By Charles S. Taber, Richard J. Timpone

ISBN-10: 0803972709

ISBN-13: 9780803972704

Computational modelling permits researchers to mix the wealthy aspect of qualitative study with the rigour of quantitative and formal examine, in addition to to symbolize complicated constructions and methods inside of a theoretical version. After an advent to modelling, the authors talk about the position of computational equipment within the social sciences. They deal with computational tools, together with dynamic simulation, knowledge-based types and computing device studying, as a unmarried vast category of analysis instruments and advance a framework for incorporating them inside of verified traditions of social technological know-how study. they supply a concise description of every procedure and a number of social technology illustrations, together with 4 precise examples.

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Extra resources for Computational modeling, Issue 113

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This issue is important enough to warrant extended discussion in Chapter 5, where we address model validation. For now, we simply point out that this problem is not limited to computational model- Page 13 ing. Any attempt to build theory that explains rather than simply predicts will face the difficulty of assessing process validity. General Stages in a Computational Modeling Project Earlier, we described three phases of a computational modeling project: developing a process theory, expressing the theory as a computer program, and simulating the theory by running the program.

For several reasons, we believe that this trend will accelerate. First, computers are far more powerful, reliable, and affordable than ever before. Contemporary personal computers based on Pentium or RISC processors have similar capabilities to the supercomputers of a few years ago. Second, because of advances in operating systems, software packages, and programming tools, computers are now much easier to use. First-generation computational modelers programmed directly in machine language, which in some cases meant that they had to physically plug and unplug circuits.

There are several reasons to model computationally. First, these methods allow us to combine the rich detail of qualitative research with the rigor of quantitative and formal research. Second, computational models can represent complex theoretical structures without ignoring process validity. In this monograph, we hope to convince you that computational modeling can be very helpful, and sometimes is essential, for theory development in the social sciences. Some areas of social research will benefit more than others, and the particular computational tools used will differ based on the questions, asked.

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