Friday, February 13, 2009

Computational Social Science

I came across an interesting idea from the SimSoc mailing list sent by Professor Nigel Gilbert, about crowdsourcing a book on computational social science. See below for the email message:

Sage will be publishing a four volume set on Computational Social Science in Spring 2010. This four volume set will reprint the key articles in the emerging field of computational social science. It will include:

· the hard-to-find classic papers that first signalled the potential of the computational approach;

· a selection of influential examples of computational social science from a wide range of social science disciplines, including economics, sociology, geography, political science, social psychology, anthropology and archaeology, and business and management; and

· contributions on the methodology of computational social science, including comparisons with other approaches.

Computational social science is here defined as the use of computational models (so including all forms of simulation, but not, for example, equation-based models).

The set will include approximately 80 articles. The great majority will be either articles originally published in academic journals, or as chapters from edited collections derived from conferences. They will be divided into sections, each with a brief introduction.

You can help with selecting the 80 articles (no complete books or lengthy reports). The articles proposed so far can be found in a CiteULike group at:

You can add your suggestions, and comment on the items already proposed. Everyone who contributes or comments has a chance of winning a free copy of the four volume set (worth about £500, $1000, €750). The winner will be selected at random before the date of publication from those who have participated.

This is quite an interesting experiment and if nothing else the page should provide a useful reference for those interested computational social science. For example, the often overlooked Sakoda (1971) Checkerboard Model of Social Interaction is mentioned and many more articles which I have found useful in understanding and exploring computational social science.

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