Applying Agent-based Simulation Software and Sociological Theory to Decision Making


Past Workshop - Theoretical Frontiers in Modeling Identity and Conflict, November 8-9, 2008.

Social Theory and Social Computing: Steps to Integration, May 22-23, 2010, Ewa Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Waikiki.

The rise of the internet, both as a platform for social action and a rich source of social data, has turned computer science's focus increasingly to measuring, analyzing, and predicting social phenomena. However, the level of engagement between this work and the body of existing social science work leaves much to desired. While certain social science methodologies and formalisms have been adopted widely, social networks being by far the most notable, more disconnect is more generally noticeable than dialog and integration, By bringing together a group of prominent social scientists (themselves from different disciplines), computer scientists. and engineers who are studying similar kinds of social phenomena but generally do not move in the same academic circles, we hope to kick-start this interchange of ideas and to promote further interdisciplinary collaboration.

A more practical issue for social scientists is improving their access to the large and rising sums of funding for social research and analysis from non-traditional federal sources, as is typified by the Department of Defense's $50+ million per year Minerva Research Initiative. Much of this new social research funding has gone to projects that have little or no participation from social scientists themselves. Hence, another purpose of this workshop is to bring more social scientists into the "loop", and to provide them with a chance to learn more about opportunities to lend their expertise to these major new initiatives.

This workshop is second in a set of interdisciplinary workshops that are designed to bring together scholars in disparate academic disciplines whose theoretical and empirical concerns overlap, and whose work therefore has high potential for integration and scientific complementarity.

For the purpose of guiding and not constraining invitees, the workshop is divided into two subtopics:

  1. Behavioral Modeling and Individual Choice
  2. Sociocultural Measurement of Online Data

pdf iconDownload the CCPV Workshop Agenda

pdf iconDownload the CCPV Workshop Abstracts and Bios

pdf iconDownload Submitted Reflections on the Workshop

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The workshop is being organized by Sun-Ki Chai of the University of Hawaii under a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, see brochure. Confirmed participants include:

Name Presents Organization Department or School
Gürdal Arslan Design of Cooperative Systems University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Electrical Engineering
R. Kelly Aune Status on Research Testing Communicative Responsibility Theory University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Speech Communication
Sun-Ki Chai Integrating Social Science Theory and Methods into Social Computing: The CCPV Project Web Analyzer University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Sociology
David N. Chin Integrating Social Science Theory and Methods into Social Computing: The CCPV Project Web Analyzer> University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of Information and Computer Science
Dennis Chong Dynamic Public Preferences Northwestern University Department of Political Science
Herbert Gintis Modeling the Market Economy as a Complex Dynamical System: Implications for Financial Regulation Santa Fe Institute and Central European University Department of Economics
William Griffin Rules, Agents, Edges and Distributions: Requisite Components for Computational Social Science Models Arizona State University School of Social and Family Dynamics
Robert Hanneman Applying Modality and Equivalence Concepts to Pattern-Finding in Social Process-Produced Data University of California, Riverside Department of Sociology
Kunihiro Kimura Explaining a Marriage Paradox: Call for the Computer Simulation Studies Based on a Simple Mathematical Model Tohoku University Department of Behavioral Science
Klaus Krippendorff The Growth of Cyberspace and the Rise of Design Culture University of Pennsylvania School for Communication
Bing Liu Opinion Mining and Sentiment Analysis: NLP Meets Social Science University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Computer Science
Huan Liu Building a Social Media Tool for Sociological Studies Arizona State University School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering
Terence Lyons AFOSR Overview Air Force Office of Scientific Research Mathematics, Information and Life Sciences Directorate
Tony Mullen A Strife of Interests: Challenges for Sentiment Analysis of Informal Political Discourse Tsuda College Department of Computer Science
Anna Nagurney Network Design -- From the Physical World to Virtual Worlds University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Finance and Operations Management
Dana Nau Evolution of State-Dependent Risk Preferences in Social-Modeling Games University of Maryland Department of Computer Science
Kimberly Neuendorf Extending the Utility of Content Analysis via the Scientific Method Cleveland State University School of Communication
Bo Pang A Web of Opinions: Sentiment Analysis in the Context of Online Communities Yahoo! Yahoo! Research
David Sallach Modeling Trans-Scale Social Processes Argonne National Laboratory Decision and Information Sciences Division
Yoshimichi Sato Does Agent-based Modeling Survive in Sociology? Tohoku University Graduate School of Arts and Letters
Barry Silverman Toward an Extensible Repository of Socio-Cognitive Models: Challeneges for Synthesis University of Pennsylvania Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering
Joseph Woelfel Three Essays on the Interface between Computer Science and the Social Sciences: Rationality, Networks and Measurement University of Buffalo Department of Communication


Gürdal Arslan received Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in 2001. From 2001 to 2004, he was an Assistant Researcher in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles. In August 2004, he joined the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. His current research interests lie in the design of cooperative (multi-agent) systems using game theoretic methods. Recent applications of his research include autonomous resource allocation for mission planning, multi-sensor deployment, traffic management, and cooperative multi-user MIMO signaling in wireless communication systems. He is a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society and he received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award on Cooperative Systems Design - Stochastic Games Approach in May 2006.
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R. Kelly Aune is Professor and Chair of the Department of Speech at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. Dr. Aune teaches undergraduate courses in verbal and nonverbal communication, and graduate courses in message processing and research methods. His research focuses on issues of message processing, including inference-making, implicature, miscommunication, and deception. Currently Dr. Aune is conducting a series of studies testing his Theory of Communicative Responsibility which offers an explanation for variance in how direct or indirect communicators can be across situations, and how much implicature and inference-making they engage in.
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Sun-Ki Chai is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Hawai'i. He is principal investigator and project director for the Coherence-Based Modeling of Cultural Change and Political Violence (CCPV) project. He has a BS in Mathematical Sciences, an MS in Computer Science, and a PhD in Political Science, all from Stanford University. His main theoretical interests are the study of formal, computational models of culture, as well as their integration with choice-theoretic models of action and network models of structure. His main substantive interests are in international development, with more specific studies on the social construction of ethnic identity and its role in collective action and conflict, as well on the role of cultural institutions in the economic development of East Asian industrializing economies.

Dr. Chai is the author of the book Choosing an Identity: A General Model of Preference and Belief Formation (University of Michigan Press, 2001), characterized as "an incredibly ambitious book" and "an exciting and sophisticated view of decisions" by the American Journal of Sociology, and the co-editor of the book Culture and Social Theory (Transaction Publishers, 1998). He has published articles in journals in the disciplines of sociology, political science, and economics. He has received several extramural grants totalling about $2 million in the area of cultural and behavioral modeling. His website may be found at
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David N. Chin is a Professor of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Hawaii. He received his B.S. from M.I.T. and his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley where he developed UC, the UNIX Consultant, an intelligent agent that answers questions about the UNIX operating system and infers a model of the user's knowledge of UNIX from the interaction. David is an internationally recognized expert in the field of user modeling. He has served on the editorial board of the international journal, User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction since its inception in 1990 and has guest edited six special issues including two on empirical evaluation. He was the program and local arrangements chair of the 2nd International Conference on User Modeling in 1990, the general chair of the 5th International Conference on User Modeling in 1996, the general chair of the 18th International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization in 2010, and a program committee member of the 4th, 7th-10th Conferences. Dr. Chin has been the PI or co-PI on 20 grants/contracts totaling $3.9 million. He is currently serving as his department's Associate Chair and has previously served as Vice-Chair (2006-7) and then Chair (2007-8) of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Faculty Senate.
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Dennis Chong is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. He studies American national politics and has published extensively on issues of decision-making, political psychology, social norms, rationality, tolerance, and collective action. Professor Chong is the author of Rational Lives: Norms and Values in Politics and Society, a study of value formation and change, group identification, and conflict over social norms and values. He also wrote Collective Action and the Civil Rights Movement, a theoretical study of the dynamics of collective action as well as a substantial study of the American civil rights movement and the local and national politics that surrounded it.  This book won the William H. Riker Prize given by the Political Economy Section of the American Political Science Association.

Professor Chong's current research on the influence of information and framing in competitive electoral contexts has received several awards, including the APSA's Franklin L. Burdette/Pi Sigma Alpha Prize.  An active member of the profession, Professor Chong has been elected to the Executive Council of the American Political Science Association, and he is co-editor of the acclaimed book series, Cambridge Studies in Public Opinion and Political Psychology, published by Cambridge University Press.
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Herbert Gintis (Ph.D. in Economics, Harvard University, 1969) is External Professor, Santa Fe Institute (Santa Fe, NM, USA), and Professor of Economics, Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). He heads a multidisciplinary research project, funded by the European Science Foundation (ESF). The project is part of the European Collaborative Research Scheme’s (EUROCORES), research area The Evolution of Cooperation and Trading (TECT), that studies human strategic interaction and social organization from a transdisciplinary perspective. His research group includes economists, computer scientists, biologists, cognitive psychologists, behavioral ecologists, linguists, geneticists, and behavioral game theorists. His web site,, contains pertinent information.
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William Griffin is a Professor in the School of Social and Family Dynamics and was one of the founders of the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity at Arizona State University and served as its initial Social Science Director from 2005 until 2009. He is currently the Vice-President for the Computational Social Science Society (CSSS).

Trained as a clinical, for the past 25 years, his research has focused on measuring and modeling the micro-social structures observed in couples, families, and young children. Models are used predominately to investigate how behavioral signatures, generated by aggregating relevant dyadic interactions, can be used to create system level descriptors and classifiers. Analytic strategies have ranged from event-history and time-series analysis to hidden-markov models, and for the last decade, agent-based models (ABM). He has developed agent-based models of the sequential behavioral features associated with married couples, the structural nuances seen in families with an ill child, and preference tendencies among 3 to 5 year-old children forming friendships. His general publications range from two books on family therapy to the behavioral processes observed in families with an asthmatic child, and most recently, agent-based modeling for theoretical biologists.
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Robert Hanneman is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. He has done work in non-linear systems modeling and agent-based modeling for formal theory construction, and social network analysis. Among his current projects are modeling emergent synchronization in world-systems of societies; agent-based models of co-evolution of cooperation of cultural diversity and network topology; and, various statistical and social network studies in organizational sociology and higher education. During 2010-2011, he will serve as the chair of the mathematical sociology section of the American Sociological Association.

Selected publication: Applying Modality and Equivalence Concepts to Pattern-Finding in Social Process-Produced Data.
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Kunihiro Kimura is Professor of Behavioral Science and Member of the Center for the Study of Social Stratification and Inequality (CSSI) at Tohoku University, Japan. Kimura’s main research interest is the integration of mathematical modeling of social decision-making and quantitative analysis of social survey data from the perspective of rational choice theory. He is the author of nine academic papers written in English on topics ranging from collective action, measurement of inequality, gender role attitudes, and sex discrimination. Some of these papers were published in international journals such as Journal of Mathematical Sociology and Quality & Quantity. His forthcoming work in English is "Sex-Based Discrimination Trends in Japan, 1965-2005: The Gender Wage Gap and the Marriage Bar" in Discrimination in an Unequal World, edited by Miguel Centeno and Katherine Newman, New York: Oxford University Press, September 2010.
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Klaus Krippendorff, Grad. Designer (HfG Ulm); Communication (U. of Illinois); is the Gregory Bateson Professor for Cybernetics, Language, and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. He is a Past President of the International Communication Association (ICA), elected Fellow of NIAS, AAAS, ICA among others; recipient of the Norbert Wiener Medal for contributions to cybernetics; and member of the editorial boards of numerous academic journals.

He contributed over a hundred articles and book chapters on human communication theory, methodology in the social sciences, cybernetics, and design; edited Communication and Control in Society; Design in the Age of Information, and authored Content Analysis; Information Theory; A Dictionary of Cybernetics; On Communicating, Otherness, Meaning, and Information; and The Semantic Turn, A New Foundation for Design. He applies his scholarly interest in human communication to design and relies on his design experiences in advancing studies of communication, emancipation, and culture. Above all, he is exploring the role of conversation and discourse in the social construction of realities.

Selected publication: Content Analysis.
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Bing Liu is a professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He obtained his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh. Before joining UIC in 2002, he was with the National University of Singapore. His past and current research interests include classification based on associations, interestingness of patterns and information, learning from positive and unlabeled examples, Web data extraction, and opinion mining (or sentiment analysis). He has published extensively in these areas. He has also written a textbook titled Web Data Mining: Exploring Hyperlinks, Contents and Usage Data.

On professional services, Liu has served as associate editors of IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, and SIGKDD Explorations, and is on the editorial boards of several other journals. He also served or serves as technical program chairs of IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ACM Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, SIAM Conference on Data Mining, ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, and Pacific Asia Conference on Data Mining. In addition, he has served extensively as area chairs and program committee members of leading conferences on data mining, Web mining, and natural language processing. Further information about him can be found at

Selected publication: Sentiment Analysis and Subjectivity.
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Huan Liu is a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. from University of Southern California and Bachelor of Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, worked at Telecom Research Labs in Australia, and taught at National University of Singapore before he joined ASU in Year 2000. Huan Liu has been recognized for excellence in teaching and research in Computer Science and Engineering at Arizona State University.

His research interests are in data/web mining, machine learning, social computing, and artificial intelligence, investigating problems that arise in many real-world applications with high-dimensional data of disparate forms such as social media, modeling group interaction, text categorization, bioinformatics, and text/web mining. His research has been sponsored by NSF, NASA, AFOSR, and ONR, among others. His well-cited publications include books, book chapters, encyclopedia entries as well as conference and journal papers. He serves on journal editorial boards and numerous conference program committees, and is a founding organizer of the International Conference Series on Social Computing, Behavioral Modeling, and Prediction in Phoenix, AZ (SBP08 and SBP09). His professional memberships include AAAI, ACM, ASEE, SIAM, and IEEE. He can be contacted via
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Tony Mullen is an associate professor of computer science at Tsuda College in Tokyo. Prior to this, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. for work in statistical parsing at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. His natural language processing-related research includes work in named-entity extraction, ontology development, and sentiment analysis. In addition to this he is active in such diverse areas as computer-assisted language learning, information visualization, and computer graphics and art.
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Anna Nagurney is the John F. Smith Memorial Professor in the Department of Finance and Operations Management in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the Founding Director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks and the Supernetworks Laboratory for Computation and Visualization at UMass Amherst. She is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst. She received her AB, ScB, ScM, and PhD degrees from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She devotes her career to education and research that combines operations research / management science, engineering, and economics. Her focus is the applied and theoretical aspects of network systems, particularly in the areas of transportation and logistics, critical infrastructure, and in economics and finance.

Her most recent book, with Q. Qiang, is Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain World, published in 2009. She is also the author of Supply Chain Network Economics published in 2006. She has authored or co-authored 8 other books including Supernetworks: Decision-Making for the Information Age, Financial Networks, Sustainable Transportation Networks, and Network Economics, edited the book, Innovations in Financial and Economic Networks, and authored or co-authored more than 135 refereed journal articles and numerous book chapters.

Selected publications: Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain Age; Supply Chain Network Design for Critical Needs with Outsourcing; Supply Chain Network Design Under Profit Maximization and Oligopolistic Competition; Multiproduct Supply Chain Horizontal Network Integration: Models, Theory, and Computational Results; Financial Engineering of the Integration of Global Supply Chain Networks and Social Networks with Risk Management.
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Dana Nau is a Professor of Computer Science and Systems Research at the University of Maryland, and is co-director of the university's Laboratory for Computational Cultural Dynamics. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1979, where he was an NSF graduate fellow. His primary area of research is artificial intelligence, but he has a strong interest in interdisciplinary research. He has more than 300 publications and several best-paper awards, and he is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
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Kimberly Neuendorf (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Professor of Communication at Cleveland State University. Her research emphases include content analysis methodology, audience responses to moving image media, new technology adoption, and media treatment of marginalized populations. She is the author of over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and research reports. Her book, The Content Analysis Guidebook, was published by Sage Publications in 2002.

Selected publication: Extending the Utility of Content Analysis via the Scientific Method.
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Bo Pang is a research scientist at Yahoo! Research. She obtained her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University in August 2006. Her primary research interests are natural language processing, information retrieval,and machine learning. Her past work include sentiment analysis, paraphrasing, querylog analysis, and computational advertising. She published a book-length survey Opinion mining and sentiment analysis with Lillian Lee in 2008. More info at and
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Yoshimichi Sato is Distinguished Professor of Tohoku University. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Tokyo and Ph.D. from Tohoku University. He had previously taught at Yokohama City University. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago and Cornell University. He was a former President of the Japanese Association for Mathematical Sociology and is currently an Executive Committee Member of the International Sociological Association. He conducts research in social change, trust, and social stratification by rational choice theory, game theory, and agent-based modeling. He has published numerous books, book chapters, and journal articles. His recent publications include three books entitled: Intentional Social Change: A Rational Choice Theory (Trans Pacific Press, 2006), Deciphering Stratification and Inequality: Japan and Beyond (Trans Pacific Press, 2007), and Game Theory (in Japanese, Shinyo-sha, 2008).
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David L. Sallach is a social theorist and computational sociologist who is currently senior Social Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Center for Complex Agent Systems Simulation. He was Director of Social Science Research Computing at the University of Chicago from 1998-2003 and, earlier, taught sociology at the Indiana University Bloomington and Washington University in Saint Louis.
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Barry G. Silverman (, is a Professor of Systems Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of IEEE, AAAS, and the Washington Acad. of Science, and sits on the board of several organizations and journals in the intelligent systems fields. Barry's research over the past 34 years has largely been on socio-cognitive modeling of intelligent software agents able to interact as humans would do (ie, illustrating a descriptive, not normative, model of behavior). He has culled models from the literature on human physiology, stress, emotion, personality, culture, factional and relationship dynamics, and socio-politico-economic behavior. These have been synthesized to produce agent-based sims of ethno-political situations around the world; insurgency, crowd, and leader simulators; and several role playing games (RPGs). As a result of all this work, Barry is also the author of over 140 articles, 13 books/proceedings, over 100 technical reports, 7 copyrighted software systems, a boardgame, and several research and teaching excellence awards from ORSA, IEEE, AAAI, BRIMS.
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Joseph Woelfel has served on the faculty of the University of Illinois, Michigan State University, and the State University of New York at Albany, where he was Professor of Communication and Director of Research and Founding Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Information Science. He was the former Chair of the Department of Communication at the University at Buffalo. Professor Woelfel was a Senior Fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu, a Fulbright scholar in the former Yugoslavia, and Senior Fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York.

Professor Woelfel is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Measurement of Communication Processes: Galileo Theory and Method, with E. L. Fink. He is a principle developer of extensive computer software, including the suite of Galileo programs, which are widely used worldwide in academic, political and private sector research for measuring attitudes, beliefs, market positioning, and designing strategies for modifying them, and CATPAC, a text analysis program utilizing artificial neural technology. Current biography can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Communication and the Media, and Who's Who in The World.

Selected publications: Is Belief in Rationality Rational?; Social Networks as the Substrate of Cultural Processes; Procedures for the Precise Measurement of Online Cognitive and Cultural Processes.
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