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

Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life

John H. Miller and Scott E. Page
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  • ISBN
    9780691127026 / 0691127026
  • Title Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life
  • Author John H. Miller and Scott E. Page
  • Category Social Research & Statistics
    Chaos Theory
  • Format
  • Year 2007
  • Pages 263
  • Publisher
    Princeton University Press
  • Imprint Princeton University Press
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 158mm x 18mm x 235mm


“The use of computational, especially agent-based, models has already shown its value in illuminating the study of economic and other social processes. Miller and Page have written an orientation to this field that is a model of motivation and insight, making clear the underlying thinking and illustrating it by varied and thoughtful examples. It conveys with remarkable clarity the essentials of the complex systems approach to the embarking researcher.”—Kenneth J. Arrow, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics

“In ”Complex Adaptive Systems," two masters of this burgeoning field provide a highly readable and novel restatement of the logic of social interactions, linking individually based micro processes to macrosocial outcomes, ranging from Adam Smith's invisible hand to Thomas Schelling's models of standing ovations. The book combines the vision of a new Santa Fe school of computational, social, and behavioral science with essential 'how to' advice for apprentice modelers."—Samuel Bowles, author of “Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions, Evolution”

“This is a wonderful book that will be read by graduate students, faculty, and policymakers. The authors write in an extraordinarily clear manner about topics that are very technical and difficult for many people. I sat down to begin thumbing through and found myself deeply engaged.”—Elinor Ostrom, author of “Understanding Institutional Diversity”

Publisher Description

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 detail with intuitive explanations, “Complex Adaptive Systems” focuses on the key tools and ideas that have emerged in the field since the mid-1990s, as well as the techniques needed to investigate such systems. It provides a detailed introduction to concepts such as emergence, self-organized criticality, automata, networks, diversity, adaptation, and feedback. It also demonstrates how complex adaptive systems can be explored using methods ranging from mathematics to computational models of adaptive agents.

John Miller and Scott Page show how to combine ideas from economics, political science, biology, physics, and computer science to illuminate topics in organization, adaptation, decentralization, and robustness. They also demonstrate how the usual extremes used in modeling can be fruitfully transcended.

Author Biography

John H. Miller is professor of economics and social sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Scott E. Page is professor of complex systems, political science, and economics at the University of Michigan. He is the author of “The Difference” (Princeton).

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Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life