Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Frank Schweitzer: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2015

Name Prof. Dr. Frank Schweitzer
FieldSystemgestaltung
Address
Professur für Systemgestaltung
ETH Zürich, WEV G 211
Weinbergstr. 56/58
8092 Zürich
SWITZERLAND
Telephone+41 44 632 83 50
Fax+41 44 632 18 80
E-mailfschweitzer@ethz.ch
DepartmentManagement, Technology, and Economics
RelationshipFull Professor

NumberTitleECTSHoursLecturers
363-0543-00LAgent-Based Modelling of Social Systems Information 3 credits2V + 1UF. Schweitzer, P. Mavrodiev
AbstractAgent-based modelling is introduced as a bottom-up approach to understand the dynamics of complex social systems. The course focuses on agents as the fundamental constituents of a system and their theoretical formalisation and on quantitative analysis of a wide range of social phenomena-cooperation and competition, opinion dynamics, spatial interactions and behaviour in online social networks.
ObjectiveA successful participant of this course is able to
- understand the rationale of agent-centered models of social systems
- understand the relation between rules implemented at the individual level and the emerging behaviour at the global level
- learn to choose appropriate model classes to characterise different social systems
- grasp the influence of agent heterogeneity on the model output
- efficiently implement agent-based models using Python and visualise the output
ContentAgent-based modelling (ABM) provides a bottom-up approach to understand the complex dynamics of social systems. In ABM, agents are the basic constituents of any social system. Depending on the granularity of the analysis, an agent could represent a single individual, a household, a firm, a country, etc. Agents have internal states or degrees of freedom opinions, strategies, etc.), the ability to perceive and change their environment, and the ability to interact with other agents. Their individual (microscopic) actions and interactions with other agents, result in macroscopic (collective, system) dynamics with emergent properties. As more and more accurate individual-level data about online and offline social systems become available, our formal, quantitative understanding of the collective dynamics of these systems needs to progress in the same manner.

We focus on a minimalistic description of the agents' behaviour which relates individual interaction rules to the dynamics on the collective level and complements engineering and machine learning approaches.

The course is structured in three main parts. The first two parts introduce two main agent concepts - Boolean agents and Brownian agents, which differ in how the internal dynamics of agents is represented. Boolean agents are characterized by binary internal states, e.g. yes/no opinion, while Brownian agents can have a continuous spectrum of internal states, e.g. preferences and attitudes. The last part introduces models in which agents interact in physical space, e.g. migrate or move collectively.

Throughout the course, we will discuss a wide variety of application areas, such as:
- opinion dynamics and social influence,
- cooperation and competition,
- online social networks,
- systemic risk
- emotional influence and communication
- swarming behavior
- spatial competition

While the lectures focus on the theoretical foundations of agent-based modelling, weekly exercise classes provide practical skills. Using the Python programming language, the participants implement agent-based models in guided and autonomous projects, which they present and jointly discuss.
Lecture notesThe lecture slides will be available on the Moodle platform, for registered students only.
LiteratureSee handouts. Specific literature is provided for download, for registered students only.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipants of the course should have some background in mathematics and an interest in formal modelling and computer simulations, and should be motivated to learn about social systems from a quantitative perspective.

Prior knowledge of Python is not necessary.

Self-study tasks are provided as home work for small teams (2-4 members).
Weekly exercises (45 min) are used to discuss the solutions and guide the student.
During the second half of the semester, teams need to complete a course project in which they will implement and discuss an agent-based model to characterise a system chosen jointly with the course organisers. This project will be evaluated, and its grade will count as 25% of the final grade.
363-0588-00LComplex Networks Information 4 credits2V + 1UF. Schweitzer, I. Scholtes
AbstractThe course provides an overview of the methods and abstractions used in (i) the quantitative study of complex networks, (ii) empirical network analysis, (iii) the study of dynamical processes in networked systems, (iv) the analysis of systemic risk in networked systems, (v) the study of network evolution, and (vi) data mining techniques for networked data sets.
Objective* the network approach to complex systems, where actors are represented as nodes and interactions are represented as links
* learn about structural properties of classes of networks
* learn about feedback mechanism in the formation of networks
* understand systemic risk as emergent property in networked systems
* learn about statistical inference techniques for data on networked systems
* learn methods and abstractions used in the growing literature on complex networks
ContentNetworks matter! This holds for social and economic systems, for technical infrastructures as well as for information systems. Increasingly, these networked systems are outside the control of a centralized authority but rather evolve in a distributed and self-organized way. How can we understand their evolution and what are the local processes that shape their global features? How does their topology influence dynamical processes like diffusion? And how can we characterize the importance and/or role of specific nodes? This course provides a systematic answer to such questions, by developing methods and tools which can be applied to networks in diverse areas like infrastructure, communication, information systems or (online) social networks. In a network approach, agents in such systems (like e.g. humans, computers, documents, power plants, biological or financial entities) are represented as nodes, whereas their interactions are represented as links.

The first part of the course, "Introduction to networks: basic and advanced metrics", describes how networks can be represented mathematically and how the properties of their link structures can be quantified empirically.

In a second part "Stochastic Models of Complex Networks" we address how analytical statements about crucial properties like connectedness or robustness can be made based on simple macroscopic stochastic models without knowing the details of a topology.

In the third part we address "Dynamical processes on complex networks". We show how a simple model for a random walk in networks can give insights into the authority of nodes, the efficiency of diffusion processes as well as the existence of community structures.

A fourth part "Statistical Physics of Networks: Optimisation and Inference" introduces models for the emergence of complex topological features which are due to stochastic optimization processes, as well as algorithmic approaches to automatically infer knowledge about structures and patterns from network data sets.

In a fifth part, we address "Network Dynamics", introducing models for the emergence of complex features that are due to (i) feedback phenomena in simple network growth processes or (iii) order correlations in systems with highly dynamic links.

A final part studies "Multiple roles of nodes and links", introducing recent research on automated role discovery in networks, as well as models for networks with multiple layers.
Lecture notesThe lecture slides are provided as handouts - including notes and literature sources - to registered students only.
All material is to be found on Moodle at the following URL: https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=1130
LiteratureSee handouts. Specific literature is provided for download - for registered students, only.
Prerequisites / NoticeThere are no pre-requisites for this course. Self-study tasks (to be solved analytically and by means of computer simulations) are provided as home. Weekly exercises (45 min) are used to discuss selected solutions. Active participation in the exercises is strongly suggested for a successful completion of the final exam.
364-1058-00LRisk Center Seminar Series Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 50.
0 credits2SH. Gersbach, K. W. Axhausen, D. Basin, A. Bommier, L.‑E. Cederman, P. Embrechts, H. R. Heinimann, D. Helbing, H. J. Herrmann, W. Mimra, R. O. Murphy, G. Sansavini, F. Schweitzer, D. Sornette, B. Stojadinovic, B. Sudret
AbstractThis course is a mixture between a seminar primarily for PhD and postdoc students and a colloquium involving invited speakers. It consists of presentations and subsequent discussions in the area of modeling and governing complex socio-economic systems, and managing risks and crises. Students and other guests are welcome.
ObjectiveParticipants should learn to get an overview of the state of the art in the field, to present it in a well understandable way to an interdisciplinary scientific audience, to develop novel mathematical models and approaches for open problems, to analyze them with computers or other means, and to defend their results in response to critical questions. In essence, participants should improve their scientific skills and learn to work scientifically on an internationally competitive level.
ContentThis course is a mixture between a seminar primarily for PhD and postdoc students and a colloquium involving invited speakers. It consists of presentations and subsequent discussions in the area of modeling complex socio-economic systems and crises. For details of the program see the webpage of the seminar. Students and other guests are welcome.
Lecture notesThere is no script, but the sessions will be recorded and be made available. Transparencies of the presentations may be put on the course webpage.
LiteratureLiterature will be provided by the speakers in their respective presentations.
Prerequisites / NoticeParticipants should have relatively good scientific, in particular mathematical skills and some experience of how scientific work is performed.