Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

Computational social sciences: COMPLEX SYSTEMS

This course examines how complex systems theory and complex adaptive systems can be applied to social research.

This course examines concepts like

* emergence and self-organization
* loops and feedback
* modeling and predicting
* simulations

can be applied to social research.

The course has several guest lectures and applies inquiry-based learning methodologies.

14.12.2017 klo 09:00 - 19.1.2018 klo 23:59


Tästä osiosta löydät kurssin opetusaikataulun. Tarkista mahdolliset muut aikataulut kuvauksesta.

Pe 19.1.2018
08:15 - 10:45
Pe 26.1.2018
08:15 - 10:45
Pe 2.2.2018
08:15 - 10:45
Pe 9.2.2018
08:15 - 10:45
Pe 16.2.2018
08:15 - 10:45
Pe 23.2.2018
08:15 - 10:45
Pe 2.3.2018
08:15 - 10:45

Lecture topics


Prof. Petri Ylikoski: "Sociological micro-macro relations and agent based simulation"

Reading tasks

Ylikoski, P. (2014). Agent-based simulation and sociological understanding. Perspectives on Science, 22(3), 318-335.

Centola, Willer & Macy 2005: The Emperor’s Dilemma: A Computational Model of Self-Enforcing Norms, American Journal of Sociology 110: 1009-1040.


Matti Nelimarkka: Course organization & Introduction to problem-based activities

Reading tasks

Justice, Christopher, et al. “Inquiry in higher education: Reflections and directions on course design and teaching methods.” Innovative Higher Education 31.4 (2007): 201-214.


Alisa Puustinen: “Social Networks as complex systems”


* Koliba C, Gerrits L, Rhodes ML, Meek JW. 2014. Complexity Theory, Networks and Systems Analysis. In book: Handbook of Theories of Governance.

* Cilliers P. Boundaries, hierarchies and networks in complex systems. International Journal of Innovation Management. 2001 Jun;5(02):135-47.


Petro Poutanen: "Self-organizing human behavior: Using qualitative methodologies to understand complexity.”

* Creativity in short-term self-directed groups: an analysis using a complexity-based framework PK Poutanen, P Ståhle -International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 2014. (Copy available at Academia.edu)

* Everyday self-organising social movements and the role of social media in citizen engagement
P Poutanen, A Botero, S Marttila, M Villi - Sphera Publica, 2016



Work on problem-based activities


Eric Malmi: “Introduction to agent-based modeling”

Helbing, Dirk, Illés Farkas, and Tamas Vicsek. "Simulating dynamical features of escape panic." Nature 407.6803 (2000): 487.


Antti Liski: "Complex Systems and consulting"

Kurssin suorittaminen

You need to return a final report by 16.3. 23:59.

The report can be a rather free format: it can be self-reflection of the course and what you learned, an empirical investigation using e.g., simulation models, or a theoretical essay.