Guest talk by Annie Waldherr (U Münster) at the Hans Bredow Institute
From the series Computational Social Science @ Hans Bredow Institute:
Monday, 4 September 2017, 17:00 – 18:00
Hans-Bredow-Institut für Medienforschung (third floor meeting room)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36, Hamburg
Bringing theory to data with agent-based modeling
Annie Waldherr, U Münster
Long before the terms „big data“ and „data science“ have been coined, Naisbitt (1982, p. 24) stated that: „we are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.“ Indeed, data scientific approaches are often criticized as purely inductive, descriptive and lacking theory. Agent-based modeling (ABM) and computer simulation offers a powerful bottom-up approach to analyze and understand the underlying mechanisms bringing about the empirical patterns observed in data. By showing some examples from my work on the dynamics of public spheres, I will first introduce you into the principals of ABM. I will then discuss the specific potentials of this approach to develop communication theory and integrate a new way of causal thinking into data science.