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.

05 July, 2016

Sad to announce the death of Rosaria Conte

I have just heard that Rosaria Conte passed away last night after a long fight with cancer. Rosaria was one of the founders of the field of social simulation, arguing for the importance of representing cognitive aspects and the impact of immerence (the impact of society upon the individual). She was very active in encouraging the field, a warm person who was always willing to discuss and argue issues out in an impassioned but friendly manner.

for more about her see: http://labss.istc.cnr.it/people/rosaria-conte

 A picture of me and Rosaria in 2008 at ISTC in Rome, pictured with my Grandson's 'Class Teddy'


04 July, 2016

Review of "The Aqua Book: Guidance on Producing Quality Analysis for Government"

In JASSS at http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/19/3/reviews/7.html

This reviews the useful work done by government modellers in developing standards for policy analysis, and well as discusses it within the context of how policy actors 'use' policy models and modellers.

09 June, 2016

Welcome to Shaheen Syed...

...who is a new Marie-Curie Early Stage Researcher, as part of the SAF21 ITN project.

Shaheen Syed

Thesis: Text Analytics for the 21st Century Fisheries


Since the 90s, it has been well-known that unstructured and semi-structured data constitute up to 90% of an organization’s data volume. The unprecedented growth of the Web and social media since then has only further increased the relative amount of unstructured and semi-structured data.

A great way to analyze this largely unstructured textual data is text analytics. Techniques such as sentiment analysis and named entity recognition are heavily being used in all sorts of research institutions and private companies. It enables the extraction of opinions on a given subject, create structured data from unstructured data, uncover other types of potential wealth and a lot more. It is a relatively new field of study and some amazing insights have already been found in e.g. Economics or Biology once they adopted text analytics.

My PhD research is aimed at implementing text analytics techniques into the fisheries domain as a whole. That is, we are investigating to what extent text analytics can be applied within the fisheries domain to gain more in-depth knowledge about fisheries and its e.g. stakeholders by utilizing quantitative computer science text mining techniques such as natural language processing and machine learning. A high degree of emphasis is placed on the investigation of different methods belonging to the same technique. This makes the various studies somewhat more explorative. However, some emphasis is placed on the predictive power of text analytics for the fisheries domain in the final stages of this PhD.

Slides from the workshop on the "Simulation of fisheries and coastal fisheries"

This workshop happened on the 6/7th June 2016, Manchester Metropolitan University.  The presentations were:
  • Anthony Charles (Saint Mary’s, Canada) “Fisheries as Systems” (slides)
  • Francois Bastardie (DTU, Denmark) “Towards holistic simulation of economic performance and impacts on fish stocks of alternative marine spatial plans with emphasis on fishermen micro-decision-making” (slides)
  • John Theodorou (TEI, Greece) “The massive fish kills effects to the Mediterranean coastal communities: The human responses in Greece to a Chatonella sp. toxic bloom (Maliakos Gulf, Aegean Sea) and to an anoxic upwelling episodes (Amvrakikos Gulf, Ionian Sea).” (slides)
  • Volker Grimm (UFZ, Germany) “Structural realism and theory development in agent-based models addressing practical problems” (slides)
  • Ernesto Carrella (Oxford, UK) “A generic fishery policy simulator” (slides)
  • Mike Bithel (Cambridge, UK) “Imposing fishing pressure data on a global individual-based ecological model” (slides)
  • Attila Lazar (Southampton, UK) “Assessing future environmental, livelihood and poverty changes in coastal Bangladesh: an integrated framework” (slides)
  • Richard Taylor (SEI, Oxford, UK) “Piloting ‘local’ fishery models with stakeholders on the South Kenya Coast. What did we learn?” (slides)
  • Steven Saul (ASU, US) “The interaction of fisher behaviour and fish population dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico: what can an agent-based model inform us about this relationship and its effect on stock assessment.
Information about the workshop website can be found at: http://ssfcm.wordpress.com