Bruce Edmonds

Bruce Edmonds
Manchester Metropolitan University | MMU · Centre for Policy Modelling

PhD (UoM) Philosophy of Science, BA (Oxon) Mathematics

About

238
Publications
34,594
Reads
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5,782
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
2141 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
September 2010 - August 2015
Manchester Metropolitan University
Position
  • Social Complexity of Immigration and Diversity
Description
  • agent, simulation, immigration, simplification, social science, complexity, real world
Position
  • Philosophy of Knowledge module of the Masters of Research
Education
February 1993 - December 1999
The University of Manchester
Field of study
  • Philosophy of Science
October 1979 - July 1983
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Mathematics

Publications

Publications (238)
Article
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The effects of repression on dissent are debated widely. We contribute to the debate by developing an agent-based model grounded in ethnographic interviews with dissidents. Building on new psychology research, the model integrates emotions as a dynamic context of dissent. The model moreover differentiates between four repression types: violence, st...
Chapter
Vital to the increased rigour (and hence reliability) of Agent-based modelling are various kinds of model comparison. The reproduction of simula- tions is an essential check that models are as they are described. Here we argue that we need to go further and carry out large-scale, systematic and persistent model comparison – where different models o...
Conference Paper
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This paper accompanies the workshop on "New Tools or New Research Culture? Towards an Integration First approach to modelling social-environmental systems," and details the outcomes of a small scale workshop at The James Hutton Institute on "Modular, Integrated Agent-Based Social-Ecological Modelling." The latter workshop was predicated on the long...
Article
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A model of mutual influence is presented where the structure of individual’s beliefs and the social structure both matter. The model thus combines processes of belief change base on Thagard’s (Behav Brain Sci 12:435–467, 1989) theory of mental coherence with plausible processes of social network change. This combination of cognitive and social proc...
Article
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The Overview, Design concepts and Details (ODD) protocol for describing Individual- and Agent-Based Models (ABMs) is now widely accepted and used to document such models in journal articles. As a standard- ized document for providing a consistent, logical and readable account of the structure and dynamics of ABMs, some research groups also find it...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a dramatic loss of lives worldwide, challenging the sustainability of our health care systems, threatening economic meltdown, and putting pressure on the mental health of individuals (due to social distancing and lock-down measures). The pandemic is also posing severe challenges to the scientific community, with sch...
Article
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How one builds, checks, validates and interprets a model depends on its 'purpose'. This is true even if the same model code is used for diierent purposes. This means that a model built for one purpose but then used for another needs to be re-justified for the new purpose and this will probably mean it also has to be rechecked , re-validated and may...
Chapter
Scientific modelling can make things worse, as in the case of the North Atlantic Cod Fisheries Collapse. Some of these failures have been attributed to the simplicity of the models used compared to what they are trying to model. MultiAgent-Based Simulation (MABS) pushes the boundaries of what can be simulated, prompting many to assume that it can u...
Article
The theme and key ideas behind the special issue are discussed, in particular the terms: “ethnocentrism” and “diversity.” It picks out three very influential simulation models in this area, pointing out that these are at the abstract end of the simulation spectrum, thus not strongly related to any data and overinterpreted by many subsequent readers...
Article
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Socio-Ecological Systems (SESs) are the systems in which our everyday lives are embedded, so understanding them is important. The complex properties of such systems make modelling an indispensable tool for their description and analysis. Human actors play a pivotal role in SESs, but their interactions with each other and their environment are often...
Article
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Ethnocentrism denotes a positive orientation toward those sharing the same ethnicity and a negative one toward others. Previous models demonstrated how ethnocentrism might evolve intergenerationally (vertically) when ethnicity and behavior are inherited. We model short-term intragenerational (horizontal) cultural adaptation where agents have a fixe...
Chapter
This chapter describes an approach commonly taken by most people in the social sciences when developing simulation models instead of following a formal approach of specification, design and implementation. What often seems to happen in practice is that modellers start off in a phase of exploratory modelling, where they don’t have a precise concepti...
Chapter
How one builds, checks, validates and interprets a model depends on its ‘purpose’. This is true even if the same model is used for different purposes, which means that a model built for one purpose but now used for another may need to be rechecked, revalidated and maybe even rebuilt in a different way. Here we review some of the different purposes...
Chapter
The chapter begins by briefly describing two contrasting simulations: the iconic system dynamics model publicised under the Limits to Growth book and a detailed model of first millennium Native American societies in the southwest of the United States. These are used to bring out the issues of abstraction, replicability, model comprehensibility, und...
Chapter
After an introduction, the abstract idea of evolution is analysed into four processes which are illustrated with respect to a simple evolutionary game. A brief history of evolutionary ideas in the social sciences is given, illustrating the different ways in which the idea of evolution has been used. The technique of Genetic Algorithms (GA) is then...
Chapter
This chapter looks at some of the ways things can go wrong when mathematical or computational models are applied to inform policy on important issues. It looks at some of the pitfalls in the model construction and development phase, including choosing assumptions, the effect of ‘theoretical spectacles’, oversimplified models, not understanding mode...
Book
This volume examines all aspects of using agent or individual-based simulation. This approach represents systems as individual elements having their own set of differing states and internal processes. The interactions between elements in the simulation represent interactions in the target systems. What makes this "social" is that it can represent a...
Article
In this chapter, we discuss the consequences of complexity in the real world together with some meaningful ways of understanding and managing such situations. The implications of such complexity are that many social systems are unpredictable by nature, especially when in the presence of structural change (transitions). We shortly discuss the proble...
Conference Paper
Many previous societies have killed themselves off and, in the process, devastated their environments. Perhaps the most famous of these is that of “Easter Island”. This suggests a grand challenge: that of helping discover what kinds of rationality and/or coordination mechanisms might allow humans and the greatest possible variety of other species t...
Chapter
This chapter looks at the modelling of cognition in social simulation with respect to its context-dependency. After making some conceptual clarifications, it briefly reviews existing attempts to include context-like elements into social simulations. It then proposes a principled way, using cognitive context, of integrating machine learning and reas...
Chapter
Social Contexts are specific types of recognised social situation for which specific norms, habits, rules, etc. are developed over time. The unconscious and embedded nature of these make them difficult to change – becoming deeply entrenched over time. How cultures relate can be effected, in detail, on whether contexts in one culture are identified...
Article
Consciously or otherwise people decide what to do bearing in mind what they think is acceptable/unacceptable to others around them. These standards of acceptability can be called social norms. Thus, the idea of social norms lies at the heart of sociology—how individual behaviour is constrained by (the individual’s view of) the expectations of other...
Chapter
Understanding the phenomena that we summarise as “social norms” is difficult, and the reasons for the difficulty go to the heart of the social sciences. It may turn out that some social phenomena might be understandable independently of the particularities of human cognition that in some sense some patterns of social behaviour would be common to di...
Conference Paper
Checking the network generated by a simulation against network data from the system being simulated holds out the promise of a fairly-strong validation. However, this poses some challenges. The nature of this task and its attended challenges are here discussed, and the outlines of a method for doing this sketched. This is illustrated using a synthe...
Chapter
Full-text available
We consider the problem of finding suitable measures to validate simulated networks as outcome of (agent-based) social simulations. A number of techniques from computer science and social sciences are reviewed in this paper, which tries to compare and ‘fit’ various simulated networks to the available data by using network measures. We look at sever...
Chapter
A structure for analysing narrative data is suggested, one that distinguishes three parts: context, scope and narrative elements. This structure is first motivated and then illustrated with some simple examples taken from Sukaina Bhawani’s thesis. It is hypothesised that such a structure might be helpful in preserving more of the natural meaning of...
Book
This book explores the view that normative behaviour is part of a complex of social mechanisms, processes and narratives that are constantly shifting. From this perspective, norms are not a kind of self-contained social object or fact, but rather an interplay of many things that we label as norms when we ‘take a snapshot’ of them at a particular in...
Article
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This article provides an overview of the social simulation approach to the study of social phenomena. We focus especially on the relevance of heterogeneity of social behavior and dynamics and the complex interplay of agent behavior and social structure. The article identifies the peculiarities and the explanatory achievements of this approach and t...
Article
It is argued that given the “anti-anthropomorphic” principle—that the universe is not structured for our benefit—modelling trade-offs will necessarily mean that many of our models will be context-specific. It is argued that context-specificity is not the same as relativism. The “context heuristic”—that of dividing processing into rich, fuzzy contex...
Book
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(Excerpts from the Introduction: "Eastern European Political Cultures and the Need for Explanation. The Look from Inside", by Camelia Florela Voinea "This volume presents several independent modeling studies on political culture: political attitudes, behaviors, values, normative systems, and action decision making. The authors who have contributed...
Article
Some issues and varieties of computational and other approaches to understanding socially embedded phenomena are discussed. It is argued that of all the approaches currently available, only agent-based simulation holds out the prospect for adequately representing and understanding phenomena such as social norms.
Article
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This chapter reviews the purpose and use of models from the field of complex systems and, in particular, the implications of trying to use models to understand or make decisions within complex situations, such as policy makers usually face. A discussion of the different dimensions one can formalise situations, the different purposes for models and...
Chapter
Why Read This Chapter? To get an overview of the different ways in which simulation can be used to gain understanding of human societies and to gain insight into some of the principle issues that impinge upon such simulation, including the difficulties these cause. The chapter will go through the various specific goals one might have in doing such...
Article
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The Living Earth Simulator (LES) is one of the core components of the FuturICT architecture. It will work as a federation of methods, tools, techniques and facilities supporting all of the FuturICT simulation-related activities to allow and encourage interactive exploration and understanding of societal issues. Society-relevant problems will be tar...
Chapter
Why Read This Chapter? To get to know some of the issues, techniques and tools involved in building simulation models in the manner that probably most people in the field do this. That is, not using the “proper” computer science techniques of specification and design, but rather using a combination of exploration, checking and consolidation. Abstra...
Chapter
To understand some of the background and motivation for the handbook and how it is structured.
Chapter
Full-text available
Why Read This Chapter? To learn about techniques that may be useful in designing simulations of adaptive systems including Genetic Algorithms (GA), Classifier Systems (CS) and Genetic Programming (GP). The chapter will also tell you about simulations that have a fundamentally evolutionary structure – those with variation, selection and replications...
Article
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This position paper proposes a vision for the research activity about sustainability in global environmental change (GEC) taking place in the FuturICT flagship project. This activity will be organised in an “Exploratory”, gathering a core network of European scientists from ICT, social simulation, complex systems, economics, demographics, Earth sys...
Article
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The FuturICT project seeks to use the power of big data, analytic models grounded in complexity science, and the collective intelligence they yield for societal benefit. Accordingly, this paper argues that these new tools should not remain the preserve of restricted government, scientific or corporate élites, but be opened up for societal engagemen...
Article
Full-text available
The FuturICT project seeks to use the power of big data, analytic models grounded in complexity science, and the collective intelligence they yield for societal benefit. Accordingly, this paper argues that these new tools should not remain the preserve of restricted government, scientific or corporate elites, but be opened up for societal engagemen...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a generic methodology and architecture for developing a novel conversational intelligent tutoring system (CITS) called Oscar that leads a tutoring conversation and dynamically predicts and adapts to a student’s learning style. Oscar aims to mimic a human tutor by implicitly modelling the learning style during tutoring, and perso...
Article
A simulation model that represents belief change within a population of agents who are connected by a social network is presented based on Thagard's theory of explanatory coherence. In this model there are a fixed number of represented beliefs, each of which are either held or not by each agent. These are conceived of existing against a background...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Turing Test (TT) checks for human intelligence, rather than any putative general intelligence. It involves repeated interaction requiring learning in the form of adaption to the human conversation partner. It is a macro-level post-hoc test in contrast to the definition of a Turing Machine (TM), which is a prior micro-level definition. This rais...
Article
Context is everywhere in the human social and cognitive spheres but it is often implicit and unnoticed. However, when one is involved in trying to understand and model the social and cognitive realms context becomes an important factor. This paper is an analysis of the role and effects of context on social simulation and a call for it to be squarel...
Article
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Some research papers on the topic of agent based simulation of complex social systems representing different responses to the severe challenge that complex social systems pose are presented. Troitzsch's paper on interactions in human social systems proposes a framework for the formalization of messages and communications. Giardini and Conte argue t...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper describes an adaptive online conversational intelligent tutoring system (CITS) called Oscar that delivers a personalised natural language tutorial. During the tutoring conversation, Oscar CITS dynamically predicts and adapts to a student’s learning style. Oscar CITS aims to mimic a human tutor by using knowledge of learning styles to ada...
Article
The notion of quality is analysed for its functional roots as a social heuristic for reusing others’ quality judgements and hence aiding choice. This is applied to the context of academic publishing, where the costs of publishing have greatly decreased, but the problem of finding the papers one wants has become harder. This paper suggests that inst...
Article
This briefly reviews some philosophy of science that might be relevant to simulating the social processes of science. It also includes a couple of examples from the sociology of science because these are inextricable from the philosophy.
Article
Full-text available
Science is the result of a substantially social process. That is, science relies on many inter-personal processes, including: selection and communication of research findings, discussion of method, checking and judgement of others' research, development of norms of scientific behaviour, organisation of the application of specialist skills/tools, an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents an adaptive online intelligent tutoring system called Oscar which leads a tutoring conversation and dynamically predicts and adapts to a student’s learning style. Oscar aims to mimic a human tutor by using knowledge of learning styles to adapt its tutoring style and improve the effectiveness of the learning experience. Learners...
Article
This book addresses possible applications of computer simulation to theory building in management and organizational theory. The key hypothesis is that modelling and computer simulation provide an environment to develop, test and articulate theoretical propositions. In general, computer simulation provides an experimental environment where research...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents Oscar, a conversational intelligent tutoring system (CITS) which dynamically predicts and adapts to a student’s learning style throughout the tutoring conversation. Oscar aims to mimic a human tutor to improve the effectiveness of the learning experience by leading a natural language tutorial and modifying the tutoring style to...
Conference Paper
Intelligent tutoring systems are computer learning systems which personalise their learning content for an individual, based on learner characteristics such as existing knowledge. A recent extension to ITS is to capture student learning styles using a questionnaire and adapt subject content accordingly, however students do not always take the time...
Article
There are considerable difficulties in the way of the development of useful and reliable simulation models of social phenomena, including that any simulation necessarily includes many assumptions that are not directly supported by evidence. Despite these difficulties, many still hope to develop quite general models of social phenomena. This paper a...
Article
Full-text available
In marketing there are (at least) two separate worlds of knowledge: information about consumers (from surveys, panel data, etc.) and information about purchase decisions (from aggregate sales data and similar). Relating these two worlds is difficult because the consumer views cannot be easily traced to a part of the sales data (or vice versa) -- th...
Article
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Cooperation has long been an enigma in the life and social sciences. A possible explanation for the phenomenon is the recently developed idea of strong reciprocity in which agents altruistically reward those that cooperate and altruistically punish those ...
Article
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The original publication is available at http://www.springer.com/ To what extent can social structure result from evolutionary processes as popposed to being deliberately organised? To begin to answer this questions five different but releated social simulations are reviewed, and a map of which mechanisms might results in what structures under what...
Article
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This paper summarises work within an interdisciplinary collaboration which has explored different approaches to modelling complex systems in order to identify and develop common tools and techniques. We present an overview of the models that have been explored and the techniques that have been used by two of the partners within the project. On the...
Article
The idea of noise is now widespread in many fields of study. However to a large extent the use of this term is unexamined. It has become part of the practice of science without entering to a significant extent as part of its explicit theory. Here I try to produce a clearer and more coherent account of the term. I start with a picture of noise from...
Article
Full-text available
Finding suitable analysis techniques for networks generated from social processes is a difficult task when the population changes over time. Traditional social network analysis measures may not work in such circumstances. It is argued that agent-based social networks should not be constrained by a priori assumptions about the evolved network and/or...
Conference Paper
Finding suitable analysis techniques for networks generated from social processes is a difficult task when the population changes over time. Traditional social network analysis measures may not work in such circumstances. It is argued that agent-based social networks should not be constrained by a priori assumptions about the evolved network and/or...
Chapter
Full-text available
I claim that to pass the Turing Test over any period of extended time, it will be necessary to embed the entity into society. This chapter discusses why this is, and how it might be brought about. I start by arguing that intelligence is better characterized by tests of social interaction, especially in open-ended and extended situations. I then arg...
Article
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The objectives of this paper are to define and classify different types of errors and artefacts that can appear in the process of developing an agent-based model, and to propose activities aimed at avoiding them during the model construction and testing phases. To do this in a structured way, we review the main concepts of the process of developing...
Article
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The paper considers the problem of how a distributed system of agents (who communicate only via a localised network) might achieve consensus by copying beliefs (copy) from each other and doing some belief pruning themselves (drop). This is explored using a social simulation model, where beliefs interact with each other via a compatibility function,...
Article
Full-text available
Computational simulations of social phenomena are becoming increasingly common. They embody theories or descriptions concerning such phenomena – varying from abstract analogy down to computational description. However how the simulations algorithm causes the resultant behaviour can itself be only an hypothesis – one that can only be disconfirmed as...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper contributes to the debate about governance behaviour in on-line communities, particularly those associated with Open Source. It addresses evidence of normative self- regulation by analysing the discussion pages of a sample of Wikipedia Controversial and Featured articles. It was assumed that attempts by editors to influence one another w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper summarises work within an interdisciplinary collaboration which has explored different approaches to modelling complex systems in order to identify and develop common tools and techniques. We present an overview of the models that have been explored and the techniques that have been used by two of the partners within the project. On the...
Article
Full-text available
bruce@edmonds.name, norling@acm.org} As far as the laws of Mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality (Albert Einstein 1) We discuss the implications of emergence and complexity for the engineering of MAS. In particular, we argue that while formalisms may play a role in specifica...
Article
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The mechanisms/abilities of agents compared to the emergent outcomes in three different scenarios from my past work is summarised: the El Farol Game; an Artificial Stock Market; and the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. Within each of these, the presence or absence of some different agent abilities was examined, the results being summarised here - some...
Chapter
When selecting work team members several behavioral components concur. In this chapter we are interested in investigating the effects of these components in terms of team selection, agent aggregation and performance of groups. A computational model, together with a theoretical approach and the results of two human experiments where subjects interac...
Article
The simulation of social behavior in a variety of domains is an increasingly important technological tool. A reference survey of social simulation work, Social Simulation: Technologies, Advances and New Discoveries comprehensively collects the most exciting developments in the field. Drawing research contributions from a vibrant community of expert...