Complex Adaptive Systems An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life

ISBN-10: 0691127026

ISBN-13: 9780691127026

Edition: 2007

List price: $39.95
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Description: This book provides the first clear, comprehensive, and accessible account of complex adaptive social systems, by two of the field's leading authorities. Such systems--whether political parties, stock markets, or ant colonies--present some of the most intriguing theoretical and practical challenges confronting the social sciences. Engagingly written, and balancing technical detail with intuitive explanations, Complex Adaptive Systems focuses on the key tools and ideas that have emerged in the field since the mid-1990s, as well as the techniques needed to investigate such systems. It provides a detailed introduction to concepts such as emergence, self-organized criticality, automata, networks, diversity, adaptation, and feedback. It also demonstrates how complex adaptive systems can be explored using methods ranging from mathematics to computational models of adaptive agents. John Miller and Scott Page show how to combine ideas from economics, political science, biology, physics, and computer science to illuminate topics in organization, adaptation, decentralization, and robustness. They also demonstrate how the usual extremes used in modeling can be fruitfully transcended.

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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 3/25/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Introduction
Introduction
Complexity in Social Worlds
The Standing Ovation Problem
What's the Buzz?
Stay Cool
Attack of the Killer Bees
Averaging Out Average Behavior
A Tale of Two Cities
Adding Complexity
New Directions
Complex Social Worlds Redux
Questioning Complexity
Preliminaries
Modeling
Models as Maps
A More Formal Approach to Modeling
Modeling Complex Systems
Modeling Modeling
On Emergence
A Theory of Emergence
Beyond Disorganized Complexity
Feedback and Organized Complexity
Computational Modeling
Computation as Theory
Theory versus Tools
Physics Envy: A Pseudo-Freudian Analysis
Computation and Theory
Computation in Theory
Computation as Theory
Objections to Computation as Theory
Computations Build in Their Results
Computations Lack Discipline
Computational Models Are Only Approximations to Specific Circumstances
Computational Models Are Brittle
Computational Models Are Hard to Test
Computational Models Are Hard to Understand
New Directions
Why Agent-Based Objects?
Flexibility versus Precision
Process Oriented
Adaptive Agents
Inherently Dynamic
Heterogeneous Agents and Asymmetry
Scalability
Repeatable and Recoverable
Constructive
Low Cost
Economic E. coli (E. coni?)
Models of Complex Adaptive Social Systems
A Basic Framework
The Eightfold Way
Right View
Right Intention
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration
Smoke and Mirrors: The Forest Fire Model
A Simple Model of Forest Fires
Fixed, Homogeneous Rules
Homogeneous Adaptation
Heterogeneous Adaptation
Adding More Intelligence: Internal Models
Omniscient Closure
Banks
Eight Folding into One
Conclusion
Complex Adaptive Social Systems in One Dimension
Cellular Automata
Social Cellular Automata
Socially Acceptable Rules
Majority Rules
The Zen of Mistakes in Majority Rule
The Edge of Chaos
Is There an Edge?
Computation at the Edge of Chaos
The Edge of Robustness
Social Dynamics
A Roving Agent
Segregation
The Beach Problem
City Formation
Networks
Majority Rule and Network Structures
Schelling's Segregation Model and Network Structures
Self-Organized Criticality and Power Laws
The Sand Pile Model
A Minimalist Sand Pile
Fat-Tailed Avalanches
Purposive Agents
The Forest Fire Model Redux
Criticality in Social Systems
Evolving Automata
Agent Behavior
Adaptation
A Taxonomy of 2 x 2 Games
Methodology
Results
Games Theory: One Agent, Many Games
Evolving Communication
Results
Furthering Communication
The Full Monty
Some Fundamentals of Organizational Decision Making
Organizations and Boolean Functions
Some Results
Do Organizations Just Find Solvable Problems?
Imperfection
Future Directions
Conclusions
Social Science in Between
Some Contributions
The Interest in Between
In between Simple and Strategic Behavior
In between Pairs and Infinities of Agents
In between Equilibrium and Chaos
In between Richness and Rigor
In between Anarchy and Control
Here Be Dragons
Epilogue
Interest in Between
Social Complexity
The Faraway Nearby
Appendixes
An Open Agenda For Complex Adaptive Social Systems
Whither Complexity
What Does it Take for a System to Exhibit Complex Behavior?
Is There an Objective Basis for Recognizing Emergence and Complexity?
Is There a Mathematics of Complex Adaptive Social Systems?
What Mechanisms Exist for Tuning the Performance of Complex Systems?
Do Productive Complex Systems Have Unusual Properties?
Do Social Systems Become More Complex over Time
What Makes a System Robust?
Causality in Complex Systems?
When Does Coevolution Work?
When Does Updating Matter?
When Does Heterogeneity Matter?
How Sophisticated Must Agents Be Before They Are Interesting?
What Are the Equivalence Classes of Adaptive Behavior?
When Does Adaptation Lead to Optimization and Equilibrium?
How Important Is Communication to Complex Adaptive Social Systems?
How Do Decentralized Markets Equilibrate?
When Do Organizations Arise?
What Are the Origins of Social Life?
Practices for Computational Modeling
Keep the Model Simple
Focus on the Science, Not the Computer
The Old Computer Test
Avoid Black Boxes
Nest Your Models
Have Tunable Dials
Construct Flexible Frameworks
Create Multiple Implementations
Check the Parameters
Document Code
Know the Source of Random Numbers
Beware of Debugging Bias
Write Good Code
Avoid False Precision
Distribute Your Code
Keep a Lab Notebook
Prove Your Results
Reward the Right Things
Bibliography
Index
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