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Communications, Travel and Social Networks since 1840: A Study Using Agent-based Models Supervisors: Nigel Gilbert, Richard Harper Lynne Hamill Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "Communications, Travel and Social Networks since 1840: A Study Using Agent-based Models Supervisors: Nigel Gilbert, Richard Harper Lynne Hamill Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communications, Travel and Social Networks since 1840: A Study Using Agent-based Models Supervisors: Nigel Gilbert, Richard Harper Lynne Hamill Centre for Research in Social Simulation University of Surrey, UK Microsoft Summer School, June 2010

2 2 Outline Communication & travel Computational sociology Results Doing a PhD

3 3 Overview Key idea: The more we communicate, the more we travel. Approach: Person-to-person social communication Interaction of transport, communication & social networks Three case studies Communication & travel

4 : Mail & rail Communications & travel

5 : Phones & cars Communications & travel

6 : Digital age Communications & travel

7 7 General model: adoption Adoption of a new mode of communication depends on availability affordability skills social networks Communications & travel

8 8 General model: use (1) A new mode of communication affects communication use in four ways: Social solidarity effect Communication substitution New practices Global village effect Communications & travel

9 9 General model: use (2) A new mode of communication affects travel in three ways Travel substitution effect Travel complementarity effect Travel communications effect Communications & travel

10 10 Sociology Computational sociology Study of society Individuals & society –the micro-macro problem Emergence & complexity Strogatz (1994): …linear systems can be broken down into parts. Then each part can be solved separately and finally recombined to get the answer. But many things in nature dont act in this way. Whenever parts of a system interfere, or cooperate, or compete, there are nonlinear interactions going on. Most of everyday life is nonlinear.

11 11 Computational sociology

12 12 Agent-based models Two components Environment: –representing social space Agents: who interact with one another and the environment –representing individuals or households, with characteristics that can change over time Computational sociology

13 13 Examples Computational sociology ModelResults

14 14 Key results Demand for communications and travel generated from social networks. The importance of literacy Same model with different parameters can reproduce adoption of mobiles and internet Internet differs from previous communication modes because in enables new contacts Results

15 15 Forecasts: 2021 Texting: –two-thirds higher compared to 2007 Internet: –Personal networks 15% larger –2½ times more online links than in 2007 Results

16 16 Tips Stay focussed Take supervisors advice Dont underestimate the time needed for the end game Enjoy it! Doing a PhD

17 17 Thank you Lynne Hamill Centre for Research in Social Simulation University of Surrey, UK


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