Finding the limits of the Limes: call for papers

limesRomans and networks: it’s my thing! So it should not come as a surprise that I recommend presenting at the conference ‘Finding the limits of the Limes‘. It’s the final conference of a project at VU Amsterdam led by Philip Verhagen. The conference has an entire session on network approaches in which I will present an overview. Aside from networks, the conference welcomes other modelling approaches applied to Roman archaeology. So do consider submitting an abstract!

When? 26-27 January 2017

Where? VU Amsterdam

Deadline call for papers: 1 October 2016

Details on the website and below.

On 26 and 27 January 2017, we will organize a conference at VU University Amsterdam to present and discuss the results of our project.

During the conference, we want to focus on four major topics: subsistence economy, demography, transport and mobility, and socio-economic networks in the Roman period. We invite scholars working on these issues to submit a paper in one of the sessions mentioned below.

Please send a title and abstract of max. 300 words to dr. Philip Verhagen (j.w.h.p.verhagen@vu.nl) before 1 October 2016. Paper presenters will be given the opportunity to publish in the project’s final publication.

Hoping to see you in Amsterdam!

Philip Verhagen
Jamie Joyce
Mark Groenhuijzen

SESSSION 1: Modelling the agricultural economy in the Roman world

The necessity of the agricultural economy in the Roman world is undoubted. Most of the population in the Roman world engaged in agriculture- peasants balancing on the edge between famine and sufficiency, obliged not only to support their households but also to supply the state with supplies and manpower. Yet, the adage that our understanding of the classical world is formed largely from the ancient elites is still pertinent. The peasant in the classical world remains largely invisible and so too the economy and subsistence of the vast majority of the inhabitants in the Roman world. Furthermore, whilst we have a broad knowledge of the rural economy in the Roman world such as diet, farming practices and technology, and quantification of agricultural output, we are still missing more detailed understanding in variations across the empire on different scales.

The Finding the Limits of the Limes project has focused on the rural native economy of the Dutch Roman limes zone which was characterised by a mixed agricultural economy in a highly militarised frontier zone. In addition, the project has researched non-food producing activities namely fuel and wood management. We have utilized an agent-based modelling approach to simulate different strategies within the mixed agricultural economy of the region, with a particular interest in interactions between the different activities and the limits on surplus production presented by land and labour costs for these different approaches to agriculture. Furthermore, we have simulated the rural economy over different geographic and temporal scales: from the pre-Roman Iron Age to the Middle Roman Period, from the household to the micro-region.

To complement and contrast with our research in the Dutch Roman limes zone, we invite contributions concerning the rural economy in the Roman world. In particular, we seek papers concerning:

  • Defining the limits of agricultural production within the rural economy (such as animal husbandry, arable farming, and fuel-management) in the northern Roman provinces.
  • Multidisciplinary approaches for the understanding of agriculture in the Roman world incorporating, where applicable, traditional archaeological methods, environmental archaeology and computational modelling.
  • The interactions between consumers and native producers in the Roman world, particularly the supply to and demand from the Roman military

SESSION 2: Modelling demography in the Roman Empire

Demographic studies of the Roman Empire have a long history, but are severely hampered by a lack of reliable written sources. In the absence of such sources, archaeologists routinely rely on survey and excavation data to estimate population densities, but these only provide limited understanding of the underlying principles of human population dynamics that would allow us to confidently predict the size and composition of (parts of) the Roman population. Nevertheless, knowledge of historic population dynamics is extremely important for a better understanding of all kinds of socio-economic issues. In our project, we have used demographic estimates to better understand the potential of the study region for agricultural surplus production: was there sufficient labour force available, and did the forced recruitment of soldiers pose significant problems to the local population? For this, we relied on dynamical models of human reproduction, and confronted the model results with archaeological data and historical evidence.

In this session, we invite papers that apply modelling approaches to demographic questions in order to investigate socio-economic issues, such as the production capacity of the countryside, population growth and settlement pattern development, the impact of mortality crises on economic production and military power, or the influence of birth and marriage control strategies on available workforce. We also invite papers dealing with the problems of building reliable and usable demographic models, including their sensitivity to changes in input parameters, the choice of an appropriate temporal and spatial scale, and the problems of testing the outcomes.

SESSION 3: Modelling transport and mobility in the Roman period

Research on transport and mobility in the Roman period has largely focussed on interactions on regional to empire-wide scales. In contrast, we know very little about local-scale movements, which is at least partly the result of a relative lack of archaeological and historical material to work with. The use of spatial modelling techniques has become common to bridge the gap between theoretical notions of short- to medium-distance mobility and the lack of evidence for it. In this session we want to focus on the practical and theoretical implications of using modelling approaches to better understand transport and mobility on the local to regional scales. We specifically invite papers that deal with new approaches to modelling transport or mobility, papers that link transport models to economic models, and papers that discuss the archaeological, anthropological, physiological and/or (socio-)economic theoretical foundations of modelling transport and mobility.

SESSION 4: Networks and the socio-economic structure of the Roman period

Interactions between people are at the core of archaeological research on the cultural landscape and socio-economic structure within the Dutch limes zone. To identify patterns in relationships between archaeological data, network analysis has become an increasingly used tool. In this session we aim to explore how we can better understand the functioning of the economy, transport, and specifically the spatial and economic relations between people, by applying concepts of network science and formal network analysis techniques. We are especially interested in papers that apply network analysis to address these topics in an innovative way, papers that link network models to (socio-)economic concepts, and papers that discuss the theoretical implications and limitations of both the techniques and the data.

Call for papers CAA2015 in Siena

caaThe call for papers for the 2015 edition of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference is now open. There are some great sessions and workshops planned, check out the program here.

I want to draw your attention to a number of sessions and workshops I’m involved in or that are of interest if you bothered reading this blog post until here 🙂 I want to invite everyone to consider submitting a paper or attending these! Full abstracts below.

Session 5H: Geographical and temporal network science in archaeology

Session 5L: Modelling large-scale human dispersals: data, pattern and process

Workshop 5: Introduction to exploratory network analysis for archaeologists using Visone

Workshop 8: First steps in agent-based modelling with Netlogo

Roundtable 5: Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology

ABSTRACTS

Session 5H: Geographical and temporal network science in archaeology

Formal network techniques are becoming an increasingly common addition to the archaeologist’s methodological toolbox. Archaeologists have adopted these techniques mainly from the fields of social network analysis, physics and mathematics, where they have been developed and applied for decades. However, network science techniques for the analysis or visualisation of geographical and long-term temporal phenomena have seen far less development than those for social and technological phenomena. Conversely, archaeology has a long tradition of studying long-term change of socio-cultural systems and spatial phenomena, a research focus and tradition that is a direct consequence of the nature of archaeological data and our ambition to use it as proxy evidence for past human behaviour. We believe this spatial and temporal research focus so common in archaeology could inspire the development of innovative spatial and temporal network science techniques.

This session welcomes archaeological applications of formal network science techniques. It particularly encourages elaboration on the geographical and temporal aspects of applications. What are the implications of working on large time-scales for the use of network science techniques and the interpretation of their outputs? How can the study of long-term change of social systems inspire the development of innovative network science techniques? What advantages do geographical network approaches offer over other spatial analysis techniques in archaeology? How can the long tradition of studying spatial phenomena in archaeology inspire the development of innovative network science techniques?

Session 5L: Modelling large-scale human dispersals: data, pattern and process

Archaeology has largely moved forward from the simplistic ‘dots-on-the-map’ and ‘arrows-on-the-map’ approaches when it comes to studying large-scale human movements. Current models regarding spatio-temporal distribution and migration of humans often highlight the complex nature of such phenomena and the limitations that any particular data type impose on the reconstruction, be it environmental (paleoclimate, paleotopography, paleofauna and -flora), archaeological (site distribution, patterns in material culture) and other types of data (genetics, isotopes etc). Similarly the, often very coarse, resolution of the data coupled with the difficulty of integrating different types of information within one framework make the task of researching large-scale human dispersal challenging. Nevertheless, a number of recent applications employing different computational techniques show that this can be achieved. From the data acquisition, cataloguing and storing, to spatial analysis and identifying patterns and distributions in the data to building abstract and semi-realistic simulations of the processes behind the dispersals, computational techniques can aid the process of investigating human movement on various scales and allow researchers to tackle the underlying complexity of the studied systems moving the debate beyond simple intuitive models.

This session aims to summarise the recent progress in the topic, discuss major challenges and provide a base for establishing further directions of research. We invite contributions from researchers studying human movements on the meso- and macro-scale and employing any of the wide variety of techniques and theoretical frameworks within the following three themes:

DATA: spatio-temporal data acquisition and integration (for example, data types, quantifying uncertainty and biases of the data, large-scale databases, cross-platform integration);

PATTERN: spatio-temporal analysis and modelling (statistical modelling, GIS, C14 among others);

PROCESS: modelling of processes and mechanisms underpinning dispersal through simulation (agent-based and equation-based modelling, cellular automata, system-dynamics modelling, (social) network theory) and other techniques.

Workshop 5: Introduction to exploratory network analysis for archaeologists using Visone

Network science techniques offer archaeologists the ability to manage, visualise, and analyse network data. Within different archaeological research contexts, network data can be used to represent hypothesised past social networks, geographically embedded networks like roads and rivers, the similarity of site assemblages, and much more.

A large number of software programs is available to work with network data. Visone is one of them and offers a number of advantages:
‱ Free to use for research purposes
‱ A user-friendly interactive graphical user interface
‱ Innovative network visualisations
‱ Exporting publication-quality raster and vector files
‱ The incorporation of statistical modelling techniques

This workshop introduces the basics of network data management, visualisation and analysis with Visone through practical examples using archaeological research questions and datasets. The workshop is aimed at archaeologists with no required previous experience with network science.

Participants should bring a laptop with Visone installed (download Visone: http://visone.info/ )

Maximum 20 participants.

Workshop 8: First steps in agent-based modelling with Netlogo

Following on the success of the simulation workshops at CAA2012 in Perth and CAA2013 in Paris, we would like to continue the beginner course in NetLogo – an open-source platform for building agent-based models. NetLogo’s user-friendly interface, simple coding language and a vast library of model examples makes it an ideal starting point for entry-level modellers, as well as a useful prototyping tool for more experienced programmers. The first part of the workshop will be devoted to demonstrating the basics of modelling with NetLogo through a set of worked examples. This should give each participant enough skills and confidence to tackle the second exercise: building an archaeologically-inspired simulation in a small group. Finally, the last two hours will consist of a ‘drop-in’ clinic for anyone who would like to discuss their ideas for a simulation, needs help developing a model, or would like direction to further resources for modellers.

No prior knowledge of coding is required but we will ask the participants to bring their own laptop and install NetLogo beforehand: https://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/

Roundtable 5: Simulating the Past: Complex Systems Simulation in Archaeology

In the last few years approaches commonly classified as computational modelling (agent-based and equation-based modelling, and other types of simulation etc.) are becoming increasingly common and popular among the archaeological computing community. Almost all research activity could be termed ‘modelling’ in some sense, for example, in archaeology we create conceptual models (hypotheses, typologies), spatial models (GIS), virtual models (3D reconstructions) or statistical models to name but a few. Most of them, however, investigate either the elements of the system (individual pots, skeletons, buildings etc.) or the pattern produced by the system elements (cultural similarities, settlement distribution, urban development etc.) and only theorize about the possible processes that led from the aggregated actions of individual actors to population-level patterns. In contrast, simulation allows us to approach such processes in a formal way and tackle some of the past complexities. It helps us to create ‘virtual labs’ in which we can test and contrast different hypotheses, find irregularities in the data or identify new factors which we would not suspect of having a significant impact on the system. In short, complexity science techniques have great potential for diverse applications in archaeology and may become a driving force for formalisation of descriptive models for the whole discipline.

The aim of this roundtable is to discuss the potential and challenges of complex systems simulation, including but not restricted to:
the epistemology of computational modelling (what it can and cannot do);
data integration and its use for model validation;
system formalisation and the role of domain specialists;
replicability and reuse of code;
lessons learnt from other disciplines commonly using simulation (ecology, social science, economics etc.)
communication between modellers and the wider archaeological public;
further directions of research.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to propose the creation of a new Special Interest Group (SIG) under the auspices of CAA (named: ‘CAA Complex Systems Simulation SIG’), and to discuss a preliminary plan of the proposed activities of the SIG and an outline of how the SIG is to be organised.

Second Connected Past conference in Paris!

TCPI’ve got some very exciting news! On 26 April 2014 we will organise the second ‘The Connected Past’ conference! As we did in 2012 it will be a satellite event to the CAA conference, which will be held in Paris in April 2014. The Connected Past conference will be held in Paris Sciences Po and the organisation is led by Prof. Claire Lemercier. Our call for papers is now open and we welcome short abstracts by the 12 November.

We thank the CAA for supporting this initiative!
See the full call for papers below or on the Connected Past website.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

(French version below)

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Connected Past
A satellite conference at CAA 2014, Paris
26 April 2014 in Paris Sciences Po. Deadline abstract submission: 12 November 2013.

With the Support of Sciences Po, the DYREM research program, MĂ©dialab, and the French network of historical network analysis.

Held Saturday April 26th 2014 in Sciences Po, rooms Albert Sorel and Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris (metro Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Rue du Bac)

Organisers: Claire Lemercier (CNRS, Sciences Po, Paris), Tom Brughmans (University of Southampton), The Connected Past steering committee.

The Connected Past is a community led by a multi-disciplinary international steering committee. It aims to provide discussion platforms for the development of original and critical applications of network and complexity approaches to archaeology and history. To this purpose The Connected Past organises international conferences, focused seminars and practical didactic workshops.

Over the past decade ‘network’ has become a buzz-word in many disciplines across the humanities and sciences. Researchers in archaeology and history in particular are increasingly exploring network-based theory and methodologies drawn from complex network models or social network analysis as a means of understanding dynamic social relationships in the past, as well as technical relationships in their data. This series of conferences aims to provide a platform for pioneering, multidisciplinary, collaborative work by researchers working to develop network approaches and their application to the past.

The conference will be held immediately after the CAA conference (Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology), also happening in Paris, allowing participants to easily attend both – but participants from other disciplines, especially history, are also most welcome.

The conference aims to:

  • Provide a forum for the presentation of network-based research applied to archaeological or historical questions
  • Discuss the practicalities and implications of applying network perspectives and methodologies to archaeological and historical data in particular
  • Strengthen the group of researchers interested in the potential of network approaches for archaeology and history
  • Foster cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaborative work towards integrated analytical frameworks for understanding complex networks
  • Stimulate debate about the application of network theory and analysis within archaeology and history in particular, but also more widely, and highlight the relevance of this work for the continued development of network theory in other disciplines

We welcome contributions addressing any of (but not restricted to) the following themes:

  • The diffusion of innovations, people and objects in the past
  • Social network analysis in archaeology and history
  • The dynamics between physical and relational space
  • Evolving, multilevel and multiplex networks
  • Emergent properties in complex networks
  • Agency, structuration and complexity in network approaches
  • Future directions for network approaches in archaeology and history

Please email proposed titles and abstracts (max. 250 words) by November 12th 2013 to: connectedpast@soton.ac.uk

Complete papers will not be required. Oral presentations will be limited to 15 minutes so as to leave room for discussion. The abstracts should be written in English, but French talks accompanied by an English presentation, or vice versa, will be admitted, and French questions or answers will be welcome during the debates. Lunch will be offered to presenters and hopefully to all participants, but the organizers cannot fund travel or lodging.

There are no attendance fees. Although this event is free of charge, registration is required and the number of places is limited. Registration to the event will open once the final programme is advertised in late November, and places will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

A “The Connected Past” practical workshop, “Introduction to network analysis for archaeologists” will also be organized during CAA2014 in Paris (see the CAA programme).

—- French version —–

The Connected Past
Dans le cadre du congrÚs CAA 2014 (informatique et méthodes quantitatives en archéologie) à Paris

Un Ă©vĂ©nement organisĂ© par le rĂ©seau “The Connected Past”

Avec le soutien de Sciences Po Paris, du programme de recherche DYREM, du MĂ©dialab et du groupe Res-Hist, RĂ©seaux et Histoire

Samedi 26 avril 2014 à Sciences Po, amphithéùtres Albert Sorel et Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris (métro Saint-Germain-des-Prés ou Rue du Bac)

Organisation : Claire Lemercier (CNRS, Sciences Po, Paris), Tom Brughmans (University of Southampton), The Connected Past comité scientifique

“The Connected Past” est un groupe de chercheurs dotĂ© d’un comitĂ© scientifique international et interdisciplinaire. Son objectif est d’offrir des lieux de discussion autour du dĂ©veloppement d’applications originales des approches en termes de rĂ©seaux et de complexitĂ© en archĂ©ologie et en histoire. Pour cela, il organise depuis 2011 des colloques, sĂ©minaires et ateliers de formation.

Le mot “rĂ©seau” est de plus en plus Ă  la mode depuis maintenant plusieurs dĂ©cennies, dans la plupart des disciplines, y compris de sciences humaines et sociales. En histoire et en archĂ©ologie notamment, les thĂ©ories et mĂ©thodes centrĂ©es sur les rĂ©seaux, souvent inspirĂ©es de l’analyse de rĂ©seaux sociaux ou des sciences de la complexitĂ©, sont de plus en plus souvent mobilisĂ©es, que ce soit pour parler des liens sociaux du passĂ© ou pour traiter des donnĂ©es empiriques portant sur d’autres types de relations (impliquant des lieux, objets, etc.). La sĂ©rie de journĂ©es “The Connected Past” propose un lieu commun pour discuter de travaux de ce type, appliquant des approches des rĂ©seaux au passĂ©, quelle que soit leur discipline d’origine.

La journĂ©e de Paris se tiendra dans la foulĂ©e du congrĂšs d’archĂ©ologie CAA, afin de permettre Ă  ses participants d’ĂȘtre prĂ©sents s’ils le souhaitent ; mais les propositions pour la journĂ©e Ă©manant d’autres disciplines et notamment de l’histoire sont tout Ă  fait bienvenues, indĂ©pendamment de toute participation au congrĂšs CAA.

Les objectifs de la journée sont de :

  • Proposer un lieu commun de prĂ©sentation pour des recherches appliquant des approches des rĂ©seaux Ă  des questions archĂ©ologiques ou historiques
  • Discuter les spĂ©cificitĂ©s et les implications de ces approches pour ces questions et types de donnĂ©es particuliers
  • Contribuer Ă  la constitution d’un groupe de chercheur.se.s intĂ©ressĂ©.e.s par le potentiel de ces approches en archĂ©ologie et en histoire
  • Encourager le dialogue interdisciplinaire et la recherche collective dans le domaine des rĂ©seaux complexes
  • Faire vivre les dĂ©bats sur l’application des thĂ©ories et mĂ©thodes sur les rĂ©seaux, en histoire, archĂ©ologie, et en retour dans d’autres disciplines.

Les propositions pour la journée de Paris peuvent notamment se rattacher aux thÚmes suivants (liste non limitative) :

  • La diffusion ou la migration d’innovations, de personnes, d’objets dans le passĂ©
  • L’analyse de rĂ©seaux sociaux en archĂ©ologie ou en histoire
  • Les dynamiques liĂ©es d’espaces physiques et relationnels
  • Les rĂ©seaux multiplexes, multiniveaux, longitudinaux
  • Les propriĂ©tĂ©s Ă©mergentes des rĂ©seaux complexes
  • Agency, structure et complexitĂ© dans les approches des rĂ©seaux
  • L’avenir possible des approches des rĂ©seaux en histoire et en archĂ©ologie

Merci d’envoyer vos propositions (titre et rĂ©sumĂ© de 250 mots maximum, en anglais) Ă  connectedpast@soton.ac.uk pour le 12 novembre 2013.
L’envoi d’articles complets ne sera pas demandĂ©. Les prĂ©sentations orales seront limitĂ©es Ă  15 minutes, de maniĂšre Ă  laisser un temps important aux discussions. Les propositions doivent ĂȘtre envoyĂ©es en anglais pour permettre un examen incluant l’Ă©quipe non francophone de “The Connected Past”. En revanche, il sera possible de donner une communication orale en français accompagnĂ©e d’une prĂ©sentation projetĂ©e en anglais, ou l’inverse, et d’intervenir en français dans les discussions.

Le repas de midi sera offert aux auteurs de communications et, nous l’espĂ©rons, Ă  l’ensemble des participants. En revanche, les Ă©ventuels trajets et nuits d’hĂŽtel resteront Ă  la charge des auteurs de communications.
Il n’y a pas de frais d’inscription, mais, du fait de la taille des amphithĂ©Ăątres, il sera demandĂ© de s’inscrire auprĂšs des organisateurs (en cas d’inscriptions trop nombreuses, seuls les premiers pourront entrer !). Fin novembre, la liste des communications acceptĂ©es sera annoncĂ©e et l’adresse d’inscription sera indiquĂ©e dans le mĂȘme temps.

Notez enfin deux autres événements connexes auxquels nous vous encourageons également à participer

  • Un atelier pratique “The Connected Past” dans le cadre de la CAA : introduction aux rĂ©seaux sociaux pour archĂ©ologues (en anglais), voir CAA.
  • Les 9-11 avril 2014 Ă  Toulouse, les secondes rencontres Res-Hist sur l’analyse de rĂ©seaux en histoire, avec des invitĂ©s Ă©trangers, des prĂ©sentations de recherches en cours et des ateliers pratiques de formation.

 

CFP Hestia2 seminar

hestiaThree years ago I attended the conference that concluded the Hestia project. I gave my second presentation ever at that conference and met loads of fascinating people, all of which I am still good friends with. Project Hestia was all about using new computing techniques to explore the use of space in Herodotus’ ‘Histories’. The conference drew an eclectic mix of computer scientists, classicists, historians and archaeologists. As always happens at such multi-disciplinary events, academics with a different background always find common ground that leads to fascinating discussions.

I was glad to hear that the Hestia team managed to get follow-on funding from the AHRC, and even happier that this time round I got to be part of the team. The Connected Past is a partner in Hestia2. We are organising a one-day seminar at The University of Southampton on 18 July on spatial network analysis in archaeology, history, classics, teaching and commercial archaeology. Hestia part 2 is all about public engagement, so expect a mixed crowd and fascinating discussions!

We welcome abstracts for this event, so please go ahead and send yours in now. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in attending. More info on the call for paper can be found below or on the Connected Past website.

CALL FOR PAPERS

HESTIA2: Exploring spatial networks through ancient sources

University of Southampton 18th July 2013
Organisers: Elton Barker, Stefan Bouzarovski, Leif Isaksen and Tom Brughmans
In collaboration with The Connected Past

A free one-day seminar on spatial network analysis in archaeology, history, classics, teaching and commercial archaeology.

Spatial relationships are everywhere in our sources about the past: from the ancient roads that connect cities, or ancient authors mentioning political alliances between places, to the stratigraphic contexts archaeologists deal with in their fieldwork. However, as datasets about the past become increasingly large, these spatial networks become ever more difficult to disentangle. Network techniques allow us to address such spatial relationships explicitly and directly through network visualisation and analysis. This seminar aims to explore the potential of such innovative techniques for research, public engagement and commercial purposes.

The seminar is part of Hestia2, a public engagement project aimed at introducing a series of conceptual and practical innovations to the spatial reading and visualisation of texts. Following on from the AHRC-funded “Network, Relation, Flow: Imaginations of Space in Herodotus’s Histories” (Hestia), Hestia2 represents a deliberate shift from experimenting with geospatial analysis of a single text to making Hestia’s outcomes available to new audiences and widely applicable to other texts through a seminar series, online platform, blog and learning materials with the purpose of fostering knowledge exchange between researchers and non-academics, and generating public interest and engagement in this field.

For this first Hestia2 workshop we welcome contributions addressing any of (but not restricted to) the following themes:
‱ Spatial network analysis techniques
‱ Spatial networks in archaeology, history and classics
‱ Techniques for the discovery and analysis of networks from textual sources
‱ Exploring spatial relationships in classical and archaeological sources
‱ The use of network visualisations and linked datasets for archaeologists active in the commercial sector and teachers
‱ Applications of network analysis in archaeology, history and classics

Please email proposed titles and abstracts (max. 250 words) to:
t.brughmans@soton.ac.uk by May 13th 2013.

CFP: Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 10.16.18I have advertised the Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks symposia a few times before and have attended one of them (presentation, paper). It proved a really fascinating multi-disciplinary event where I learned a lot and met many like-minded people. So for all of us doing networks in Arts and Humanities, come down to Denmark and present at the Symposium.

Deadline call for papers: 31 March 2013
For more info and submission go to the symposium website.

We are delighted to invite submissions for

Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks
— 4th Leonardo satellite symposium at NetSci2013

taking place in Copenhagen at DTU – Technical University of Denmark,
on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

Submission:
For submission instructions please go to:
http://artshumanities.netsci2013.net/

Deadline for submission: March 31, 2013.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by April 8, 2013.

Abstract:
The overall mission of the symposium is to bring together pioneer work in the overlap of arts, humanities, network research, data science, and information design. The 2013 symposium will leverage interaction between those areas by means of keynotes, a number of contributions, and a high-profile panel discussion.

In our call, we are looking for a diversity of research contributions revolving around networks in culture, networks in art, networks in the humanities, art about networks, and research in network visualization. Focusing on these five pillars that have crystallized out of our previous meetings, the 2013 symposium strives to make further impact in the arts, humanities, and natural sciences.

Running parallel to the NetSci2013 conference, the symposium provides a unique opportunity to mingle with leading researchers in complex network science, potentially sparking fruitful collaborations.

As in previous years, selected papers will be published in print, both in a Special Section of Leonardo Journal MIT-Press and in a dedicated Leonardo eBook MIT-Press.
Cf. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007S0UA9Q

Best regards,
The AHCN2013 organizers,
Maximilian Schich*, Roger Malina**, and Isabel Meirelles***
artshumanities.netsci@gmail.com

* Associate Professor, ATEC, The University of Texas at Dallas, USA
** Executive Editor at Leonardo Publications, France/USA
*** Associate Professor, Dept. of Art + Design, Northeastern University, USA

Complexity session and workshop at CAA2013

The CAA (computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology) conference submission system has just opened and the deadline to submit papers is 10 October. Download the CFP and list of sessions here. I am involved in one session and one workshop this year, both with Iza Romanowska, Carolin Vegvari and Eugene Ch’ng. Our papers session is entitled “S9. Complex systems simulation in archaeology” and our hands-on workshop “W1. Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology”. Feel free to submit an abstract to the session. We hope we will spark some interest in complexity and good discussion with both the session and workshop. We invite innovative and critical applications in analytical modelling, ABM, network analysis and other methods performed in a complexity science approach. So do not hesitate to submit an abstract and join discussions in Perth!

Here you can read the abstract of the paper session and of the workshop (below):

S9. Complex systems simulation in archaeology. Chairs: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans. Discussants: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari Format: Paper presentation (LP)

A complex system is “a system in which large networks of components with no central control and simple rules of operation give rise to complex collective behaviour, sophisticated information processing, and adaptation via learning or evolution.” Mitchell 2009: 14. Complexity has been proclaimed as a new paradigm shift in science almost half a century ago. It developed as a response to the reductionist approach of RenĂ© Descartes and the idea of a ‘clockwork universe’ that dominated past thinking for many centuries. Complexity brings a fresh alternative to this mechanistic approach. Complex Systems exist in every hierarchy of our world, from the molecular, to individual organisms, and from community to the global environment. This is why researchers in many disciplines, including archaeology, found particularly appealing the idea that global patterns can emerge in the absence of central control through interaction between local elements governed by simple rules (Kohler 2012). As a result, the unifying phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ (Aristotle, Metaphysica 10f-1045a) became the common ground for scholars in many disciplines.
Due to the complex nature of interactions, the study of complex systems requires computational tools such as equation-based modelling, agent-based modelling (ABM) and complex network analysis. In recent years the number of archaeological applications of complex systems simulation has increased significantly, not in the least due to a wider availability of computing power and user-friendly software alternatives. The real strength of these tools lies in their ability to explore hypothetical processes that give rise to archaeologically attested structures. They require archaeological assumptions to be made explicit and very often force researchers to present them in quantifiable form. For example, vague concepts such as ‘social coherence’, ‘connectivity’ or even seemingly explicit ‘dispersal rates’, often have to be given numeric values if they are to be integrated into computational models. Computational tools also allow for testing alternative hypotheses by creating ‘virtual labs’ in which archaeologists can test and eliminate models which, although superficially logical, are not plausible.
The main contribution that complexity science perspectives have to offer archaeology is the wide set of modelling and analytical approaches which recognise the actions of individual agents who collectively and continually create new cultural properties. Indeed, it has been argued that a complexity science perspective incorporates the advantages of culture historical, processual and post-processual paradigms in archaeology (Bentley and Maschner 2003; Bintliff 2008). Quantifiable complex systems simulations and mathematical modelling can provide a way to bridge the gap between the reductionist approach and the constructionist study of the related whole (Bentley and Maschner 2003).
This session aims to reflect upon and build on the recent surge of complex systems simulation applications in archaeology. Innovative and critical applications in analytical modelling, ABM, network analysis and other methods performed in a complexity science approach are welcomed. We hope this session will spark creative and insightful discussion on the potential and limitations of complexity science, possible applications, tools as well as its theoretical implications.

W1. Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology. Chairs: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari. Discussants: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans

Modelling in various forms has always been an integral part of archaeology. In the broadest sense, archaeology is the study of human activities in the past, and a model is a simplified representation of reality. As a map is a useful abstract of the physical world that allows us to see aspects of the world we chose to, so a computational model distils reality into a few key features, leaving out unnecessary details so as to let us see connections. Human societies in their environmental context can be considered as complex systems. Complex systems are systems with many interacting parts, they are found in every hierarchy of the universe, from the molecular level to large planetary systems within which life and humanity with its cultural developments occur. Formal modelling can help archaeologists to identify the relationships between elements within a complex socio-environmental system in that particular hierarchy. Simulating large populations and non-linear interactions are computationally expensive. In recent years, however, the introduction of new mathematical techniques, rapid advances in computation, and modelling tools has greatly enhanced the potential of complex systems analysis in archaeology. Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) is one of these new methods and has become highly popular with archaeologists. In Agent-Based Modelling, human individuals in ancient societies are modelled as individual agents. The interaction of agents with each other and with their environment can give rise to emergent properties and self-organisation at the macro level – the distribution of wealth within a society, the forming of cohesive groups, population movements in climate change, the development of culture, and the evolution of landscape use are among the examples. Thus, the application of Agent-Based Models to hypothesis testing in archaeology becomes part of the question. The ability to construct various models and run hundreds of simulation in order to see the general developmental trend can provide us with new knowledge impossible in traditional approaches. Another advantage of agent-based models over other mathematical methods is that they can easily model, or capture heterogeneity within these systems, such as the different characteristics (personalities, gender, age, size, etc), preferences (coastal, in-land, food, fashion), and dynamics (microstates of position and orientation).
We would like to invite archaeologists new to complex systems and Agent-Based Modelling for an introductory workshop on Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in archaeology. The workshop introduces the concept of Complexity in archaeology, drawing relationships between Information, Computation and Complexity. The practicality of the workshop leads beginners in building simple agent- based models and provides a means to build more complex simulations after. Participants knowledgeable in Complexity wishing to gain insights on real-world applications of Complexity will benefit from this workshop. Participants will get the opportunity to experiment with simple models and draw conclusions from analysis of simulations of those models. Programming experience is not required as the workshop leads beginners from the ground up in modelling tools.

CFP CAA 2013 Perth and our Complexity sessions

The CAA (computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology) is one of those conferences I actually look forward to each year. It has a big community of genuinely great people, it’s always a good experience. Next year it will be held in Perth, Australia. The call for papers is just out, and it looks like there will be quite a few interesting sessions on quite diverse topics. Download the CFP and list of sessions here.

I am involved in one session and one workshop this year, both with Iza Romanowska, Carolin Vegvari and Eugene Ch’ng. Our papers session is entitled “S9. Complex systems simulation in archaeology” and our hands-on workshop “W1. Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology”. Feel free to submit an abstract to the session. We hope we will spark some interest in complexity and good discussion with both the session and workshop.

Here are the abstracts:

S9. Complex systems simulation in archaeology. Chairs: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans. Discussants: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari Format: Paper presentation (LP)

A complex system is “a system in which large networks of components with no central control and simple rules of operation give rise to complex collective behaviour, sophisticated information processing, and adaptation via learning or evolution.” Mitchell 2009: 14. Complexity has been proclaimed as a new paradigm shift in science almost half a century ago. It developed as a response to the reductionist approach of RenĂ© Descartes and the idea of a ‘clockwork universe’ that dominated past thinking for many centuries. Complexity brings a fresh alternative to this mechanistic approach. Complex Systems exist in every hierarchy of our world, from the molecular, to individual organisms, and from community to the global environment. This is why researchers in many disciplines, including archaeology, found particularly appealing the idea that global patterns can emerge in the absence of central control through interaction between local elements governed by simple rules (Kohler 2012). As a result, the unifying phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ (Aristotle, Metaphysica 10f-1045a) became the common ground for scholars in many disciplines.
Due to the complex nature of interactions, the study of complex systems requires computational tools such as equation-based modelling, agent-based modelling (ABM) and complex network analysis. In recent years the number of archaeological applications of complex systems simulation has increased significantly, not in the least due to a wider availability of computing power and user-friendly software alternatives. The real strength of these tools lies in their ability to explore hypothetical processes that give rise to archaeologically attested structures. They require archaeological assumptions to be made explicit and very often force researchers to present them in quantifiable form. For example, vague concepts such as ‘social coherence’, ‘connectivity’ or even seemingly explicit ‘dispersal rates’, often have to be given numeric values if they are to be integrated into computational models. Computational tools also allow for testing alternative hypotheses by creating ‘virtual labs’ in which archaeologists can test and eliminate models which, although superficially logical, are not plausible.
The main contribution that complexity science perspectives have to offer archaeology is the wide set of modelling and analytical approaches which recognise the actions of individual agents who collectively and continually create new cultural properties. Indeed, it has been argued that a complexity science perspective incorporates the advantages of culture historical, processual and post-processual paradigms in archaeology (Bentley and Maschner 2003; Bintliff 2008). Quantifiable complex systems simulations and mathematical modelling can provide a way to bridge the gap between the reductionist approach and the constructionist study of the related whole (Bentley and Maschner 2003).
This session aims to reflect upon and build on the recent surge of complex systems simulation applications in archaeology. Innovative and critical applications in analytical modelling, ABM, network analysis and other methods performed in a complexity science approach are welcomed. We hope this session will spark creative and insightful discussion on the potential and limitations of complexity science, possible applications, tools as well as its theoretical implications.

W1. Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology. Chairs: E. Ch’ng, C. Vegvari. Discussants: I. Romanowska, T. Brughmans

Modelling in various forms has always been an integral part of archaeology. In the broadest sense, archaeology is the study of human activities in the past, and a model is a simplified representation of reality. As a map is a useful abstract of the physical world that allows us to see aspects of the world we chose to, so a computational model distils reality into a few key features, leaving out unnecessary details so as to let us see connections. Human societies in their environmental context can be considered as complex systems. Complex systems are systems with many interacting parts, they are found in every hierarchy of the universe, from the molecular level to large planetary systems within which life and humanity with its cultural developments occur. Formal modelling can help archaeologists to identify the relationships between elements within a complex socio-environmental system in that particular hierarchy. Simulating large populations and non-linear interactions are computationally expensive. In recent years, however, the introduction of new mathematical techniques, rapid advances in computation, and modelling tools has greatly enhanced the potential of complex systems analysis in archaeology. Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) is one of these new methods and has become highly popular with archaeologists. In Agent-Based Modelling, human individuals in ancient societies are modelled as individual agents. The interaction of agents with each other and with their environment can give rise to emergent properties and self-organisation at the macro level – the distribution of wealth within a society, the forming of cohesive groups, population movements in climate change, the development of culture, and the evolution of landscape use are among the examples. Thus, the application of Agent-Based Models to hypothesis testing in archaeology becomes part of the question. The ability to construct various models and run hundreds of simulation in order to see the general developmental trend can provide us with new knowledge impossible in traditional approaches. Another advantage of agent-based models over other mathematical methods is that they can easily model, or capture heterogeneity within these systems, such as the different characteristics (personalities, gender, age, size, etc), preferences (coastal, in-land, food, fashion), and dynamics (microstates of position and orientation).
We would like to invite archaeologists new to complex systems and Agent-Based Modelling for an introductory workshop on Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modelling in archaeology. The workshop introduces the concept of Complexity in archaeology, drawing relationships between Information, Computation and Complexity. The practicality of the workshop leads beginners in building simple agent- based models and provides a means to build more complex simulations after. Participants knowledgeable in Complexity wishing to gain insights on real-world applications of Complexity will benefit from this workshop. Participants will get the opportunity to experiment with simple models and draw conclusions from analysis of simulations of those models. Programming experience is not required as the workshop leads beginners from the ground up in modelling tools.

Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin launched

Our colleagues at the German Archaeological Institute and the Excellence Cluster TOPOI have just launched the Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin. Find the official call for papers here:

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Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin 2012/2013: Call for Papers
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We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the newly established Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin, which will run for the first time in the Winter Term 2012. This initiative, inspired by and connected to London’s Digital Classicist Work in Progress Seminar, is organised in association with the German Archaeological Institute and the Excellence Cluster TOPOI.

We invite submissions on research which employ digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable increased understanding of the ancient world at large. Abstracts, either in English or in German, of 300-500 words max. (bibliographic references excluded) should be uploaded by midnight MET on September 14, 2012 using the special submission form.

Themes may include digital text, linguistics technology, image processing and visualisation, linked data and semantic web, open access, spatial and network analysis, serious gaming and any other digital or quantitative methods. We welcome seminar proposals addressing the application of these methods to individual projects, and particularly contributions which show how the digital component can lead to crossing disciplinary boundaries and answer new research questions. Seminar content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, as well as information scientists and digital humanists, with an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of these fields.

Seminars will run fortnightly on Tuesday evenings (17:00-18:30) starting in October 2012 in the TOPOI Building Dahlem, hosted by the Excellence Cluster TOPOI. The full programme will be finalised and announced in late September. It is planned to grant an allowance to speakers for travelling and accommodation costs. Further details will be available once the program is finalised.

New Human Origins journal launched

A new open-contents journal edited by members of the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins here at Southampton was just launched. You can download all the papers of the first issue on the new website. This first issue includes papers from the Lucy to Language seminar series. It includes some fascinating papers by my colleagues here. The journal also welcomes new submissions, guidelines can be found on the website.

Human Origins is a British-based peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal dedicated to human origins research and Palaeolithic archaeology. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, we offer a broad and interdisciplinary emphasis on Palaeolithic archaeology as well as primatology, osteology, evolutionary psychology, ethnography, palaeo-climatology, geology, anthropology and genetics (phylogeography).

Issue 1 has now been published and is a special volumecontaining papers from the British Academy Lucy to Language: Archaeology of the Social Brain Seminar Series on Palaeolithic Visual Display.

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