Doctoral Dissertation Defense: Matthew Koehler

Monday, November 25 - 8:30 a.m.
Innovation Hall 334 - DoIT Training Room
Fairfax Campus

Doctoral Dissertation Defense: The Blind Lawmaker

Matthew Koehler, PhD Candidate
Department of Computational Social Science
George Mason University

Abstract: Many have written about how the Common Law should evolve. The few attempts to demonstrate this empirically, however, have not found evidence that this evolution takes place. This study uses a representation of the Article III United States Federal Courts and an agent-based model to demonstrate that a judicial system may evolve while simultaneously emitting signals to the contrary. The study then proceeds to demonstrate that agent-based modeling is a viable method for understanding the performance of judicial institutions. After reviewing concepts of jurisprudence and computational social science, the development of the simulation is discussed followed by a presentation of the results of the aforementioned experiments.