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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

Post-doc at Penn (not Penn State)


Post-doc at Penn  (not Penn State)

PostDoc position is available to help research FactionSim - a quick to
setup and use tool to see if local conflict or cooperation emerges in
diverse regional factions as users attempt alternative courses of
action. The successful postdoc candidate will help to further the
agent-based models of FactionSim, study its properties and validity,
and produce it as a highly usable tool for field training and analysis
on how to influence local factions to avoid conflicts and to
collaborate on the collective good. This research synthesizes several
years of the PIs work on many of the elements for assembling
FactionSim ? Lsim for leaders only (thick leader agents based on
descriptive agent-based models with subjective expected
utility-theoretic algorithms), Athena world diplomacy game that scales
up leaders and poses tests for heuristics to solve hard AI problems
(nested intentionality, campaign planning, negotiation), and most
recently a DARPA-sponsored regional conflict prototype that tested how
to bridge together a leader hierarchy with a social network of
followers (small world theory with thick leader agents influencing a
cellular automata model). It is time to bring all these pieces
together into a stable architecture focused on smaller scale conflict
and cooperation issues. This will permit us to solve some of the hard
simulation problems on a smaller scoped problem than Athena, and it
will offer the dual benefit of spinning off a regional faction
conflict tool. Despite efforts at simplicity, stochastic simulation
models for domains such as this rapidly become complex. As a result,
we have begun to add an experiment design and policy exploration front
end onto FactionSim coupled with a warehouse for analyzing and mining
the outcome space. Research is also needed on ways to reliably explore
and optimize search in intractably large simulation spaces.

The postdoctoral position is primarily aimed at the FactionSim work
but may also include the other research strands, depending on the
interests of the candidate. For example, depending on his/her
orientation, the candidate may work closely with faculty who
collaborate with us from computer science, political science,
statistics, Wharton, and partnering universities. A version of
FactionSim is also being plugged into role playing games.

Candidates should have a PhD in electrical and systems, cognitive or
computer science, computational social dynamics, or related
discipline. Experience with gaming and simulation is highly desirable
as are interests in computational modeling of behavior. Salary will be
based on experience in relation to our standard postdoctoral scale.

ACASA is headed by Barry G. Silverman who is coordinating the research
efforts. Candidates interested in the position should email a vita and
a short statement about graduate training and research interests to
Barry Silverman.

Barry G. Silverman, Ph.D.
Professor of Engineering/ESE, Wharton/OPIM, and Medicine
Director, Ackoff Collaboratory for Advancement of the Systems Approach (ACASA)
Towne Bldg, Rm 251, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6315               (215)573-8368