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Open Lab Notebook

Brief updates on my daily work. For more polished postings about math, collective behavior, research collaborations, and such, see News and Research.

I hope to work toward a more complete open notebook: for now I'm only posting updates on some of my work.

Publish Date: 
Fri, 07/01/2011 - 19:01

Here are very preliminary results from a batch of consensus simulations.

From the wiki:

Publish Date: 
Fri, 07/01/2011 - 17:07

I've identified several "independent axes" for the model process, so I can combine them independently and look at their impact on outcomes. From the wiki:

Currently there are three independent choices.

The initial proposal is always 0. This doesn't matter because the fitness landscapes are chosen randomly, so that 0 is essentially a random location on the landscape.

The facilitation strategy is either each proposes one:

Publish Date: 
Fri, 07/01/2011 - 16:56

What are some initial experiments to do?

    • n people working independently vs.
    • n people each generating a proposal and then voting vs.
    • n people searching together in some simple way:

    Compare mean fitness of outcome, how satisfied each person is.

Publish Date: 
Fri, 07/01/2011 - 16:53

(catching up on progress in the consensus research)

I did a very preliminary "experiment": a "consensus process" with one person is able to find a local fitness peak. Actually, this is an important baseline: I'll probably want to know how often it finds an acceptable solution, how good it is, etc.

Publish Date: 
Fri, 07/01/2011 - 15:25

I've started up a new research project, hosted on a wiki-based open lab notebook: here's the main project page.

This project asks how a group of people can work together to find a mutually acceptable solution to a problem when there may be disagreement about what is acceptable. It's modeled as a search problem in a complex solution space, and the primary research problem is to study what kinds of processes work well to coordinate among the participants' desires.

Publish Date: 
Wed, 05/25/2011 - 16:30

My post-workshop notes from New England Workshop on Science and Social Change, hosted by activist/ecologist/philosopher Peter J. Taylor, May 15‒18 in Woods Hole.

Publish Date: 
Wed, 05/04/2011 - 09:03

I listed WorkingWiki in the official list of MediaWiki extensions, and announced it to the email lists for MediaWiki and LaTeXML developers and admins.

There'll be a more conspicuous "release" probably next week, but this one feels like I've really exposed it to the world. What's going to happen next? Will people criticize it? Adopt it? Make changes to it? I never released a piece of free software before, so it's exciting.

Publish Date: 
Tue, 04/19/2011 - 21:07

In the late throes of prepping WorkingWiki for public release. Making sure it plays well with recent versions of MediaWiki. It seems good with 1.17, the version that's just about to be officially released and is already up on Wikipedia. Not so much with 1.18alpha (aka trunk), the next version that's barely under development - something has already changed there that makes my ManageProject page come out garbled, and I have to figure out what it is.

Publish Date: 
Sat, 04/16/2011 - 14:48

This post comes partly from a conversation with Todd Parsons.

At the Dushoff lab we've been poring over Bicchieri's fascinating book for a while, looking to understand her theory of social norms better. In particular, I'm wondering about unpopular social norms and how they come to be abandoned for better ones. The key to this in Bicchieri's work is pluralistic ignorance.


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