Research Centers and Institutes

Arizona State University School of Politics and Global Studies. At ASU, researchers Carolyn Warner and George Thomas are using computer simulation tools to process information gathered from worldwide informants about the relationship between religion and violent conflict for an National Science Foundation-funded project,  “Agents of Change: the Dynamics of Religion and Conflict.”

Generative Historiography of Religion Project. This cutting-edge project at Masaryk University applies the tools of computational modeling to the study of cultural and religious dynamics in the ancient Mediterranean, with a particular focus on cults of Isis, early Christianity, Judaism, and Mithraism.

The Thomas Shultz Laboratory, McGill University. This lab has produced some of the first agent-based computer simulations focusing on the evolution of cooperation and religion as an ethnic tag. Their innovative approach to evolutionary questions has helped show that religion can serve as an in-group marker, stimulating parochial (but not universal) cooperation.

Learning Modeling & Simulation

Modeling and simulation takes training to learn to use, but not as much as you might think. Below are a few resources to help interested researchers and students develop basic computer modeling skills and knowledge.

AnyLogic tutorials – available for free at the website of AnyLogic, a popular simulation platform

YouTube – A number of good tutorials and introductions to the concepts of M&S are available on YouTube. Here are a few examples:

Why Agent-Based Modeling? Part 1

Why Agent-Based Modeling? Part 2

Agent Based Modeling and Application in the Social Sciences

Agent-Based Modeling with NetLogo Introduction

System Dynamics Tutorial 1 – Introduction to Dynamic System Modeling and Control

System Dynamics Tutorial 2 – Basic Definitions

System Dynamics Tutorial 3 – State-Space Representation

System Dynamics Tutorial 4 – Building State-Space Models