Computational sociology

The computational sociology research program uses computational techniques to examine the institutional conditions under which societies achieve variable degrees of equality, integration, and sustainable behavior of its citizens. The behavior of populations is conceived of as emerging out of the complex interactions of their members. Through systematic altering of the "rules of the game" in computational models as well as experimental populations, the performance of societies is assessed. Data on millions of digital social interactions and new computational techniques shed light on the processes through which desirable and undesirable population behaviors come about.

Currently, our efforts are concentrated in the following areas:

  1. Self-reinforcing inequalities: What institutions produce rich-get-richer dynamics and allow inferior political candidates, technologies and behavioral norms to lock in?
  2. Sharing economy: When can sharing economies develop the trust necessary for moneyless exchanges between strangers?
  3. Social networking technology: What new forms of collective action can online social media platforms and smartphones achieve?