Advanced search
Start date

Mathematical and computational modeling in Social Sciences


The search for the statistical laws that describe the human social behavior is probably one of the most ambitious aims of science. In fact, the very notion of mathematical sociology was introduced originally in the classic trilogy Foundation of Asimov, being then up to par with the futuristic technologies envisioned by science fiction. Like many of those visions, especially those regarding artificial intelligence, the mathematization of the social sciences must come of age already in this century and its impact will be inestimable given the creative and destructive potential of the crowds. In this research project we will look mainly at a most usual, though largely unnoticed, beneficial feature of the crowds - the collective intelligence - that allows groups to solve problems that are way beyond the capability of any single individual. This point grounds the whole science of organizational design as well as the somewhat mysterious phenomenon of the wisdom of crowds or Vox Populi revealed by the surprisingly high accuracy of the collective estimate of a quantity given by the mean of the independent individual estimates. In this main theme, we plan to explore some paradigms of cooperation in the organization of task forces, such as the blackboard systems used to model brainstorming. Our goal is to determine how the problem-solving performance of a group depends on the individual propensities to read and write on the blackboard, as well as on the amount of information that can be displayed on the blackboard. As for the Vox Populi, we plan to explore the influence of the characteristics of the distribution of individual estimates on the accuracy of the collective estimate. In addition to collective intelligence, we will also consider topics that are more traditional to social sciences, as the casual group dynamics (e.g., groups in a cocktail party) and the spreading of behavioral patterns (e.g., criminal behavior) among susceptible members of the population. Both topics allow the validation of the mathematical models using data from public databases. A main goal of this research proposal is the setting up of a network of researchers with focus on the modeling of human social behavior. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
Articles published in other media outlets (0 total):
More itemsLess items

Scientific publications (9)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FONTANARI, JOSE F.. Kant's Modal Asymmetry between Truth-Telling and Lying Revisited. SYMMETRY-BASEL, v. 15, n. 2, p. 14-pg., . (20/03041-3)
REIA, SANDRO M.; FONTANARI, JOSE F.. A SIR epidemic model for citation dynamics. EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL PLUS, v. 136, n. 2, . (20/03041-3)
TORTURA, HENRIQUE A.; FONTANARI, JOSE F.. The synergy between two threats: Disinformation and COVID-19. MATHEMATICAL MODELS & METHODS IN APPLIED SCIENCES, v. 32, n. 10, p. 21-pg., . (20/03041-3)
FONTANARI, JOSE F.. A stochastic model for the influence of social distancing on loneliness. PHYSICA A-STATISTICAL MECHANICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS, v. 584, . (20/03041-3)
SIQUEIRA NETO, NILTON S.; FONTANARI, JOSE F.. On the efficacy of the wisdom of crowds to forecast economic indicators. European Physical Journal B, v. 96, n. 1, p. 9-pg., . (20/03041-3)
HARDY, PETER; MARCOLINO, LEANDRO SORIANO; FONTANARI, JOSE F.. The paradox of productivity during quarantine: an agent-based simulation. European Physical Journal B, v. 94, n. 1, . (20/03041-3)
REIA, SANDRO M.; FONTANARI, JOSE F.. Wisdom of crowds: much ado about nothing. JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT, v. 2021, n. 5, . (20/03041-3)
REIA, SANDRO M.; FONTANARI, JOSE F.. Long-term scientific impact revisited. EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL PLUS, v. 137, n. 1, . (20/03041-3)
FONTANARI, JOSE F.. Stochastic Simulations of Casual Groups. MATHEMATICS, v. 11, n. 9, p. 16-pg., . (20/03041-3)

Please report errors in scientific publications list using this form.