COMPUTATIONAL SOCIAL SCIENCE

Department of Computational Social Science Seminar -Selke Dissertation Proposal Defense

Monday, April 22, 1-3 p.m.
162 Research Hall

Dissertation Proposal: International Relations Simulation- A Proposal

Karl Selke, Ph.D.
Computational Social Science
George Mason University

Abstract: In the domain of international relations (IR), there have been advancements in our ability to simulate the complex dynamics of international systems using agent-based techniques (Cusack and Stoll 1990, Min, 2002; Cederman, 2007; Bhavnani, 2008; Cioffi 2010). While these agent-based models have the promise to enable richer virtual laboratories for scientifically based inquiry, there has been limited empirical study for either model validation or applied research. This project will construct an IR simulation in an empirical setting where agent behavior can be evaluated against real-world data. IR theories on nation-state behavior will be distilled, parametrically tested, and compared to the empirical outcomes. The empirical context is based on the United States and the Pacific countries post World War II. The core claim of this dissertation is that the proposed simulation system, called ReaLand, will contribute a significant advancement in the application of computational social science to support the study of international relations.