Paradigmatic Models in Social Sciences

Politecnico di Milano
Sept. 26 - 28, 2016

11th SICC International Tutorial Workshop "Topics in nonlinear dynamics"
Paradigmatic Models in Social Sciences

Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano
Via Ponzio 34/5, 20133 Milano, Italy

September 26 - 28, 2016


So far, empirical studies based on experiments and data analysis have dominated the scene in social sciences, while theoretical studies rooted in mathematical models have been only exceptions. However, the recent advances of the theory of dynamical systems, and the availability of related software, have deeply modified this picture and generated high expectations around mathematical models. The aim of this course is to show how the scientific approach of systems analysis, traditionally followed in physics and engineering, can be used to tackle social problems. The intent is not to cover specific sectors of social sciences but rather to discuss the power of the modeling approach through a series of paradigmatic examples presented in a particular sequence that allows the main issues of dynamical system theory to be introduced in a meaningful order: from bistability to catastrophes, from stationary and cyclic to quasi-periodic and chaotic regimes, from the spreading of successful strategies to the emergence of clusters in networks.


Monday, September 26

9:00 - 12:30 Systems and networks
Interesting and important phenomena can be well understood by casting them in systems and networks theory.
• S. Rinaldi Models of dynamical systems: asymptotic regimes, multiple attractors, bifurcations, and catastrophes
• C. Piccardi Models of complex networks: degree distributions, centralities, communities
14:00 - 17:30 Modeling love dynamics
Love stories, starting from indifference, reaching a romantic regime, and then possibly fading, can be described, predicted, and controlled with classical mathematical models.
• S. Rinaldi Falling in love: from indifference to romantic regimes
• J.-M. Rey Our love was to last forever...

Tuesday, September 27

9:00 - 12:30 Modeling and control of illicit activities
Mathematical modeling can provide the rationale to act against or control illicit activities, such as drug production and consumption, arms trade, and terrorism.
• G. Feichtinger Optimal control of drug use and drug markets
• S. Rinaldi Political corruption in democratic societies
• G. Feichtinger Modeling counter-terrorism
14:00 - 17:30 Mathematics and Arts
Models can be used to discover hidden values in poems, films, and songs.
• R. Casagrandi Ups and downs in artists' production
• F. Della Rossa The Oscars for the Best Original Song and Score to "Beauty and the Beast"
• S. Rinaldi Francis Petrarch and the transition from the Middle Ages to Humanism
• F. Dercole The genius of François Truffaut in "Jules et Jim"

Wednesday, September 28

9:00 - 12:30 Game theory evolving
Game theory is the paradigm for modeling social problems, from the spontaneous emergence of human behaviors and the establishment of social and legal norms, to biological conflicts at all scales.
• K. Sigmund Introduction to evolutionary games
• K. Sigmund Via freedom to coercion: the emergence and maintenance of cooperation
• A. Traulsen Social learning promotes institutions for governing the commons
14:00 - 17:30 Analysis of socio-economic networks
Networks are used to model many types of social and economic systems and to investigate their structure, in order to discover main actors, cooperating groups, or power elites.
• C. Piccardi Structural properties of a Twitter network
• L. Tajoli The structure of the World Trade Network
• F. Calderoni The analysis of mafia networks