Biomathematics / Computational Biology Colloquium

Agent-Based Computational Modeling and Generative Social Science

Speaker: Joshua M. Epstein, Department of Epidemiology, New York University

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1314

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 12:30 p.m.


Epstein will discuss recent advances in agent-based computational modeling, including his Agent_Zero, a theoretical entity whose observable behavior results from the interaction of distinct emotional, deliberative, and social modules, each grounded in contemporary cognitive neuroscience. As such, Agent_Zero is an alternative to the rational actor, which has dominated mathematical social science since Nash. When multiple Agent_Zeros interact, they collectively generate a wide range of macroscopic social dynamics, some of which are far from optimal. Epstein is populating large-scale models with cognitively plausible agents in this family, including hybrid Computational Fluid Dynamics / ABM models, and large-scale epidemic models, which he will display. He will conclude with a discussion of fertile directions and foundational challenges for agent-based generative social science.