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

14 November, 2012

A hands-on introduction to Agent-Based Modelling for Social Scientists: Exploring Complex and Dynamic Social Processes

A hands-on introduction to Agent-Based Modelling for Social Scientists:
Exploring Complex and Dynamic Social Processes


Thursday 28 February - Friday 1 March 2013
Basement Computer Lab, Humanities Bridgeford Street , University of Manchester

The Institute for Social Change, the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research and the Centre for Policy Modelling will be running a 2-day introduction to agent-based simulation. This workshop is funded by a grant from the methods@manchester initiative. The course is free to attend and will be suitable for people without any experience of computer programming, but is particularly aimed at post-graduate social researchers, e.g. PhD students, post-docs, lecturers.

This workshop will introduce participants to the modelling of dynamic social processes, such as group membership, influence, imitation, collaboration and innovation, through a series of agent-based simulations.

See the methods@manchester methods pages for an introduction to Social Simulation and Agent-Based Modelling (http://www.methods.manchester.ac.uk/methods/abss).

Participants will gain understanding of the simulation of social processes by exploring working simulation models and by adapting these models to describe different types of process. It will give participants a first-hand experience of complexity science including the ideas of emergence, self-organisation, chaos, ‘lock in’ and dynamic systems. We will also consider the limitations and difficulties of such techniques, and how they complement more traditional approaches in the social sciences.

This will be a largely hands-on course, exposing participants to a series of simulation models in the NetLogo simulation language. It will include: brief introductions, simplified example models, guided suggestions for interacting with them and assistants to help when you get stuck. There will be some summary sessions to bring out the lessons learnt and additional materials to guide participants onto the next steps of working with simulations.

Booking form at: http://www.methods.manchester.ac.uk/events/2013-02-28/