Sackler Colloquia banner

Adaptive Agents, Intelligence and Emergent Human Organization: Capturing Complexity through Agent-Based Modeling

Organized by Brian J.L. Berry, L. Douglas Kiel, and Euel Elliott

October 4-6, 2001
Irvine, CA

Meeting Overview
Stephen Hawking has noted that the twenty first century will be the century of complexity. For much of the twentieth century social science has emulated the statistical methodologies of the natural sciences. While this has enhanced social science it has fallen short of capturing the complexity of the social realm. Gross macro behavior has been emphasized at the cost of neglecting the important element of individual human decisions. New models of adaptive agents may serve as a needed corrective that helps integrate individual behavior and social interaction in ways that improve social theory and inform public policy.

The purpose of this colloquium is to explore the adaptive agent models and, in so doing, to force reexamination of current social theory and encourage rethinking of the processes by which human organization emerges.

A dominant theory in current social science is that of rational choice founded on the assumption that humans are economic actors maximizing their utility via "rational" calculation of cost/benefit ratios. Agent-based modeling raises serious questions concerning the application of the rational choice model to human economic actors. Increased knowledge in this arena is particularly salient due to the expansion of the rational choice model beyond economics, into the fields of political science and sociology.

Social science generally assumes that social organization evolves from a top-down hierarchical system of culture and norms that serves to shape individual behavior. Agent-based modeling enhances our understanding of the critical role of the interactions of individuals as generators of emergent social organization. The assumption of hierarchical social structure, a foundation of the social sciences since the Enlightenment, is questioned by the emergent organization evidenced by simulations of adaptive agents.

One of the inherent weaknesses of traditional social science is the intractable nature of social complexity. Adaptive agents methods are likely to become the foundations of modeling and simulation that may help to resolve many of the problems of complexity and help in the development of policy tools that provide enhanced insight into the likely effects of policy action.

Topics to be Covered

Implications of Agent-Based Modeling for Understanding Human Rationality and Learning
Cooperation and Competition as Factors in Emergent Human Organization
Economic Agents and Markets as Emergent Phenomena
Agent-Based Modeling as Organizational and Public Policy Simulators
Platforms and Methodologies for Enhancing the Social Sciences through Agent-Based Simulation

Day 1:

Session I: Implications of Agent-Based Modeling for Understanding Human Rationality and Learning Moderator: Rosaria Conte

Short Memory Traders and Their Impact on Group Learning in Financial Markets
Blake LeBaron, Brandeis University

Why Decentralized Systems are Hard to Understand and How Their Inhabitants Make Sense of Them
Susanne Lohmann, UCLA

Foundations of New Social Science: Realism, Complexity, Dynamics, Agent-Based Models
Bill McKelvey, UCLA

Session II: Cooperation and Competition as Factors in Emergent Human Organization
Joshua Epstein, Moderator

Competition among Cooperators: Altruism and Reciprocity
Peter Danielson, University of British Columbia

A Multi-Stage, Competition Model for Emerging Complexity in Human Societal Organization
Dwight Read, UCLA

Reinforcement Learning and Cooperation in Social Dilemmas
Michael Macy, Cornell University

Modeling Civil Violence: An Agent-Based Computational Approach
Joshua Epstein, Brookings Instritute

Session III: Economic Agents and Markets as Emergent Phenomena
Leigh Tesfatsion, Moderator

Modeling the Stylized Facts in Finance through Complex Adaptive Systems
Cars Hommes, University of Amsterdam

Software Agents and the Information Economy
Jeffrey Kephart, IBM

Trust and Cooperation in the USA and Japan
Yoshimichi Sato, Cornell University & Tohoku

Equilibration and Principles of Equilibration in Laboratory Experimental Markets
Charles Plott, California Institute of Technology

Day 2:

Session IV: Agent-Based Modeling as Organizational and Public Policy Simulators
Robert Lempert, Moderator

Computational Organization Theory: A New Frontier
Kathleen Carley, Carnegie Mellon University

Agent Based Modeling as a Means of Understanding Extinct Social Behavior
George Gumerman, University of Arizona

Policy Analysis from First Principles
Scott Moss, University of Manchester, UK

Session V: Platforms and Methodologies for Enhancing the Social Sciences through Agent-Based Simulation
Nigel Gilbert and Steven Bankes, Moderators

Promise and Peril of General Purpose Platforms for Agent-Based Computational Modeling
Robert Axtell, The Brookings Institution

Agent Based Methodologies for the Social Sciences: The Example of Operational Risk Management
Eric Bonabeau, Icosystem Corporation

Modeling Geopolitics with Agent-based Modeling in Repast
Lars-Erik Cederman, Harvard University

Overcoming Design and Development Challenges in Agent-Based Modeling Using Ascape
Mario Inchiosa, Biosgroup, Inc.

Powered by Convio
nonprofit software