Tag Archives: books

Book now available via SpringerLink

Good news everyone!  Well, maybe not everyone, but at least people who love academic books about agent-based modelling might be happy about this news.

My book is now available, open access (free, in other words), via SpringerLink.  You can download the whole thing as a PDF or an ebook in EPUB format.  The website is mobile-friendly, too, so if you’re slightly mad and want to read this on your phone, you can certainly do so.

You can also download individual chapters, if you want, but I’d recommend *not* doing this; each chapter pretty much builds on the previous one, so you’ll get more out of it if you read the all the chapters in sequence.

Hardcover copies are not yet available, but I’m told they will be soon, and it seems like you can order print-on-demand softcovers via the Springer website now if you feel like it.

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February update

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 09.47.08

I’ve just been sent a preview of the cover for my book, now due to be released in early March — so get your pre-orders in now!

Or don’t, it’s open-access and you can just download a PDF for free when it comes out.  I’ll post here again once it releases for real.

In other news:

  • Our team submitted a funding proposal for a cross-disciplinary network focused on the use of agent-based modelling for designing complex public health interventions
  • I contributed to another proposal, part of which will use ABM to study environmental and policy changes that might encourage more people to take up walking and cycling rather than driving
  • We’re working on a position paper for the public health crowd, to clear up some misconceptions and concerns about the use of ABM in health research
  • Another paper is in the works on a free simulation platform under development
  • Last but by no means least, John Bryden and I have a really exciting paper under review at the moment — watch this space!

I’m also excited about our ongoing work modelling social care provision in Scotland — we’ve just hit a major development milestone.  We’re planning to submit a paper on this first stage in March, and follow that up with further development of the model with help from social care experts here in Glasgow and in Stirling.  We’ll soon start producing  detailed documentation for the model — I’ll post some of those details here in the next month or two.

 

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My book will be released soon — and it will be open-access

Good news, open science fans — my upcoming book from Springer is now in editing/typesetting, and on track for a spring release under a Creative Commons with Attribution licence.  This means you can download, share, adapt and modify the work however you see fit, so long as you cite the original and link to a copy of the licence.

I have to take a moment here to thank the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, my new home, for supporting open science and widening the audience of this book.

Springer is keen to get this moving along so they’ve put up a website for the book here!   You can even pre-order it, if you want.

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Some light reading recommendations

So I just handed in the final draft of my upcoming book for Springer’s Methodos Series, which is about the application of agent-based modelling techniques to the social sciences, with some specific applications to demography.

I thought I’d share two other books related to this topic that just came out recently, both of which are open-access and freely downloadable as PDF or epub ebooks:

Model-Based DemographyEssays on Integrating Data, Technique and Theory by Thomas K Burch.  Tom has been in demography a long time (six decades, in fact), and has brought together this volume based on his methodological critiques of demography in recent years.  I very much share his view that demography is far more than applied statistics, and that the field has a lot to say about the development and evolution of society and the behaviour of those within it.  If you’re interested in a detailed examination of demography as a science I can highly recommend this book.

Agent-Based Modelling in Population Studies: Concepts, Methods and Applications edited by André Grow and Jan Van Bavel.  This is a collection of papers on agent-based modelling in population studies presented at the University of Leuven in 2014 — and, full disclosure, I’m an author on one of the papers so my views here may be biased!  Having said that, I think this weighty tome (over 500 pages) offers some fascinating perspectives on the use of ABMs to study population, as well as some interesting examples of the methodology in action.  

As for my book — it should appear in early 2018, from what I understand — I’ll post here of course when Springer sets a final publication date.

 

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Book review published

The review of Daniel Courgeau’s 2012 volume Probability and Social Science my colleague Jakub Bijak and I put together has now been published!

You can find it here.  Sadly the article is behind a paywall, at least for the moment, but if you require a pre-print version please get in touch.

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Basic minds without content

I just heard about an interesting new book on the horizon from Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin called Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds Without Content.  The preface is downloadable, and the authors got my attention pretty early on with this paragraph:

“This raises the worry that the whole enactive and embodied turn in cognitive science is backed by little or nothing more an unreasoned attachment to certain attractive, but ultimately empty, pictures and slogans. For this reason, Prinz (2009) is right to proclaim that – at least in one sense – enactive and embodied approaches may be easier to “sell than to prove” (p. 419).

We aim to supply the philosophical clarifications and strong support that has been sorely missing.”

The criticisms mentioned in the preface line up fairly precisely with my own, so I’m quite interested to see what they come up with to address these issues.  I can also admit to a certain morbid curiousity about how enactivism can be pushed even farther.

I do find myself wondering where the endpoint will be, however.  So far we’ve dismissed qualia, now apparently mental content of any sort is gone, so what’s next?  Will we slide all the way back to behaviourism, then Chomsky will write another devastating critique of it like back in 1967, and then we’ll go round the whole cycle again?

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