Centre for Policy Modelling News

News from the Centre for Policy Modelling, including announcements of: new papers, special issues, books, workshops, projects, jobs and study opportunities.

29 January, 2017

Special issue of Scientometrics on "Simulating the processes of science, technology, and innovation"

The special issue edited by Katy Börner, Bruce Edmonds, Staša Milojević & Andrea Scharnhorst of Scientometrics on "Simulating the processes of science, technology, and innovation" is now out.
It is in Volume 110, Issue 1, January 2017 at: http://link.springer.com/journal/11192/110/1?wt_mc= and includes:
  • An Editorial by Katy Börner, Bruce Edmonds, Staša Milojević & Andrea Scharnhorst
  • "Agent-based simulation for science, technology, and innovation policy" by Petra Ahrweiler
  • "Creating impact in the digital space: digital practice dependency in communities of digital scientific innovations" by Sabine Brunswicker, Sorin Adam Matei, Michael Zentner, Lynn Zentner & Gerhard Klimeck
  • "Mapping technology space by normalizing patent networks" by Jeff Alstott, Giorgio Triulzi, Bowen Yan & Jianxi Luo
  • "What’s wrong with Science?" by David Chavalarias
  • "Towards the discovery of scientific revolutions in scientometric data" by Rogier De Langhe
  • "An efficient system to fund science: from proposal review to peer-to-peer distributions" by Johan Bollen, David Crandall, Damion Junk, Ying Ding & Katy Börner

26 January, 2017

Call for abstracts for a workshop on Computational Models of Ethnocentrism and Diversity

Call for abstracts

Workshop: Beyond Schelling and Axelrod - Computational Models of Ethnocentrism and Diversity

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
June 7th – 8th, 2017.

Workshop theme:

Ethnocentrism, a positive orientation towards those with the same ethnicity and a negative one towards others, is widely observed in human societies. Several seminal (computational agent-based) social simulation models show how interactions between individuals emerge aspects of ethnocentrism such as in-group bias based on ethnic markers (Hammond & Axelrod 2006); local cultural homogeneity combined with global polarisation (Axelrod 1997); and racial segregation (Schelling 1971). These models have influenced on-going research that inherits similar frameworks and assumptions.

The workshop will spotlight on-going work influenced by, or in response to, these modelling directions. In addition we welcome critical position statements and critiques of the assumptions that such models embody, as well as relevant empirical studies.

Important dates:

  • April 7th - abstract submission deadline (e-mail to dave@davidhales.com).
  • April 21st - acceptance notification.
  • June 7th & 8th - workshop event (two half-days: June 7th 1pm-5pm and
  • June 8th 9am-1pm).

Journal special issue:

After the workshop we plan to organise a special issue of a relevant journal on the subject of the workshop including articles based on the best presentations at the workshop. Also, depending on the outcome of the panels and discussion, we may coordinate a collective position / review article to accompany the special issue.


  • Bruce Edmonds, Manchester Metropolitan University (bruce@edmonds.name)
  • Laurence Lessard-Phillips, Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham (L.Lessard-Phillips@bham.ac.uk).
  • David Hales, Manchester Metropolitan University (dave@davidhales.com)
Further details can be found at: http://davidhales.com/ethnosim2017


Axelrod, R. (1997) The dissemination of culture - A model with local convergence and global polarization. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 4(2):203-226.
Hammond, R.A. & Axelrod, R. (2006). The evolution of ethnocentrism. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50(6):926-936.
Schelling, T.C. (1971). Dynamic models of segregation. Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 1:143-186

17 January, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Stefano Picascia!

Stefano Picascia had his viva today and passed with only some "minor typographical corrections" to do.  His thesis was on "Agent-based modelling of urban economic and cultural dynamics under the rent-gap hypotheses" which we will put up on the cfpm.org website as soon as it is visible again (Its working again but not showing outside the university for some reason).

05 October, 2016

Call for intentions to submit on "Beyond Schelling and Axelrod – The State of the Art of Simulation Models of Ethnocentrism and Diversity"

We are proposing a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS) on the topic "Beyond Schelling and Axelrod – The State of the Art of Simulation Models of Ethnocentrism and Diversity". In order to make this happen we need to list authors that express an intention to submit to such an issue. More details can be found in the document: http://cfpm.org/file_download/175/JEMS+invite.pdf

If you would like to support this, please send me an email (bruce@edmonds.name) with your: name, institution, country, and indicative title by *12th October 2016*!


01 October, 2016

Some Results of the SCID project: Staging Abstraction of Complex Simulations

One of the key ideas behind the "SCID project" http://cfpm.org/scid (Social Complexity of Immigration and Diversity) is that of starting with a simulation that reflects the evidence and what is known about the social model being modelled, however complex this makes it. *Then*, doing a simpler model of this complex model to get understanding of that model (and indeed models of the model of the complex model etc.). In this way we can stage abstraction rather than attempting it in one leap. This retains reference between the models, allows those doing the simplification free reign in what they simplify (under the constraint it has to match the significant results of the more complex model), and combines some of the advantages of rigour _and_ relevance.

This is described in three papers, one for each modelling stage (all Open Access):
Fieldhouse, E; Lessard-Phillips, L; and Edmonds, B. (2016) Cascade or echo chamber? A complex agent-based simulation of voter turnout. Party Politics. 22(2):241-256.  DOI:10.1177/1354068815605671
This describes a complex model of voter behaviour that includes all the processes thought to be relevant to whether people vote.  This is the first stage of abstraction from evidence and data to descriptive simulation. The model itself can be found and downloaded from http://www.openabm.org/model/4368
Lafuerza LF, Dyson L, Edmonds B, McKane AJ (2016) Staged Models for Interdisciplinary Research. PLoS ONE, 11(6): e0157261. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157261
(But please read the correction at the start since PLoS messed up the formatting and they don't fix the main paper after publication!_. A better formatted version is at: http://arxiv.org/abs/1604.00903)

This described the second stage of abstraction, from complex simulation to a simpler one that can be investigated more thoroughly. This reveals some hypotheses about the model that would not have otherwise have been discovered.
Lafuerza, LF, Dyson, L, Edmonds, B & McKane, AJ (2016) Simplification and analysis of a model of social interaction in voting, European Physical Journal B, 89:159. DOI:10.1140/epjb/e2016-70062-2
Describes a further simplification stage from simpler simulation model to analytic model.