Anthro 179A. SOCIAL DYNAMICS AND SELF ORGANIZING SYSTEMS
Please use this syllabus on-line at http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/Anthro179a/SocialDynamics2001.htm

Douglas R. White Spring Quarter, 2001 › Course Code 60360 revised Mar-16-00
12:30 to 1:50: Tuesdays in SSL 145 and Thursdays in 155 SST (Computer Lab)
Office Hours: Tues/Th 11:00-12:00 and by Appt SSPA4169 x5893, x8495 (Lin 3175 SSPA)

Texts at the bookstore:

  • Theme 1 - 038798738X.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg (12707 bytes) How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organized Criticality - Per Bak. Amazon Price: $18.00. Usually ships within 2-3 days.
  • Theme 2 - 0691015678.01.LZZZZZZZ.gif (12707 bytes) The Complexity of Cooperation: Agent-Based Models of Competition and Cooperation - Robert M. Axelrod; 1997. Paperback - List Price: $17.12 - Amazon Price: $13.70. Usually ships in 24 hours.

    As approaches to social science, and the understanding of society and social dynamics, theories of complexity and evolutionary dynamics are explored through readings (many online) and practicum in the computer lab.› The key to complexity is internal diversity, which implies heterarchy: heterogeneity driving up-down processes that drive side-side interactions spawning further heterogeneity. Heterarchical systems are ubiquitous in nature and society. They require variably long time scales for the interactions among their diverse elements to unwind towards thermodynamic equilibrium. The unwinding of long-span (e.g., solar) systems fuels the wind-up of shorter-span (e.g., living) systems. Stacks of such complex systems comprise the universe - physical, biological, and social - as we know it. Within those stacks of interest to this course, we focus on the newly emergent sciences of complexity to study the principles of self-organization of social systems.

    In addition to readings on basic principles, students explore several current research approaches in the social sciences and focus on one for a class presentation and term paper.› Students with no computer expertise and those with such expertise are both encouraged to participate.› Students may work on the presentations and written projects either individually or in groups of up to 3. Guidance is provided for those who wish to do web site presentations.

    Dynamical simulation has become a key conceptual tool for the social sciences in understanding how the existing diversity of complex systems has evolved, and may continue to evolve, in the absence of rational planning or central direction. Implications for contemporary political and economic issues include benefits of decentralized evolutionary processes (and tacit/local versus formal/expert knowledge) resulting from innumerable local interactions among actors versus centralized processes where major actors dominate.

    Physicists speak to thermodynamic engine processes driving evolution as the unwinding of complex heterarchical systems (where equilibrium equates to death). Darwinian principles speak to how diversity is generated in biological systems through differential reproduction, speciation, and specialization. Evolutionary game theory speaks to how replicator dynamics lead to diverse trajectories, path dependencies, and stable outcomes other than those predicted by models of rational choice and economic equilibrium. Co-evolutionary approaches to complex adaptive systems and their environments open a host of ways that cooperativity can occur with population diversity that is not under direct selective pressure for adaptation.

    xeroxed reader

    Book/Article report assignment

    Readings and Discussions "Reader" refers to xeroxed reader for the class, above

    Week 1. Concepts and Features of Complexity and Social Dynamics

    Reader, Chapter 1. Invitation to an Enterprise
    Reader, Chapter 1. Robbins & Hassler, Kelso and Arthur - Systems analysis and strategies
    Read text: Axelrod, Introduction
    Browse: web links

    Week 2. Diversity and Adaptability: a Balinese Case Study

    Reader, Chapter 2. Balinese water temples - see: discussion by Jonathan Sepe
    Read text: Axelrod, Chs 1-2
    (Book/Article Report:) J. Stephen Lansing. 1991. Priests and Programmers: Technologies of Power in the Engineered Landscape of Bali. $17.95 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. HB99.5 .N67 1990
    (Book/Article Reports:) Kohler, Holland

  • Anthropology Simulations
  • Sociology Simulations

    Week 3. Evolving and Co-Evolving Systems

    Reader, Chapter 3. Evolutionary Formation, Cooperativity and Condensation (Birth, Maturation, Senescence)
    Read text: Axelrod, Chs 3-4
    (Book/Article Report:) Hutchins, Resnick / Johnson "Model" sections
    Pheleah Reyes chapter 3 book report on Resnick: Ants simulation

    Week 4. Problems of Co-Operativity and Dynamics of Organizations

    Reader, Chapter 4. Arthur; Wolpert
    Read text: Axelrod, Chs 5-6
    (Book/Article Report:) Kauffman 1995; Kauffman 2000 / BiosGroup

    Preview networks: Network Evolution of the Biotech Industry

    Week 5. Diversity and Uncertainty

    Read text: Per Bak, How Nature Works Chs 1-2, 6-7 (see critiques of Bak's SOC and extensions, of which DeVany is an example)
    Erin Tomlinson & Maree Vincent chapters 1 & 3 book report
    Reader, Chapter 5. Adamic and DeVany
    Read text: Axelrod, Ch 7
    (Book/Article Report:) Prietula and Carley / De Vany and Walls, Barabasi, Saari

    Preview homeokinetics: Inflationary Dynamics and Phase Transitions
    see: Physics of Phase Transitions Douglas R. White also: Principles of Phase Transition

    Week 6. Modeling Complex Adaptive Systems

    Read text: Per Bak, How Nature Works Chs 10-11
    Reader, Chapter 6. Modeling Adaptive Dynamics
    Simulations: Evolving Artificial Moral Ecologies - Theoretical Background - Notes - Simulations - Simulators predprey - Patch Simulator- instructions
    (Book/Article Reports:) Shelling; Skyrms; Brams; Alexrod / Holland

    Week 7. Social Networks and Social Simulations

    Reader, Chapter 7. Skyrms - dynamic model of network formation
    Read text: Axelrod, Introduction
    (Book/Article Report:) Watts / Barabasi, Skyrms, Powell et al.
    see links to: social networks
    The Electronic Small World Project take and report on the survey for extra credit - testfile@hotmail testfile
    Anthropological Simulations

    Week 8. Homeokinetics; Tues Discussions; Thurs Class Presentations

    Combining thermodynamic laws with multi-agent models: Velocity of trade phase transitions in economic organization
    see: Physics of Phase Transitions Douglas R. White
    Example: Inflationary Dynamics and Phase Transitions

    Week 9. Tues Thurs: Class Presentations and Discussions

    Tom Abel's Simulations by Shenin Mesdaghi

    see links to: multi-agent simulations

    Week 10. Tues Thurs: Class Presentations and Discussions


    Prison-Industrial Complex
    3rd World and AID
    Reciprocal Altruism

    see links to: evolutionary game theory

    yr 2000 web sites

    Social Networks: Pilipino Pre-health student organization by May Lansigan, Joshua Militante, Cornel Pascual, Nomar Sulit
    The Rise of American Culture by Eric Vega
    Complexity Theory and Teen Parenting by Vicky Grey

    recommended and collateral materials

    Browse: linkages longitudinal fieldsites

    Network explorations in Tierra, artificial life

    Skyrms (text). The Social Contract Emergent from Multi-Actor Interactions (see Evolutionary Game Theory by Jason Alexander) Social Dynamics and Rules of Interaction in the Contemporary Context (Postrel): Heterarchy in Networks

    Would-Be Worlds: How Simulation Is Changing the Frontiers of Science, by John L. Casti

    George B. Dyson, 1997. Chapter 10 (Self-Organizing Systems). Darwin among the machines. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

    For a synopsis of evolutionary theory in biology: John Maynard Smith and OĖrs Szathm∑ry. 1999. The Origins of Life.

    Also: Grobstein, Clifford. 1974 (2nd edition). The Strategy of Life. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.

    Tentative Conclusions for Better Approaches to Historical Complexity: SFI Report on Hayward Alken

    Global Politics, Common Culture and Sustainability: Robert Axelrod Builds Two New Models

    For math and computer background to complexity: The Computational Beauty of Nature : Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation by Gary William Flake. Amazon Price: $45.00

    Dynamic Patterns : The Self-Organization of Brain and Behavior (Complex Adaptive Systems) J. A. Scott Kelso. Paperback 1995 Amazon Price: $30

    review by Gert Korthof Kauffman At Home in the Universe. "The secret of life is auto-catalysis"

    (on-line articles)
    Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

    book reviews from JASSS:

    Chaos, Complexity, and Sociology: Myths, Models, and Theories, Edited by Raymond A. Eve, Sara Horsfall and Mary E. Lee. London: Sage Publications. 1997. Reviewed by Alan Dean.

    Barriers and Bounds to Rationality: Essays on Economic Complexity and Dynamics in Interactive Systems by Peter S. Albin, Edited by Duncan K. Foley. Princeton, NJ: Princeton thUniversity Press 1998. Reviewed by Roger A. McCain.

    Thought Contagion: How Belief Spreads through Society. Aaron Lynch. New York, NY: Basic Books. 1996. Reviewed by Paul Marsden.

    Social Science Microsimulation. Edited by Klaus G. Troitzsch, et al. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 1996. reviewed by Brendan Halpin.

    System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life. by Robert Jervis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 1997 reviewed by Scott E. Page.

    Boltzmann and Thermodynamics

    Iberall, Arthur, A characteristic 500-year process-time in cultural civilization, Comparative Civilization Review, 32: 146-162, Spring, 1995.

    Homeokinetics:

    Iberall, A. How to run a society, 6 parts, CP2: Commentaries, Physical and Philosophic, Laguna Hills, CA, 1.1-2.2, 1990-1991.Thermodynamics

     

    Complex Systems

    David Green's Complex Systems Virtual Library

    Yahoo's Complex Systems pages

    Complexity: applications some web links

    Agent Simulation/artificial life

    Chris Langdon

    Agent Simulation

    Brief Overview of Swarm Agent Simulation

    Agent-Based Computational Economics

    Adaptive Agent Simulation SANTA FE INSTITUTE

    Yahoo's Artificial Life pages

    ALife home page

    Anasazi Village Formation simulation

    Other Simulation

    Croatian Society for Computer Simulation Modelling

    Computer Simulation of Societies

    Game Theory

    Roger A. McCain Strategy and Conflict: An Introductory Sketch of Game Theory

    some notes and references

    Complexification: Explaining a Paradoxical World Through the Science of Surprise, by John L. Casti

    The Logics of Social Structure by Kyriakos M. Kontopolous $52.95+

    Computer Simulation: The Art and Science of Digital World Construction, by Paul A. Fishwick

    Networks in Action: Communication, Economics and Human Knowledge, by David Batten, John Casti, Roland Thord (Editor)

    Cooperation and Conflict in General Evolutionary Processes, by John L. Casti (Editor), Anders Karlqvist (Editor)