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History of social simulations

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This is one segment of a talk where I presented the history of computational social science:
* The origins of computer simulations.
* The trouble to publish computational studies in the 1960s.
* The peak enthusiasm for computer simulations after "Limits of Growth"
* The precursors of social-media data science in the 1980's

Published in: Science
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History of social simulations

  1. 1. P Holme, F Liljeros, Mechanistic models in computational social science, Front. Phys. 3, 78 (2015).
  2. 2. Origins of computer simulation 1940’s
  3. 3. The Monte Carlo project 1940’s
  4. 4. The Monte Carlo project 1940’s 66257108**2 4390004360523664 00436052**2 190141346704
  5. 5. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography 1950’s
  6. 6. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  7. 7. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  8. 8. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  9. 9. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  10. 10. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  11. 11. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  12. 12. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  13. 13. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  14. 14. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  15. 15. Early soc. sci. sim. Geography Hägerstrand T, 1965. A Monte Carlo approach to diffusion. Eur. J. Sociol., 6, pp 43-67. 1950’s
  16. 16. Early soc. sci. sim. OP res. Jennings NH, Dickins JH. Computer simulation of peak hour operations in a bus terminal. Management Sci. (1958) 5:106–20. 1950’s
  17. 17. Why computer simulations?
  18. 18. Why computer simulations? It’s nothing new Simulation may be traced back to the beginning of time—be it the make-believe world of the child at play, or the adult make-believe world of the stage. Harry Harman, 1961 one should realize that a computer is, in principle, nothing more than a desk calculator and a note pad Gilbert & Hammel, 1966 1960’s
  19. 19. Why computer simulations? It’s nothing new Simulation may be traced back to the beginning of time—be it the make-believe world of the child at play, or the adult make-believe world of the stage. Harry Harman, 1961 one should realize that a computer is, in principle, nothing more than a desk calculator and a note pad Gilbert & Hammel, 1966 1960’s
  20. 20. Why computer simulations? To facilitate causal reasoning breaking down the code in appropriate blocks and linking them by mechanisms corresponding to the real system can help researchers to reason about cause and effect Gullahorn & Gullahorn, 1965 1960’s
  21. 21. Why computer simulations? To do experiments otherwise impossible Before the computer program we had no satisfactory approach to huge, complex, ill-defined systems difficult to grapple with Colman, 1965 1960’s
  22. 22. Why computer simulations? As proof-of-concept models One of the advantages of computer simulation is this one, of guaranteeing sufficiency and completeness. The computer simulation model will not operate if you forget anything. Feigenbaum, 1963 1960’s
  23. 23. Why computer simulations? Forecasting and scenario testing following the Club of Rome’s Limits to growth, several proposals of “whole Earth simulation” 1970’s
  24. 24. Social media data science Rice & Borgman, 1983. The use of computer‐ monitored data in information science and communication research. Advantages of “CSS”: • Automated collection • Unobtrusive collection of accurate data • Full census and network data • Longitudinal data • Automated experiments 1980’s
  25. 25. Social media data science 1980’s

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