SORS: Social simulations as a powerful tool to understand society

Data: 27/Apr/2023 Time: 11:00


Sala d'Actes de la FiB, B6 Building, Campus Nord, UPC and over zoom with required registration.

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Abstract: Social simulations have been around for more than 20 years now. They have been only marginally used in practice. In this presentation I will discuss some of the fundamentals of Agent Based Social Simulations and how they can be useful for understanding society. As an example I use the simulations we made for the covid crisis and how they informed the debates and how they were in many cases much more useful than the traditional epidemiological models.


Short bio: Frank Dignum got his PhD at the VU in Amsterdam in 1989. He set up the computing science department at the University of Eswatini in 1990-1991. He was assistant professor at the Technical university of Lisbon in 1992 and assistant professor at Eindhoven university of Technology between 1993 and 2000. Between 2000 and 2018 he was associate professor in intelligent systems at Utrecht University. Since 2019 he is Wallenberg chair in socially aware AI at Umeå University in Sweden. He also has an affiliation to Utrecht University and he is an honorary professor of the University of Melbourne. Since 2014 he is a EurAI fellow. He was PC chair and General chair of conferences in these areas and also organized specialized workshops. He was also (technical) coordinator of some EU projects. He is well known for his pioneering work on norms, and other social constructs like social practices, institutions, etc. He has engaged in many interdisciplinary research projects in which the work on social behavior is applied in domains ranging from education of IT in rural South Africa, to drugs trafficking, fishery management, empowering children of divorced parents to training medical students to talk to patients. His theory of social agents is also employed in social simulations to support policy making and his work on social simulations for the COVID-19 crisis is published as a book in 2021. Besides this landmark book he has published extensively in the multi-agent systems as well as the social simulation communities amounting to 19 books and more than 300 papers. He has given invited lectures and seminars all over the world. At this moment his h-index is 60.


This talk is co organized together with the Master in Artificial Intelligence (UPC,UB,URV).


Speaker: Frank Dignum, Professor of Socially-Aware AI at Umeå University and an Associate Professor at the Department of Information and Computing Sciences of the Utrecht University
Host: Prof. Ulises Cortés, High Performance Artificial Intelligence Group Manager, CS, BSC and Coordinator of the Master in Artificial Intelligence (UPC,UB,URV)