Modelling Social Interaction in Information Systems (MSIIS)

21 hours over three days: Monday 3/7/17 to Wednesday 5/7/17.
Comprising 4hr morning session (09:00 to 13:00) + 3hr afternoon session (14:00 to 17:00) each day.
Location: University of Szeged, Seminar room of the AI research group.
Lecturer: Dr David Hales ( e-mail:
MSIIS word cloud

Course Overview

In human societies individuals, through social interaction, generate collective properties such as norms, cooperation and exchange. In animal societies evolved behaviours can solve complex optimisation problems through individual rule following. Computer systems are increasingly distributed. Networks link nodes that serve users and carry out computations. Collectively, system level properties emerge rather than being centrally controlled. This is similar to how human and animal societies operate.  Recent innovations such as Bittorrent and Bitcoin employ distributed algorithms that relate to social, economic and biological models.

In this course we will study both theoretical concepts about social interaction and models that embody them including:
Ideas will be illustrated by running, and experimenting  with, agent-based models, which students can download and run on their own machines.

Schedule: The course will take an intensive form over 3 full (7 hour) days. Since this is for a small group we will follow an interactive "tutorial" format, we will cover approx. 3  (2 hr) lectures of material per day.

Prerequisites: The course assumes a basic understanding of computer programming concepts (in any programming language) . It is also assumed that students will be open to ideas traditionally outside of computer science such as social science and economics but no prior knowledge will be assumed of these areas. Students should have access to a laptop on which NetLogo should be installed (which they should bring to all sessions). NetLogo can be installed from:

Assessment: There will be no formal exam. Students will be given individualised assignments, which will include a scientific paper review and a small programming task, to be completed and e-mailed to by 12 July 2017.

Aims (the course aims to):
Objectives (by the end of the course students will be able to):

Background reading and software:

Software (these should be installed on the student laptop and brought to all lectures and practical sessions):

Papers (these should be read by students before the course starts):

Books (these are not required reading but provide wider background and will be referred to in some of the lectures):


The course will take an intensive form over 3 days following an interactive tutorial style. Depending on progress / interest, we may change the order of the material. These slides are from the 2015 course.

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

Additional reading: