Tag Archives: publications

February update

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I’ve just been sent a preview of the cover for my book, now due to be released in early March — so get your pre-orders in now!

Or don’t, it’s open-access and you can just download a PDF for free when it comes out.  I’ll post here again once it releases for real.

In other news:

  • Our team submitted a funding proposal for a cross-disciplinary network focused on the use of agent-based modelling for designing complex public health interventions
  • I contributed to another proposal, part of which will use ABM to study environmental and policy changes that might encourage more people to take up walking and cycling rather than driving
  • We’re working on a position paper for the public health crowd, to clear up some misconceptions and concerns about the use of ABM in health research
  • Another paper is in the works on a free simulation platform under development
  • Last but by no means least, John Bryden and I have a really exciting paper under review at the moment — watch this space!

I’m also excited about our ongoing work modelling social care provision in Scotland — we’ve just hit a major development milestone.  We’re planning to submit a paper on this first stage in March, and follow that up with further development of the model with help from social care experts here in Glasgow and in Stirling.  We’ll soon start producing  detailed documentation for the model — I’ll post some of those details here in the next month or two.


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My book will be released soon — and it will be open-access

Good news, open science fans — my upcoming book from Springer is now in editing/typesetting, and on track for a spring release under a Creative Commons with Attribution licence.  This means you can download, share, adapt and modify the work however you see fit, so long as you cite the original and link to a copy of the licence.

I have to take a moment here to thank the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, my new home, for supporting open science and widening the audience of this book.

Springer is keen to get this moving along so they’ve put up a website for the book here!   You can even pre-order it, if you want.

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Alife XV Presentation

I’ve been attending Alife XV all week in extremely hot and sweaty Cancun, Mexico.  Yesterday I gave a talk on my paper with Nic Geard and Ian Wood titled Job Insecurity in Academic Research Employment: An Agent-Based Model.

I really enjoyed giving the talk — I spent a great deal of time beforehand thinking about how to introduce the work in proper context, and in the end I felt it worked reasonably well.  I had some great questions which raised important points that we’ll be taking into account in the next iteration of the model.  I’ve had a number of colleagues share their enthusiasm about the topic since the talk, so I’m really pleased and hopeful this work will keep advancing.

Thinking about the feedback I received, I think the most important next step is to develop the competitive funding aspects of the model in more detail:

  • Instead of an optimistic world with research funding that scales with population, have a pot of funding which grows at a slower rate, leading to a gradually more selective competitive process
  • Test possible implementations of more varied grants — larger/smaller grants which can produce more postdocs, grants of a longer duration, etc.
  • Possibly too ambitious for the near future, but implementing a system of teaching quality/student funding which also requires time allocation from the agents would be an interesting direction to take this

I’ve uploaded the presentation slides, and the final published paper is available here.  The full Alife XV Proceedings volume is available open-access via MIT Press.

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Alife XIV Proceedings now published!

The conference proceedings for Alife XIV, which I will be attending in late July/early August in NYC, are now online and available for free download.  Do take a look and read some intriguing and inspiring papers to get you in the mood for the summer academic conference season.  Enjoy!

Thanks to Hiroki Sayama and MIT Press for making these proceedings open-access, as well.  I’m very happy to be part of a conference and a community that is so committed to making science free and open to all.

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Paper forthcoming in Demographic Research (again!)

Yes, we have another paper coming soon, this one with a rather methodological/philosophical bent, called Quantifying Paradigm Change in Demography.  This was a collaborative piece of work with eminent French demographer Daniel Courgeau and philosopher of science Robert Franck (check out their 2007 book) focused on the development of a new research paradigm in the field of demography.

Demography is a field with a long history, dating back to the 17th century.  In those 350 years, we have seen the field progress through a series of paradigmatic shifts, from early efforts in period analysis through to more modern efforts in multilevel modelling and microsimulation.  Most recently, we have seen a great deal of interest in agent-based simulation techniques, which many hope will allow demography to uncover the ‘micro-macro link’ — the processes by which individual behaviours produce higher-level social complexity.

In this paper we analyse the demographic literature to delineate when these changes occurred and uncover how the field itself has evolved in response to new challenges.  This started as a side-project within an ongoing research effort, intended for Population and Development Review, and blossomed into a separate piece of research.

This paper was accepted shortly before Christmas, and just a few days ago we submitted the final version, which will be edited and published in late February/early March.

Next the four of us will be submitting both that paper for PDR and a short paper for the upcoming agent-based modelling workshop in Leuven in September.

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Paper published in JASSS!

Very excited to say that my paper with several close Care Life Cycle Project colleagues is now available in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, an excellent free and open-access journal focusing on the simulation of social systems.

Our paper is called When Demography Met Social Simulation: A Tale of Two Modelling Approaches and presents a proof-of-concept model linking agent-based simulation with statistical demographic modelling.  Please cite widely 🙂

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New papers submitted to Chaire Quetelet 2013

I’m excited to be involved in the upcoming Chaire Quetelet 2013, a seminar focusing on changes in the field of demography over the last 50 years and how we see the field changing in the next 50.  Many well-known faces from the field will be present for the discussion — some speaking in English, others speaking in French! — and it will certainly be a stimulating and challenging forum.

I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on two papers for the seminar with Daniel Courgeau, Robert Franck, and Jakub Bijak.  We’ve recently submitted the final papers and you can access them in PDF form here:

Quantifying paradigm change in demography

Are the four Baconian Idols still alive in demography?

Feel free to download, ponder and send your comments!  They’re available on my ResearchGate and Academia.edu pages as well.

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Demographic Research paper is out!

Our paper for the journal Demographic Research just came out today!  After months of hard work it’s so satisfying to see it out there, and we love Demographic Research — they’re open-access too, so feel free to download to your heart’s content and spread it widely.

Next up will be our paper for the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation; the final version has been submitted to the editor so it won’t be long now.  Always good to have these things done; now we’re able to move on to the next paper!


Presenting at JSM 2013, Montreal

This August I’ll be presenting a paper at JSM 2013 in Montreal.  This piece of work is a joint effort by Jakub Bijak, Jason Hilton and myself, titled Statistical versus Agent-Based Demography: Bridging the Gap with Gaussian Process Emulators (click the link to see the abstract).

This conference will be, shall we say, rather enormous.  There are apparently more than 6,000 statisticians due to attend (!), and given that I’m not a statistician myself, I suspect I’m in for some challenging questions.

I’m also ashamed to admit that this will be my first-ever visit to Canada, despite the fact that I spent a significant chunk of my life growing up in Pennsylvania, just slightly to the south.  I’m looking forward to visiting our northern friends — my only regret is that my visit falls well outside of hockey season, which is by far the best sport, and I’ve little doubt Canadians are by far the best people to watch it with.  Ah, well — gives me an excuse to go back another time!  I’ll have to make do with my NHL Gamecenter Live subscription until then.

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Paper accepted to ECMS 2013

I’ve just had a paper accepted to the European Conference on Modelling and Simulation 2013 which is being held from 27-30 May in Ålesund, Norway.  The paper is titled Simulating the Cost of Social Care in an Ageing Population and was written by myself, Jason Hilton, Jason Noble, and Jakub Bijak.  We were accepted to the Policy Modelling track, so I’m hoping for some interesting feedback from other researchers who may be working on projects aimed at health and social care.

The reviews were very positive on the whole, so we’re pleased about that!  Corrections are still to come before the paper enters the Proceedings, but in the meantime you can find the submitted draft here.

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