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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structure and Dynamics

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The Structure and Dynamics eJournal welcomes articles, book reviews, data, simulations, research material, and special issues that examine aspects of human evolution, social structure and behavior, culture, cognition, or related topics. Our goal is to advance the historic mission of anthropology in the broadest sense to describe and explain the range of variation in human biology, society, culture and civilization across time and space. Submissions of databases, software tutorials, programs, and teaching materials are welcomed, as are communications on research materials of interest to a wide variety of science and social science researchers, including networks, dynamical models, and complexity research and related genre.


Demographic Regulators in Small-Scale World-Systems

This paper presents a simulation of world-systems theory’s iteration model of early human societies. The polities modeled are composed of sedentary foragers and/or simple horticulturalists that rely upon basic subsistence technologies and display low levels of internal differentiation. World-systems theory’s iteration model integrates several processes of demographic regulation: environmental constraints, migration, intra-polity conflict, and inter-polity warfare. Computer simulation of this model reveals that different degrees of resource richness, land area, and initial population size have important effects on the average population levels and the behavior of interacting polities. A well-known ecological phenomenon, “the paradox of enrichment,” emerges when polities interact through warfare. Variations in the size and resources of local and regional areas, along with climatic variation, provide explanations of patterns of warfare in such systems. Finally, to make the iteration model compatible with other existing simulations of early human societal demographic regulation, we demonstrate that the ability of polities to regulate fertility has large consequences for both population sizes and inter-polity relations. A simulation of the world-systems iteration model would provide insights about how world-system dynamics produce selection pressures for the emergence of technological development, interpolity trade, and within-polity hierarchy, but these are subsequent steps. Our initial simulation holds technology and social organization constant in order to examine the demographic consequences of resource use and competition among polities for resources.

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The Second Wave of the Global Crisis? On mathematical analyses of some dynamic series

This article continues our analysis of the gold price dynamics that was published in December 2010 and forecasted the possibility of the “burst of the gold bubble” in April –June 2011. Our recent analysis suggests the possibility of one more substantial fluctuation before the final collapse in July 2011. On the other hand, in early 2011 we detected a number of other commodity bubbles and forecasted the start of their collapse in May – June 2011. We demonstrate that this collapse has actually begun, which in conjunction with the forthcoming burst of the gold bubble suggests that the World System is entering a bifurcation zone bearing rather high risks of the second wave of the global financial-economic crisis.

Growing Social Structure: An Empirical Multiagent Excursion into Kinship in Rural North-West Frontier Province

Kinship is an essential factor in human social life. Many years of research devoted to develop a better understanding of kinship bear witness to this fact. Important advances were made on conceptual, modeling and empirical grounds. Computational social science---in particular through social network analysis and social simulation---contributed its part to it. Notwithstanding, multiagent simulations of social systems rarely take into account kinship-based social interactions, especially when claiming to be empirical. We combine generative social science's basal argument "grow it!" with the concept that social structure is not reified, but a pattern emerging from interactions between individuals, and introduce a multiagent social simulation that "grows" kinship structures on the basis of socio-demographic and marriage interactions in Pakistan's Rural North-West Frontier Province. The modeling proposed has generalizable demonstrator value in that it is shown how published ethnographic data can be used in building credible and cross-validateable formal models that then can be re-used in modular model building of larger models of society. We conclude with a critical discussion of taking into account endogenized social structure in formal models of conflict.