Computational and Mathematical Modeling in the Social Sciences

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 15, 2005 - Political Science
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Mathematical models in the social sciences have become increasingly sophisticated and widespread in the last decade. This period has also seen many critiques, most lamenting the sacrifices incurred in pursuit of mathematical rigor. If, as critics argue, our ability to understand the world has not improved during the mathematization of the social sciences, we might want to adopt a different paradigm. This book examines the three main fields of mathematical modeling - game theory, statistics, and computational methods - and proposes a new framework for modeling. Unlike previous treatments which view each field separately, the treatment provides a framework that spans and incorporates the different methodological approaches. The goal is to arrive at a new vision of modeling that allows researchers to solve more complex problems in the social sciences. Additionally, a special emphasis is placed upon the role of computational modeling in the social sciences.
 

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Contents

Challenges in Mathematical Modeling
1
2 Looking for Car Keys Without Any Street Lights
34
The Justification for Computational Modeling
78
Deriving Parsimonious Encodings for Complex Games
113
Deriving and Testing Logical Implications
144
6 A Short Conclusion
176
References
181
Index
191
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About the author (2005)

Scott de Marchi is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, and he has published articles in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Journal of Theoretical Politics and Public Choice. Professor de Marchi was appointed a Fellow-at-Large by the Santa Fe Institute in 1999, and is a faculty member of the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute and the Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models program. His research continues to focus on the field of computational political economy and other mathematical methods, individual decision-making, the presidency, and public policy.

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