21 Aug 2018

Slides from my plenary "How social simulation could help social science deal with context"

An invited talk at Social Simulation 2018

This points out how context-sensitivity is fundamental to much human social behaviour, but largely bypassed or ignored in social science. I more formal social science, it is usual to assume or fit universal models, even if this covers a lot of different contexts. In qualitative social science context is almost deified, and any generalisation across contexts is passed on to those that learn from it. Agent-based modelling allows for context-sensitive models to be developed and hence the role of context explored and better understood. The talk discussed a framework for analysing narrative text using the Context-Scope-Narrative-Elements (CSNE) framework. It also illustrates a cognitive model that allows for context-dependent knowledge to be implemented wthin an agent in a simulation. The talk ends with a plea to avoid uncecessary or premature summarisation (using averages etc.).

Slides at: https://www.slideshare.net/BruceEdmonds/how-social-simulation-could-help-social-science-deal-with-context

15 Jul 2018

Slides from talk at MABS2018: "Mixing ABM and Policy ... what could possibly go wrong?"

Invited talk at 19th International Workshop on Multi-Agent Based Simulation at Stockholm on 14th July 2018.

Mixing ABM and Policy ... what could possibly go wrong?

This talk looks at a number of ways in which using ABM in the context of influencing policy can go wrong: during model construction, with model application and other.

It is related to the book chapter:
Aodha, L.Edmonds, B. (2017) Some pitfalls to beware when applying models to issues of policy relevance. In Edmonds, B. & Meyer, R. (eds.) Simulating Social Complexity - a handbook, 2nd edition. Springer, 801-822.
See the slides at: https://www.slideshare.net/BruceEdmonds/mixing-abm-and-policywhat-could-possibly-go-wrong

25 Jun 2018

Paper published in "Journal of Conflict Resolution": "Intragenerational Cultural Evolution and Ethnocentrism" by David Hales and myself

This #cfpm_org paper is suggestive of a process of cultural (horizontal) intragenerational processes of in-group favouritism and contrasts with Axelrod and Hammond's (2006) model of the (vertical) evolution of a fixed in-group preference.
Ethnocentrism denotes a positive orientation toward those sharing the same ethnicity and a negative one toward others. Previous models demonstrated how ethnocentrism might evolve intergenerationally (vertically) when ethnicity and behavior are inherited. We model short-term intragenerational (horizontal) cultural adaptation where agents have a fixed ethnicity but have the ability to form and join fluid cultural groups and to change how they define their in-group based on both ethnic and cultural markers. We find that fluid cultural markers become the dominant way that agents identify their in-group supporting positive interaction between ethnicities. However, in some circumstances, discrimination evolves in terms of a combination of cultural and ethnic markers producing bouts of ethnocentrism. This suggests the hypothesis that in human societies, even in the absence of direct selection on ethnic marker–based discrimination, selection on the use of fluid cultural markers can lead to marked changes in ethnocentrism within a generation.
Keywords tag-based cooperation, altruism, cultural evolution, in-group bias, ethnocentrism
This is open access and available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0022002718780481