This past Wednesday, Dr. Jay W. Forrester – the pioneer of the system dynamics methodology of modeling and simulation and arguably the father of all of modern modeling and simulation passed away. Dr. Forrester created the collection of methods that is known as system dynamics.
System dynamics essentially uses differential equations to describe the stocks and flows that move and govern the behavior of systems as diverse as population growth systems, innovation adoption in a market, the movement of good through a supply chain and even the movement of fluids through a pipe. SD applications are wide and varied and honestly it would take too long to go through all the [...]
Following up on our poll-driven modeling election series, and my previous prediction that in this election cycle the poll-model system that seems to be in place will fail, it behooves us to at least consider what kind of modeling system we would replace the current system with. I should tell you upfront that I don’t have a final answer yet, but I am playing with some code. This is just a think out loud kind of situation.
I did mention that an agent-based model would be the most likely contender to replace a micro-simulation in my last piece. The advantage would be that you can instantiate an entire population of voters and give each agent in that population his/her own [...]
My last article posted in June of 2016 talked about how in 2014 we will end up with a whole slew of new, sleek political models that will be able to “supposedly” predict the rise of Donald Trump. Tonight, as we watch the seemingly inevitable victory of Trump unfold, it’s becoming absolutely clear that the predictive and statistical poll-based models used by the most experienced professionals in the field are missing key components, or at minimum using bad training data.
Something is wrong with polling in general, the models that use the polling and the standard methodology in current use. In fact, up to 100 days prior to an election, [...]
Next year – suddenly out of nowhere – we’ll have a slew of new political prediction models all of them claiming to have been able to predict the Rise of Donald Trump, the Sanders Movement and even the recent exit of Britain from the European Union. Of course, all of them will be after the fact which has always been an easier thing to accomplish – and in the next cycle we’ll throw them all out and go back to the standard models that assume that most people will vote the way that they’re expected to vote under normal circumstances.
We’re talking about some major models breaking down in the face of unexpected changes using standard [...]
If you’ve been in the data or computational science field as a researcher or a professional in the last few years, you’ve probably come across someone talking about machine learning. You’ve probably come across an employer or a potential collaborator who was so excited about the potential of “machine learning” that they somehow managed to spit on you in their (pleasantly) ignorant but very cute excitement about the subject. (For those with a spitting problem, you should check out this piece about chronic spitting problems from 2005).
Of course, where hype and ignorance goes so does a fringe academic industry in hopes of capitalizing misunderstood [...]
Let’s talk some politics today – it is the weekend after all and none of you have anything better to do. Come on. Admit it!!
At one of Bernie Sander’s campaign speeches on Friday, the most adorable little sparrow landed on his podium and just stayed there for about half a minute or so. Social media went insane with praise and talk about symbolism, especially on Twitter under the hashtag #BirdieSanders – a little word play on his name. The most interesting thing for me was his reaction. He just stood there looking at it. I think he was trying not to disturb it, or maybe he was trying to think of a good joke or pun to say but couldn’t come up with [...]