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Digital Brown Bag Lecture: Agent-Based Modeling and Historical Simulation

The Center for Digital Humanities will present another lecture in the Digital Brown Bag series on Wednesday, October 23rd at 12:30pm. The lecture will be given by Professor Michael Gavin and is titled: Agent-Based Modeling and Historical Simulation.


Complete information as provided by the Center for Digital Humanities is as follows:

Please join in two days as Mike Gavin (English, USC) discusses his current research using Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) to explore how publishing and censorship worked (or might have worked!) in eighteenth-century England.

As an introduction to this research project, Mike writes, "Unlike text mining, topic modeling, and social-network analysis, which apply quantitative analysis to already existing text corpora, ABM creates a simulated environment and measures the interactions of individual agents within that environment. Like video games, agent-based models simulate rule-bound behaviors and generate outcomes based on those rules. However, unlike most games, where the "procedural rhetoric" of the game "persuades" users (Bogost), ABM does not depend on human interaction, but can be run many times with changing variables. Researchers can alter the parameters of agent behavior and compare how different models generate different outcomes. In the fields of ecology, economics, and political science, ABM has been used to show how the behaviors of individual entities—microbes, consumers, and voters— collectively alter large emergent phenomena. ABM offers a promising new way to approach long-standing humanistic questions, such as how literary genres change over time, how publics form and transform, how consumer markets influence authors, how ideologies move across national boundaries, or how family structures affect reading practices."

This presentation should be of interest to folks all across the digital humanities continuminium, especially those studying intellectual or literary history or humanities applications of gaming. Coffee and cookies will be served.

When: Wednesday, October 23rd at 12:30pm

Where: Mezzanine Conference Room (Top Floor) – Thomas Cooper Library