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NeWater (New Approaches to Adaptive Water Management under Uncertainty)
This 6th Framework project has over 40 partner institutions throughout europe. It is organised into seven case studies of river basin management in europe, africa and asia, supported by development of research tools for complexity (such as agent-based modelling), and involvement of stakeholders in integrated assesment of water policy. (www.newater.info)
I am involved in the workpackage 2.1 'vulnerability and exposure to shocks and stressess in river basins' under the direction of Dr. Thomas Downing of the Stockholm Environmental Institute, Oxford. One of the outputs of this collaboration is an ABM of groundwater flows and resource users. CPM report CPM-06-169
ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Undertaken at Centre for Policy Modelling, MMUBS under the supervision of Prof. Scott Moss, Dr. Bruce Edmonds and Dr. Ray Hackney.
Thesis available online in pdf format as CPM report CPM-04-137
Supply chains are increasingly seen as complex adaptive systems, and agent-based modelling has become a tool for investigating them. One important issue concerns the impact of the introduction of new ICT technologies (such as e-commerce)- the patterns of technology adoption and implementation, and the changing nature of business relationships.
However most current work appears to be based on the operational research paradigm, which exclusively models the logistical processes like the flow of goods and inventory management systems, but tends to ignore the sociological and strategic aspects (e.g. business value, embedded ties, willingness to share propriety information). By (reflexively) avoiding these (possible) dimensions, agent-based research adds nothing more useful to traditional system dynamics, an approach which has always been highly sufficient for modelling stocks, flows and feedbacks in supply systems.
In management and organisational behaviour literatures these sociological insights are recognised as important. They also clearly emerged in the qualitative studies for my PhD work -- I raised these points in my presentation "Representing Social Reality in Supply Chain Systems" at ESSA 2005.
With Piergiuseppe Morone of the University of Napoli "L'Orientale" I am currently working on a project involving simulation modelling of knowledge diffusion dynamics. This research is concerned with informal learning processes taking place through face-to-face interactions and (to a lesser extent) computer mediated interactions. The target is to test whether knowledge diffuses in a homogeneous way or whether it follows some biased path towards convergence or divergence, ie. there are mechanisms which trap individuals in states of very low knowledge. Our model was calibrated with data sampled from the 1998 edition of the Encuesta de Ocupación y Desocupación for Santiago, Chile, and respected the geographical aspects of that region. The paper "Small World Dynamics and the Process of Knowledge Diffusion. The Case of the Metropolitan Area of the Great Santiago of Chile" was a joint winner of the 2003 EMEEA Schumpeter Young Economists award. Link.
We have identified two fundamental problems facing social simulators working in this area: formal approaches tend to rely upon an over-simplification of the structure of knowledge (for example, where knowledge is treated as a 'stockpile') and secondly a lack of understanding of the properties of social networks through which learning agents interact.
With Piergiuseppe Morone of the University of Napoli "L'Orientale" and Roberta Sisto of the University of Foggia, I have been investigating knowledge flows and innovation potential in organic food production networks, concentrating on firms and institutions operating in the area of Foggia, Italy. Knowledge flows are quite complex and quite important in the context of the emerging markets for organic and other "environmental-movement" products. The firms are following the directive of the EU for meeting the requirements to be awarded the "organic product" label and much of the knowledge flowing from one firm to another and from the institutions is regarding technical and legal matters of this directive. The role of the institutions (which number about 30) is to support organic production, to promote learning, and to implement local development strategy. EuroChoices publication analyses firms' and institutions' networks.
We are now looking at the development of stockfree-organic systems as an example of how producers' networks can motivate the adoption of sustainable farming techniques, which have the characteristics of complex systems. CPM report CPM-05-155
With Piergiuseppe Morone of the University of Napoli "L'Orientale" I am developing agent-based models of innovation networks. The objective is to model interactions among firms based upon partnership formation to carry out joint innovations. Agents (i.e. Firms) are endowed with different Skill Profiles and aim to be the first to innovate, either on their own or in partnership. Hence, an important task in our model is obtaining information about the complementarity of other Firms' profiles. In different versions of this model, we either assume the presence of local institutions to act as facilitatiors of information exchange, or we assume that information flows are bounded to local neighbourhoods. This is based on the recognition that geographical factors are an important aspect of innovation and development of industrial districts/clusters.CPM report CPM-04-151
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Page last updated 21/1/2007