Special issue ARCS welcomes paper proposals

A new publication opportunity: ARCS, a multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to network research in the social sciences. I am sure they welcome contributions from archaeologists and historians. Importantly: open access without processing fees!
More info on the journal website.

Presentation

Since the 1960s, network analysis has been used in many disciplines in social science (sociology, geography, history, etc.) as well as in natural and formal science, with each discipline defining its own concepts and indicators. After the late 1990s, the circulation of concepts and indicators defined in physics, the development of new software and algorithms, and easier access to large relational datasets have changed practices and rearranged bridges and boundaries between disciplines.

Several papers have already assessed the influence of physicists on network analysis in sociology (Crossley, 2008), archaeology (Brughmans, 2013) and geography (Ducruet and Beauguitte, 2014), but there are still few studies of the circulation, or non-circulation, of network analysis methods and concepts between disciplines.

It would for example be interesting to understand why betweenness centrality has become a common indicator in the social sciences, whereas methods developed in ecology to analyze bipartite graphs are seldom used. Similarly, gravity models, which have been used in geography since the 1960s to study valued graphs, are largely ignored in sociology.

We welcome papers addressing (this is a non-limitative list):

  • the circulation, or non-circulation, of a specific concept or method between disciplines. What enabled or hindered this circulation (types of data, routine uses of software, publication formats, etc.), and which channels did it use? How did the concept or method change during its interdisciplinary journey? Reversely, can the reception of a concept or method in a different discipline have effects on the original one?
  • the genealogy of concepts and methods currently used in a specific discipline: where did they come from? How were they translated and adapted?
  • a classical text in network analysis, read from the perspective of a different discipline from that of its author.

Call for papers for a special issue of ARCSon Concepts and methods in network analysis: interdisciplinary circulation and boundaries, edited by Laurent Beauguitte (geographer, CNRS, Rouen) and Claire Lemercier (historian, CNRS, Paris)

Submission Guidelines

Authors must choose between two formats: “research paper” or “debates” (as defined here). Research papers must be based on clearly defined empirical data. Authors may use diverse types of data and methods: while this special issue explores practices in network analysis, these practices may be studied through network analysis (of citations or other types of links) as well as through other qualitative or quantitative methods. The editors have no a priori definition of “network analysis”: the aim of this special issue is precisely to emphasize the diversity of definitions across disciplines. Each author should therefore precisely state which exact methods or concepts he or she is considering.

Authors should send a one-page abstract to arcs@episciences.org

before the end of 2017

The editors will confirm whether the intended contribution fits with the special issue and the journal. The complete papers will then be peer reviewed (the process is described here; the journal is committed to getting back to the authors within three months at most) and published between June 2018 and June 2019.

References

  • Brughmans, T. (2013). Thinking Through Networks: A Review of Formal Network Methods in Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 20, 623–662.
  • Crossley, N. (2008). Small-world networks, complex systems and sociology. Sociology, 42(2), 261–277.
  • Ducruet, C. & Beauguitte, L. (2014). Spatial science and network science: Review and outcomes of a complex relationship. Networks and Spatial Economics, 14(3-4), 297-316.

The Journal

ARCSis a multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to network analysis in social sciences. It publishes open access papers (without article processing charges) in English and French, under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. The authors are encouraged to publish their data along with their papers; the journal can provide advice in this regard. The authors must use a Word or Latex template (available here). The journal insists on the use of gender-inclusive language and can provide advice in this regard.

Scientific Committee

Editor in chief

  • Laurent Beauguitte  Géographie (CR, UMR IDEES)

Publishing board

  • Claire Lagesse, Géomatique (UMR THÉMA)
  • Serge Lhomme, Géographie (MCF, EA Lab’Urba)
  • Marion Maisonobe, Géographie (UMR LISST)
  • Silvia Marzagalli, Histoire (PU, EA CMMC)
  • Pierre Mercklé, Sociologie (MCF, UMR CMW)
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Agents, networks and models: CFP for our CAA2018 session

We welcome abstracts from those studying the human past using tools from network science, agent-based modelling and other complexity science approaches.
What? A session at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Techniques in Archaeology (CAA) conference
CFP deadline: 22 October
When? 19-23 March 2018

Agents, networks and models: formal approaches to systems, relationships and change in archaeology

Iza Romanowska
Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain

Tom Brughmans
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Benjamin Davies
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Even if much ink has already been spilled on the need to use formal, computational methods to represent theories, compare alternative hypotheses and develop more complex narratives, the idea is still far from being firmly established in archaeology.

Complexity Science, the study of systems consisting of a collection of interconnected relationships and parts, provides a useful framework for formalising social and socio-natural models and it is often under this umbrella term that formal models are presented in archaeology. It has a particular appeal for researchers concerned with humans, as it stresses the importance of individual actions and interactions, as well as relations between individuals and wider system elements. Archaeology is a discipline that studies long-term, large-scale shifts in social change, human evolution, and relationships with the environment; how these phenomena emerge through the actions and interactions of individuals are questions that lie at the heart of our interests. Complexity Science offers an arsenal of methods that were developed specifically to tackle these kind of mulitscalar, multifaceted research questions.

This session will provide a forum for archaeological case studies developed using Complexity Science toolkits as well as for more methodological papers. We invite submissions of models at any stage of development from the first formalisation of the conceptual model to presenting final results.

Possible topics include but are not limited to applications or discussions of the following approaches:

  • Complexity science,
  • Network science,
  • Agent-based and equation-based modelling,
  • System dynamics,
  • Long-term change in social systems,
  • Social simulation in geographical space,
  • Complex urban systems, space syntax, gravity models.

Open Science in Archaeology: publication and special interest group

Work for two years, write a paper about it in two months, lose all rights to it in a second, hide it behind a pay-wall… Sound familiar? This is the traditional academic process in archaeology. Our very diverse work ranging from excavation, over lab tests, to interpretations is often only made available through a summarising publication that is rarely accessible to anyone other than institutions paying huge amounts of money. This is just not the way science works anymore. In such a system, how can we find out all the details of excavation results? How can we reproduce lab tests? How can we evaluate the empirical and historical background to a published interpretation in exhaustive detail? The answer is: we can’t.

It’s time for this traditional practice to change. Archaeology should follow the trend in academia towards more open science. The argument for open science in archaeology is made elaborately by Ben Marwick in a recently published paper in the SAA archaeological record, and the statements are supported by a large group of archaeologists (including myself). The paper announces the start of the SAA open science in archaeology special interest group. Check out the group’s wiki and get involved!

Here’s the paper’s abstract:

In archaeology, we are accustomed to investing great effort into collecting data from fieldwork, museum collections, and other sources, followed by detailed description, rigorous analysis, and in many cases ending with publication of our findings in short, highly concentrated reports or journal articles. Very often, these publications are all that is visible of this lengthy process, and even then, most of our journal articles are only accessible to scholars at institutions paying subscription fees to the journal publishers. While this traditional model of the archaeological research process has long been effective at generating new knowledge about our past, it is increasingly at odds with current norms of practice in other sciences. Often described as ‘open science’, these new norms include data stewardship instead of data ownership, transparency in the analysis process instead of secrecy, and public involvement instead of exclusion. While the concept of open science is not new in archaeology (e.g., see Lake 2012 and other papers in that volume), a less transparent model often prevails, unfortunately. We believe that there is much to be gained, both for individual researchers and for the discipline, from broader application of open science practices. In this article, we very briefly describe these practices and their benefits to researchers. We introduce the Society for American Archaeology’s Open Science Interest Group (OSIG) as a community to help archaeologists engage in and benefit from open science practices, and describe how it will facilitate the adoption of open science in archaeology.

The Romans and calculators: discuss! (debate published in Antiquity)

What are the limits of using computational modelling for understanding the Roman past? Where do such formal approaches fit in the existing theoretical context of Roman studies? These are the questions we debate in a discussion piece published today in Antiquity; a reply to Astrid Van Oyen’s critical and constructive discussion of our previous computational modelling work also published in Antiquity.

In our original work we argued that computational modelling should become more commonly used in the study of the Roman economy, because it holds the potential of overcoming the current deadlock in Roman macroeconomic debates by formally expressing and comparing the many interesting conflicting descriptive models, simulating their predicted behaviour (in terms of distributions of goods and prices) and comparing these simulations with archaeological data such as distributions of ceramics.

Astrid Van Oyen wrote an elaborate discussion piece, reviewing the beneficial and challenging aspects of this kind of work. She usefully and correctly places the potential of this method within current Roman economic debates, arguing for the timeliness of the approach. However, most of Van Oyen’s piece is concerned with problematising three aspects of the approach, asking whether these pose problems, and constructively thinking through possible alternatives:

  1. Can formalist modelling yield primitivist results?
  2. Do the big archaeological datasets of ceramics necessarily have to be interpreted in light of the flow of commodities?
  3. Is it possible to consider heterogeneity in agent behaviour?

In our reply, we answer the first question with a firm “yes”. We find the link commonly drawn between primitivist theories and substantivist methods on the one hand, and modernist theories and formalist methods on the other, an unhelpful and unnecessary byproduct of common practice in Roman economy studies. We argue we have shown in our own work that primitivist ideas can be formally explored (agents with limited information, the effects of social network structures), and that much more of this kind of work is necessary.

We find this debate hugely important and constructive, because we have argued that Roman economy studies is stuck in a deadlock due to a number of issues:

  1. Many models use different and sometimes ill-defined concepts to describe the complexities of the Roman economy, making them difficult to compare.
  2. The concepts used often lack specifications as to how they may be explored using data, i.e. what sort of patterns would be expected as the outcome of hypothetical processes.
  3. Consequently, the development of these conceptual models has not gone hand in hand with the development of approaches to represent, compare and (where possible) validate them formally.
  4. The role of archaeological data in testing conceptual models, although increasingly recognised, deserves greater attention, as it is the only source of information on the functioning and performance of the Roman economy that can be used for quantitative validation of complex computational and conceptual models.

Brughmans and Poblome 2016. Antiquity.

We sincerely hope that together we can position computational modelling in its rightful place in Roman studies to constructively contribute to ongoing substantive debates. We have argued that in order for this to happen, a few things are necessary:

authors of conceptual models should:

(a) clearly define the concepts used and discuss exactly how these differ from the concepts used by others,

(b) make explicit how these concepts can be represented as data,

(c) describe the expected behaviour of the system using the defined concepts,

(d) describe the expected data patterns resulting from this behaviour, and

(e) define how (if at all) archaeological and historical sources can be used as reflections or proxies of these expected data patterns.

Brughmans and Poblome 2016 http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/19/1/3.html 5.6

Want to know more? Have a look at discussion through the links below:

Our original paper in Antiquity
Van Oyen’s discussion
Our reply

Submit your work to the new CAA journal!

Finally those of us developing and applying computational techniques to the study of the human past have an appropriate place to publish our work. At last year’s CAA conference in Atlanta the new Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology was launched! A much needed journal on a topic that’s booming. It’s entirely open access and supports online data deposition. The journal has an open rolling call for papers: submit now!

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology (JCAA) publishes high quality, original papers that focuses on research on the interface between archaeology and informatics. This peer-reviewed journal provides immediate open access.

We now invite high quality papers on all the aspects of digital archaeology, including, – but not restricted to – databases and semantic web, statistics and data mining, 3D modelling, GIS, spatial analysis, remote sensing and geophysics, other field recording techniques, simulation modelling, network analysis and digital reconstructions of the past for consideration for publication in the Journal. Papers can be targeted towards scientific research, cultural heritage management and/or public archaeology.

We accept papers falling in one of the following four categories:

• Research articles, describing the outcomes and application of unpublished original research
• Case studies, expanding on the application of established technologies/methods to shed light on archaeological enquiries.
• Position papers, summarising and reflecting upon current trends in the application of established or new technologies, methods or theories.
• Reviews, covering topics such as current controversies or the historical development of studies as well as issues of regional or temporal focus.

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Manuscript Preparation

Please refer to the Journal Information and submission instructions for Author about manuscript preparation: http://jcaa.ubiquitypress.com/about/submissions/
All manuscripts should be submitted online at:
http://jcaa.ubiquitypress.com/about/submissions/

Publication Frequency

The journal is published online as a continuous volume and issue throughout the year. Articles are made available as soon as they are ready to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in getting content publicly available.

Article Processing Charge

JCAA is a full Open Access journal. Accepted papers will be published upon payment of a £300 Article Processing Charge. For APC waiver options, please contact the Editors.

For further information please refer to the JCAA website or contact the JCAA Editorial Team at journal@caa-international.org .

Complex Systems and Change, session at Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference

Calton-Hill-2-CAMWe invite papers for a session on complexity science/advanced data analysis/formal modelling at the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference (TRAC, Edinburgh, 12-14 April 2018). Please find the abstract below. This is a double session, the first part ‘Exploring Complex Systems’ will focus on finding patters, defining relationships and exploring past complexity, while the second part ‘Understanding Change’ will showcase applications of formal methods to understand social and economic processes and change.

To submit an abstract (300 words), please complete the submission template available here: http://trac.org.uk/events/conferences/trac-2018/

and send it to hca-trac2018@ed.ac.uk .
Deadline: 6 October 2018.
If you would like to discuss your paper before submitting, please feel free to contact us (see cc).

Tom Brughmans, John W. Hanson, Matthew J. Mandich, Iza Romanowska, Xavier Rubio-Campillo

Call for papers, session at Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Edinburgh 12-14 April 2018:

Formal Approaches to Complexity in Roman Archaeology: Exploring Complex Systems and Understanding Change

Part 1: Exploring Complex Systems
Part 2: Understanding Change

Session Organisers: Tom Brughmans (University of Oxford) – John W. Hanson (University of Colorado) – Matthew J. Mandich (University of Leicester) – Iza Romanowska (Barcelona Supercomputing Center) – Xavier Rubio-Campillo (University of Edinburgh)

In recent years archaeologists have increasingly employed innovative approaches used for the study of complex systems to better interpret and model the social, political, and economic structures and interactions of past societies. However, for the majority of Roman archaeologists these approaches remain elusive as a comprehensive review and evaluation is lacking, especially regarding their application in Roman archaeology.

In brief, a complex system is made up of many interacting parts (‘components’ or ‘agents’) which form a whole that is more than the sum of its parts – i.e. the interactions of these parts lead to emergent behaviors or outcomes that cannot be (easily) predicted by examining the parts individually. While such systems are characterized by their unpredictable, adaptive, and/or non-linear nature, they are (often) self-organising and governed by observable rules that can be analysed via various methods. For example, many past phenomena, such as urbanism or the functioning of the Roman economy, are complex systems composed of multiple interacting elements and driven by the diverse processes acting upon individuals inhabiting the ancient world. Thus, they can be explored using the approaches and methods of complexity science.

The study of complex systems has primarily been undertaken in contemporary settings, in disciplines such as physics, ecology, medicine, and economics. Yet, as the complex nature of ancient civilizations and their similarity to present-day  systems is being steadily realized through ongoing analysis, survey, and excavation, archaeologists have now begun to use methods such as scaling studies (e.g. settlement scaling theory), agent-based modeling, and network analyses to approach this complexity. Since these methodologies are designed to examine the interactions and feedback between components within complex systems empirically, they can provide new ways of looking at old data and old problems to supply novel conclusions. However, such methods have only been applied sporadically in ancient settings, and even less so in a Roman context or using Roman archaeological data.
Thus, in this two part session we aim to bring these methods, and the Roman archaeologists using them, together by offering a critical review of the theoretical and empirical developments within the study of past complex systems and their interplay with existing ideas, before investigating how we might capitalize on the new opportunities afforded by them in the future. Part I of this session, ‘exploring complex systems’, is concerned with examining and unraveling the underlying structures present in the archaeological record using the formal tools provided by the complex systems framework. Part II, ‘understanding change’, will focus on applications exploring the dynamics of change that generated the patterns observed in existing evidence. In particular, we invite contributions using formal methods including computational modelling and simulation, GIS, and network analyses, as well as diverse theoretical approaches to better understand ancient complex systems.

The Connected Past CFP deadline 21 May and registration open now!

Registration for The Connected Past conference and workshop is now open: http://connectedpast.net/

Don’t forget to send in your abstracts: call for papers deadline 21 May. Further information below:

Call for papers The Connected Past 2017, August 24-25th 2017, Bournemouth University (UK)

The Connected Past 2017: The Future of Past Networks? 

August 24-25th 2017 

Bournemouth University (UK) 

August 22-23rd 2017 Practical Networks Workshop

http://connectedpast.net/

 The Connected Past 2017 is a multi-disciplinary, international two-day conference that aims to provide a friendly and informal platform for exploring the use of network research in the study of the human past. 

 It will be preceded by a two-day practical workshop offering hands-on experience with a range of network science methods.

Deadline call for papers: May 21, 2017

Notification of acceptance: May 29, 2017

Conference registration (includes coffee breaks and lunch): £35

Workshop registration (includes coffee breaks): £20

Keynotes: Eleftheria Paliou and discussant Chris Tilley (tbc)

Organisers: Fiona Coward, Anna Collar & Tom Brughmans

Call for Papers

Five years have passed since the first Connected Past conference (Southampton 2012) brought together scholars working in archaeology, history, physics, mathematics and computer science to discuss how network methods, models and thinking might be used to enhance our understanding of the human past. Much has happened in these intervening years: applications of network analysis have expanded rapidly; a number of collected volumes dealing explicitly with network analysis of the past have been published (e.g. The Connected Past, OUP 2016; Special Issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 2015; Network Analysis in Archaeology, OUP 2013); and several dedicated groups of scholars are thriving, including the Connected Past itself which hosted conferences in Paris and London, but also the Historical Network Research group, Res-Hist and others. The Connected Past 2017 will provide an opportunity to take stock of the developments of the past five years and to discuss the future of network research in archaeology and history. How will new network models, methods and thinking shape the ways we study the past? 

We welcome submissions of abstracts that address the challenges posed by the use of or apply network approaches in historical/archaeological research contexts, welcoming case studies drawn from all periods and places. Topics might include, but are not limited to: 

        Missing and incomplete data in archaeological and historical networks

        Networks, space and place

        Network change over time

        What kinds of data can archaeologists and historians use to reconstruct past networks and what kinds of issues ensue?

        Categories in the past vs categories in our analysis: etic or emic, pre-determined or emergent?

        Formal network analysis vs qualitative network approaches: pros, cons, potential, limitations

Please submit your abstract limited to 250 words before midnight (GMT) of May 21st 2017 to connectedpast2017@gmail.com  

 NB. If there is sufficient demand, we will endeavour to organise a crêche for delegates’ children (under 3). An extra fee may be payable for this, although fee-waivers may be available in certain circumstances. Further details would be provided in due course. In order to allow us to assess demand, please let us know in advance if this would be useful for you.  

CFP CFP Evolution of Cultural Complexity at Conference on Complex System, Cancun, September

I can recommend presenting at this event. I’ve been assured network talks are welcome!
Deadline CFP: 26 May
Where? Cancun, Mexico
We are pleased to announce a call for abstracts for our session on “Evolution of Cultural Complexity” at the annual “Conference on Complex System”. The Conference on Complex System will takes place this year in Cancun, Mexico, from the 17th to the 22nd of September. Our session will take pace on the 21st of September.
 
Human sociocultural evolution has been documented throughout the history of humans and earlier hominins. This evolution manifests itself through development from tools as simple as a rock used to break nuts, to something as complex as a spaceship able to land man on other planets. Equally, we have witnessed evolution of human population towards complex multilevel social organisation.
Although cases of decrease and loss of this type of complexity have been reported, in global terms it tends to increase with time. Despite its significance, the conditions and the factors driving this increase are still poorly understood and subject to debate. Different hypothesis trying to explain the rise of sociocultural complexity in human societies have been proposed (demographic factor, cognitive component, historical contingency…) but so far no consensus has been reached.
Here we raise a number of questions:
 
  1. Can we better define sociocultural complexity and confirm its general tendency to increase over the course of human history?
  2. What are the main factors enabling an increase of cultural complexity?
  3. Are there reliable way to measure the complexity in material culture and social organisation constructs, that is?
  4. How can we quantify and compare the impact of different factors?
  5. What causes a loss of cultural complexity in a society? And how often these losses occurred in the past?
 
In this satellite meeting we want to bring together a community of researchers coming from different scientific domains and interested in different aspect of the evolution of social and cultural complexity. From archaeologists, to linguists, social scientists, historians and artificial intelligence specialists – the topic of sociocultural complexity transgresses traditional discipline boundaries. We want to establish and promote a constructive dialogue incorporating different perspectives: theoretical as well as empirical approaches, research based on historical and archaeological sources, as well as actual evidences and contemporary theories.
 
Submissions will be made by sending an abstract in PDF  (maximum 250 words) via Easychair here: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=eec2017 . The deadline for abstract submission is on the 26th of May 2017. The contributions to this satellite will be evaluated by the scientific committee through a peer review process that will evaluate the scientific quality and the relevance to the goal of this session. Notification of accepted abstracts will be communicated by the 4th of June 2017.
 
Please find more details on the following website: https://ccs17.bsc.es/
We strongly encourage you to participate  


Please help us to spread the word!
 
on behalf of the organisers,
Iza Romanowska

The Connected Past 2017! Call for papers deadline May 21

It’s been five years since we hosted the first Connected Past conference. It was a hugely inspiring event and formative for my work. We held a number of other events over the years and published a few things. Now The Connected Past is back with a two-day conference in Bournemouth as well as a two day practical network science workshop. Send in your abstracts!!!!

The Connected Past 2017: The Future of Past Networks? 

August 24-25th 2017

Bournemouth University (UK) 

August 22-23rd 2017 Practical Networks Workshop

http://connectedpast.net/

The Connected Past 2017 is a multi-disciplinary, international two-day conference that aims to provide a friendly and informal platform for exploring the use of network research in the study of the human past.

It will be preceded by a two-day practical workshop offering hands-on experience with a range of network science methods.

Deadline call for papers: May 21, 2017
Notification of acceptance: May 29, 2017

Conference registration (includes coffee breaks and lunch): £35
Workshop registration (includes coffee breaks): £20

Keynotes: Eleftheria Paliou and discussant Chris Tilley (tbc)
Organisers: Fiona Coward, Anna Collar & Tom Brughmans

Call for Papers

Five years have passed since the first Connected Past conference (Southampton 2012) brought together scholars working in archaeology, history, physics, mathematics and computer science to discuss how network methods, models and thinking might be used to enhance our understanding of the human past. Much has happened in these intervening years: applications of network analysis have expanded rapidly; a number of collected volumes dealing explicitly with network analysis of the past have been published (e.g. The Connected Past, OUP 2016; Special Issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 2015; Network Analysis in Archaeology, OUP 2013); and several dedicated groups of scholars are thriving, including the Connected Past itself which hosted conferences in Paris and London, but also the Historical Network Research group, Res-Hist and others. The Connected Past 2017 will provide an opportunity to take stock of the developments of the past five years and to discuss the future of network research in archaeology and history. How will new network models, methods and thinking shape the ways we study the past?

We welcome submissions of abstracts that address the challenges posed by the use of or apply network approaches in historical/archaeological research contexts, welcoming case studies drawn from all periods and places. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

●        Missing and incomplete data in archaeological and historical networks

●        Networks, space and place

●        Network change over time

●        What kinds of data can archaeologists and historians use to reconstruct past networks and what kinds of issues ensue?

●        Categories in the past vs categories in our analysis: etic or emic, pre-determined or emergent?

●        Formal network analysis vs qualitative network approaches: pros, cons, potential, limitations

Please submit your abstract limited to 250 words before midnight (GMT) of May 21st 2017 to connectedpast2017@gmail.com 

NB. If there is sufficient demand, we will endeavour to organise a crêche for delegates’ children (under 3). An extra fee may be payable for this, although fee-waivers may be available in certain circumstances. Further details would be provided in due course. In order to allow us to assess demand, please let us know in advance if this would be useful for you.  

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