Considering Cultural Complexity in Agent-based Modelling, Cologne, 23-24 October 2015

Our colleagues in Cologne have put forward an interesting observation. They argue that most of the current ABMs in archaeology ignore the cultural dimension of human systems and instead treat agents behaviour in a mechanistic way. This has been a common criticism of economic models with their strong assumptions of rationality and perfect knowledge of the agents their model. However, I believe (tell me if I’m wrong), the lack of cultural complexity is raised for the first time in the context of humanities research.

If you find it an interesting food for thought, a two-day get together for researchers working on cultural complexity and agent-based modelling is organised in Cologne 23-24th October 2015 (see the event abstract below). The Call for Papers closes on 14th August. For more details see: http://abmculture.uni-koeln.de/index.html

Agent-based modeling can be used in a multitude of ways by researchers and teams with different scientific backgrounds all around the globe. With this workshop we intend to provide an opportunity to discuss the role of culture in agent-based modeling. Therefore we would like to invite to join the workshop the researchers whose work is based on the assumption that human beliefs and behavior are not caused solely by physical conditions and individual experiences but also by transmitted knowledge shaped in historical and social processes. We want culture to be understood in a broad sense, so that we can discuss a variety of concepts of culture and its current or potential use in agent-based modeling.

Image source: WikiMedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cologne_-_Panoramic_Image_of_the_old_town_at_dusk.jpg

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One thought on “Considering Cultural Complexity in Agent-based Modelling, Cologne, 23-24 October 2015”

  1. That sounds exciting. A new frontier for complex systems? In my experience ABMs become very quickly very complex. Memory for example can create interesting effects, or the use of networks. Cultural transmission, however, will definitely add another layer of complexity … and hopefully raises the biological relevance of ABMs in the field.

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