Policy Sciences and Human Systems Lab (PSHS)

Human interaction forms some of the most dynamic and intriguing examples of complex systems. Examples of such systems include:

  • Government
    • Governmental Policies
    • Electoral Procedures
    • Legal Systems
    • Conflict Situations
  • Society
    • Education Processes
    • Language, Media, and Cultural Dynamics
    • Human Decision Making Procedures

This lab explores the way information is processed by these systems and seeks to define better modes of interaction to achieve various purposes. By focusing on decision processes in these inherently multi-agent systems, a number of abstract concepts such as competition, cooperation, persuasion, and deception can be rigorously analyzed.

Projects

Coalition Robustness of Multiagent Systems

This research explores the interplay of cooperation and competition in multiagent dynamics. Our study begins with the stability robustness of multiagent systems with respect to uncertain coalition structure. Such systems arise naturally from a variety of compartmental models, including those used in security analysis, economics, ecology, etc. Moreover, coalition robustness becomes significant when conducting organizational analysis, such as in merger simulation, market structure analysis, or in other areas of industrial organization.


Forecasting Political Instability

Creating and analyzing models of international political conflict is a valuable problem because understanding the dynamics of such systems can be an invaluable aid to appropriately interpret political behavior. The challenge is to create a tractable method that retains political meaning and preserves enough information of the underlying dynamic system so as to support the development of predictive models. This project is building a control-theoretic model for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is amenable to optimization and expresses the tradeoff between internal and external coalition strength.