Computational Modeling of Complex Socio-Technical Systems - # 17-621/17-821

Instructor: Dr. Kathleen M. Carley
Units: 12.0


Course Description

How likely is an intervention like social distancing to save lives? Will a law legislating sanctions against social media platforms that spread disinformation stop the spread? We live and work in complex adaptive and evolving socio-technical systems where questions such as these arise constantly. Questions such as these are often only addressable through computational modeling, i.e., through simulation. Simulation models are a critical method for understanding how to adaptation and learning will change the status-quo. Computational modeling can be used to help analyze, reason about, predict the behavior of, and possibly control complex human systems of "networked" agents. Using simulation it is possible to advance theory, test policies before enacting them, and think through non-linear social effects.

This course is about computer-based simulation. Students learn how to design, analyze, and evaluate computational models. Students will gain experience with: 1) both agent-based modeling and system dynamics modeling; 2) designing and running virtual experiments with a simulation model; 3) validating simulation models. Additional topics covered include, relation of AI and simulation, cognitive simulation models, modeling frameworks, model docking, and hybrid models.

Auxiliary Readings

Previously taught courses