Ian Wood - a phd student at ANU
I am doing research on is social simulation. In a nutshell, trying to
get a handle on the way a society (as in, millions of people)
collectively 'think'. The dynamics if culture, opinion, belief etc...
That's a pretty big area, with many very different aspects and
approaches. What I'm working on is computational models that can capture
at least some aspect of how such processes proceed. Again, that's
pretty big, and our technology and knowledge is simply not up to
tracking our societies in a particularly useful, even predictive way.
There are many challenges, and it feels a lot like we are only nibbling
at the edges. None the less, generally progress must be made at times by
small steps, and I feel that there is hope for useful if not wholly
updated 18 March 2011
My current work approaches the problem from 3 quite different directions:
- Mining communal artifacts on the web such as blogs and news.
- This is one of the greatest challenges here: how can we measure the thinking and feelings of a society, and what is it that we are measuring?
- Simple, tractable models:
- Exploring very simple models of cultural dynamics through simulation and statistical physics.
- Though such models are hardly realistic, the hope is to identify
aspects of the dynamics that are applicable in (at least parts of) more
- Complex, more realistic models:
- Exploring issues around design and construction of multiscale agent based models.
- Such models may be thought of as more realistic, but feeding
them with empirical evidence (with enough detail to justify the model)
and deciding how much complexity to include and in what circumstances
are significant challenges.
- A Vision and Agenda for Theory Provenance in Scientific Publishing. In Database Systems for Advanced Applications, pages 112-121, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009. pdf..
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
- (Non-) Equivalence of Universal Priors. In Solomonoff 85th Memorial Conference, 2011. pdf..