, volunteering her effort in many ways.

She was a relentless autodidact, achieving an open university degree whilst bringing us up, and continuing on a variety of courses until the very last years of her life.  She spent several years effectively looking after my father as his dementia progressed.

A funeral service will be held at St John the Baptist Church, Burford, on 14th January at 11.00 a.m. All welcome. (Family Flowers only)

5 Dec 2016

The international spread of nursing staff on my mother's ward

Where the nursing and assistant staff on my mother's hospital ward come from.  Only 7 out of about 40 come from the UK. If we restrict immigration of such staff our hospitals will collapse. This is not good for the countries they come from, but it undoubtedly benefits us. Note that many of them come from the EU, especially Spain and Portugal.