Thursday, October 31, 2019

Talk: Utilizing Agent-based Models and Open Data to Examine the Movement of People and Information

Earlier this month I was invited to give a talk as part the Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis Center (CINA) Distinguished Speaker Series. As readers of the blog might expect, I chose to talk about how open data (e.g. OpenStreetMap, Twitter) can be utilized in agent-based models to study a variety of applications (many of which can be found over on my research page). The talk itself was entitled: "Utilizing Agent-based Models and Open Data to Examine the Movement of People and Information: A Gallery of Applications." Below you can read the brief abstract of the paper and if this peaks your interest, CINA recorded my talk and highlighted (short) version  is given below (while the full talk can be found at:

Today we are awash with many new forms of open data (e.g. crowdsourced, social media), but we are still challenged with how individuals make decisions and how this leads to more aggregate patterns emerging. One way to explore how individuals make decisions, or are impacted by information and their resulting consequences, is via agent-based modeling. Agent-based modeling allows for simulating heterogenous actors and their decision-making processes within complex systems. Through a series of example applications ranging from the small-scale movement of pedestrians over seconds, to that of the movement of people over borders over hours and days, I will demonstrate how open data can be leveraged within the agent-based building process. Specifically, the examples will show that by focusing on individuals, or groups of individuals and the networks that connect them, more aggregate patterns emerge from the bottom up.

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