Facing the Challenges of Integrating Modelling Methodologies and Past Social and Social-Ecological Phenomena

One of the challenges to modelling and simulating the ancient world is the difficulty in recovering appropriate data for given problems. While computational models applying agent-based and other techniques have been utilised to address a variety of problems for past social systems, researchers often have difficulty knowing what data to collect and how to structure their research projects to obtain useful information. This presentation focuses on recent efforts that study past phenomena and the challenges and methods used to address these problems despite limitations to recovering data from the past. The presentation will discuss a transportation model that looks at pedestrian movement in an ancient urban centre and another model that is used to study the effects of salinisation on agricultural and settlement systems. These cases are analysed with regard to the modelling approaches used and data collection methods employed that attempt to improve results. The results from the models show how significant and new insights are obtained on the problems addressed, while the methods employed to improve data collection and model linkages demonstrate how research projects on past societies could be structured.

Friday, 17 February, 2012 - 12:30 to 14:00
Mark Altaweel
Presenter(s) biography: 

Dr Mark Altaweel is a Lecturer at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology and a Visiting Computational Scientist at the University of Chicago’s Computation Institute.