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Complex Adaptive Syste...
John H. Miller
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Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  299 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
This book provides the first clear, comprehensive, and accessible account of complex adaptive social systems, by two of the field's leading authorities. Such systems--whether political parties, stock markets, or ant colonies--present some of the most intriguing theoretical and practical challenges confronting the social sciences. Engagingly written, and balancing technical ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 28th 2009 by Princeton University Press (first published 2007)
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Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-thought and clearly-written introduction to agent-based modeling, with main focus on its most popular application to social systems.

Such an introduction fills a vacancy in literature. Though the concept of ABM is intuitive, there are many aspects that need to be grasped before their full potentialities and limitations are entirely explicit. The first half of the book is dedicated to reflections on the concept of model itself, on its utility as a simplified map of the phenomena of interest
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
The first half is an enjoyable reading as a general science book, but it gets more and more academic, and less and less interesting in the second half; especially since lots of the examples and models described are too detailed to be interesting for general audience and not practical to be in an academic book, since they need more visual representation or simulation exercises to comprehend! For a better introduction to the subject "Complexity: a guided tour" is a better and well-written book. Ho ...more
John Carter McKnight
A tremendously useful introduction to a set of new lines of research in - every field imaginable. Moderate in its claims, starting from very elementary and easy to follow and developing to some moderately complex (for me) stats and algebra, at about the undergrad level, and eminently skippable for anyone not interested in mathematical modeling.

Really worth at least skimming for anyone looking to stay current in social science methods and their implications.
Rob T
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend Jon loaned this to me as an academic read I might find interesting, and it lived up to the promise. Though it's written for an introductory course in complex systems, it reads like rigorous pop science for the first two-thirds with interesting examples of modeling systems with lots of agents (e.g. voting, biology, etc.). The last third gets harder to read at it shifts to proofs based on very simple systems, but by then you're so close to the end that you just have to finish.
Alex Whalen
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: complex-systems
Really fantastic overview of the current state of CAS theories and models. So good, in fact, that its become an essential part of my dissertation!
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Hard work! Lots of references to scientific/academic papers particularly annoying when the references are to papers produced by the authors themselves, and not enough detail on the examples -. That said an interesting book – I am not sure I would call it an ‘introduction’ though a lot of prior knowledge is required to understand the topics or a desire to stop every few pages and investigate exactly what they mean by...
Dona Baker
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am slogging my way through this as I don't have a statistics or economics education which would be helpful as a basis for understanding the math in this book.

Regardless, it is great information especially if it is supplemented with other courses that are produced by Scott Page through Coursera and The Great Courses series of DVD's
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heavy read that provides a deep insight into how models can be used to provide new ways of viewing the complex world around us. Great to read in parallel with Scott E. Page "Model Thinking" in Coursera.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant introduction to the model of complex adaptive systems as applied to social organizations. A must read for social scientists who are interested in the application of the complex adaptive systems model to their own interests.
Paulo Fernando Vieira de Carvalho
An excellent book on complexity and computer science. It resonated with my drivers on understanding complexity. Important for those wanting to understand internet related complexity (from connectiveness to big data)
Srav Chag
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thesis
Absolutely amazing book - does not read like a textbook. Authors delve into the philosophical possibilities and theoretical underpinnings of complexity while laying out a beginner's guide to the methodology, even offering best practices.
Jul 22, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: networks
applications to social dynamics
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The most simple language text i could find on the topic. that being said, still very dense and hard to follow. more of a fault of the abstract and complex nature of CAS then the author but still.
Aug 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The nerd guide to the Galaxy ...
I think if this can be combined with game theory and chaotic modeling scientists might be able to socialize like any normal human ..
Robin Berjon-berthezène
It's not a bad book, but it's a very slow introduction to the topic, primarily aimed as social scientists. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who can grasp computer-related topics quickly.
Eric Waggoner
Not terrific. I wouldn't read another book by this author. Long on verbiage, short on substance.
David Borenstein
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John Howard Miller, 1959-

Experiments with economic principles, c1997: t.p. (John H. Miller) p. iii (assoc. prof., economics, Carnegie Mellon U., Pittsburgh, 1989- ;Ph.D., U. of Michigan)
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“Models need to be judged by what they eliminate as much as by what they include—like stone carving, the art is in removing what you do not need.” 0 likes
“Good modeling requires that we have just enough of the “right” transparencies in the map. Of course, the right transparencies depend on the needs of a particular user.” 0 likes
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