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.

20 June, 2018

New Paper in RS Open Science: "Computational modelling for decision-making: where, why, what, who and how"

Computational modelling for decision-making: where, why, what, who and how

by Muffy Calder, Claire Craig, Dave Culley, Richard de Cani, Christl A. Donnelly, Rowan Douglas, Bruce Edmonds, Jonathon Gascoigne, Nigel Gilbert, Caroline Hargrove, Derwen Hinds, David C. Lane, Dervilla Mitchell, Giles Pavey, David Robertson, Bridget Rosewell, Spencer Sherwin, Mark Walport, Alan Wilson

Published: 20 June 2018. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.172096 Royal Society Open Science

Abstract

In order to deal with an increasingly complex world, we need ever more sophisticated computational models that can help us make decisions wisely and understand the potential consequences of choices. But creating a model requires far more than just raw data and technical skills: it requires a close collaboration between model commissioners, developers, users and reviewers. Good modelling requires its users and commissioners to understand more about the whole process, including the different kinds of purpose a model can have and the different technical bases. This paper offers a guide to the process of commissioning, developing and deploying models across a wide range of domains from public policy to science and engineering. It provides two checklists to help potential modellers, commissioners and users ensure they have considered the most significant factors that will determine success. We conclude there is a need to reinforce modelling as a discipline, so that misconstruction is less likely; to increase understanding of modelling in all domains, so that the misuse of models is reduced; and to bring commissioners closer to modelling, so that the results are more useful.

This is a summary of the UK Government's Blackett report: "Computational Modelling: Technological Futures"

Available at: http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/5/6/172096 (Open Access)

Citation:

09 June, 2018

New Journal: Socio-Cognitive Systems

Frank Dignum and I have started this new journal, which we will edit. The reason for this is that we feel that the cognitive and the social need to be studied together. That is both cognitive processes and social processes explicitly represented in the same simulations/systems. Much of human cognition is fundamentally social and makes no sense away from its social context. Much social phenomena can only occur (and thus be understood) when there is sufficient cognitive hooks (e.g. context-sensitivity or face recognition). Thus we hope to focus and stimulate research which does not just look at one side (cognitive or social) with only a nod to the other, but integrates the two aspects and understands them together.

More details about the journal can be found at: http://www.springer.com/42419

27 April, 2018

2nd Edition of "Simulating Social Complexity" is out

The second edition of the handbook Simulating Social Complexity, edited by Bruce Edmonds and Ruth Meyer, has now been published by Springer and is available as a hardcover or eBook (on Springer Link).

This volume examines all aspects of using agent or individual-based simulation to investigate social systems. Social systems include all those systems where the components have individual agency but also interact with each other. This includes human societies, all kinds of groups, and increasingly socio-technical systems where the internet-based devices form the substrate for interaction. These systems are central to our lives, but are among the most complex known. The complexity often makes analytic approaches infeasible but, on the other hand, natural language approaches are also inadequate for relating intricate cause and effect. This is why individual and agent-based computational approaches hold out the possibility of new and deeper understanding of such systems.

This second edition adds new chapters on different modelling purposes and applying software engineering methods to simulation development. Revised existing content of other chapters keeps the book up-to-date with recent developments. This volume will help those new to the field avoid “reinventing the wheel” each time, and give them a solid and wide grounding in the essential issues. It will also help those already in the field by providing accessible overviews of current thought. The material is divided into four sections: Introduction, Methodology, Mechanisms, and Applications.

For a preview and the complete table of contents see:
                      http://www.springer.com/978-3-319-66948-9

19 March, 2018

CfP: workshop on "Socio-Cognitive Systems: Computational and Formal models" @FAIM2018, Stockholm July 2018


******************************************************************************CALL 

CALL FOR PAPERS

Socio-Cognitive Systems: Computational and Formal models

A Workshop @ FAIM2018 (Federated AI Meeting which includes AAMAS, ICML, ICCBR and SoCS)
Stockholmsmässan, Stockholm July 9-19. 2018

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Important dates:

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 Deadline for submissions:               1 May 2018
 Notification of acceptance:              25 May 2018
 Camera-ready copy of papers:        15 June 2018
 Workshop:                                         14 or 15 July 2018
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Much of AI only makes sense within the social systems they are embedded. In the real world these social systems in their turn are created and maintained by the people and thus their cognitive abilities.
In this workshop, we want to explore the interactions between cognitive and social aspects of so-called socio-cognitive systems. The workshop connects elements of IJCAI/ECAI, AAMAS and ICML. Of course, modelling these systems in terms of Multi-Agent Systems seems intuitive, but would require special attention to the social concepts in these MAS. The cognitive abilities of the agents should adapt themselves to the social context and development, which connects this area to machine learning in a social context.

The topics of the workshop include but are not limited to:

  • Social norms, conventions and practices
  • Institutions
  • Social networks and their dynamics
  • Group recognition and membership
  • Development of (social) 
  • IdentityStatus and power relations
  • Plan coordination
  • Social agency
  • Social adaptation
  • Social self-regulation
  • The construction of social reality
  • Complex negotiations
  • Agreed naming and reference
  • Cultural coherence
  • Foundations of Communication
  • The construction and coordination of complex value-chains
  • Enculturation
  • Co-development of social context


SCS welcomes high-quality research that goes beyond looking at social aspects of individual cognition or the properties of individuals in social systems and seeks to truly integrate these two layers. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary research, work that seeks to tackle areas that have been ignored before and novel approaches to relating the cognitive and the social. We are agnostic about the kind of approach or tools used, but favour approaches with an identifiable empirical or computational/formal content - both systems constructed for a particular goal in mind and models of observed or theoretical systems. However, the aim is to give new insights - into social science, cognitive science and Artificial Intelligence - merely formalising or implementing a system is not enough. We welcome contributions from a wide range of standpoints as long as this does not involve an effective reduction to only the individual or social levels.
Papers will undergo the normal review process and are selected on the basis of quality. However, when choices have to be made we will try to spread the accepted papers over the main themes of the workshop. Interesting ideas are more important in this respect than detailed results on fringe topics.

A selection of the best papers of the workshop will be considered for a special issue of the new Springer journal on Socio-Cognitive Systems.

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Formatting guidelines:

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We encourage participants to submit a paper (15 pages max), describing their work on one or more of the topics mentioned above. All non-presenting participants will need to submit a one-page position statement which presents their view on socio-cognitive systems relative to (one of) the workshop topics.

All submissions must include the author's name(s), affiliation, complete mailing address, phone number, fax number and email address. Please use the LNCS format for formatting your paper.

All accepted submissions and position statements will be published in the workshop proceedings.

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Submission procedure:

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Submissions should be submitted through the EasyChair system:
 (https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=scs18) in PDF format. 

The deadline for receipt of submissions is 1 May 2018. Papers received after this date will not be reviewed.

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Workshop Organizers

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1          Frank Dignum, Utrecht University,The Netherlands 
2          Bruce Edmonds, Manchester Metropolitan University ,UK

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Program Committee (to be confirmed):

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1.            Melania Borit
2.            Amit Chopra
3.            Edmund Chattoe-Brown    
4.            Stephen Cranefield
5.            Kristen Dautenhahn
6.            Gert-Jan Hofstede
7.            Wander Jager        
8.            Catholijn Jonker
9.            Yoshi Kashima
10.         Victor Lesser
11.         Emiliano Lorini       
12.         Stacy Marsella
13.         John-Jules Meyer   
14.         Rui Prada   
15.         Javier Vazquez Salceda
16.         Munindar Singh
17.         Pawel Sobkowicz
18.         Wamberto Vasconcelos
19.         Harko Verhagen
20.         Nanda Weijermans

26 May, 2017

Computational Models of Ethnocentrism and Diversity

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

June 6-7th, Manchester.

Final Call for Participation

Presentations + Panels + discussion. Come and join in!

Registration is FREE (includes coffee + lunch) but you need to register if you are coming.

For full programme, speaker bios and registration see:
(Note: registration has now been re-opened!)