2016 Transdisciplinary studies 11:Social Sciences with Evolutionary Simulation

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Humanities and social science courses
Inohara Takehiro 
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Course description and aims

This course is designed and delivered to cultivate the following abilities, attributes, and perspectives which are appropriate and required for those students who study at one of the top leading comprehensive universities of science and technology in Japan.
By the completion of this course, the students will have
1) the ability to recognize and explain the nature and broadening scope of certain fields and/or disciplines in science and engineering,
2) the ability to examine the ELSI (Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications/Influences) of those fields and/or disciplines and what role they should play in society and for society,
3) the attitude to seek the broad and transdisciplinary perspectives on science and engineering, and
4) the ability to develop an attitude to examine one's own field of study with a multi-dimensional framework.

This course is designed, developed, and offered jointly by the respective School and the Institute for Liberal Arts.

The theme of this course is "Social Sciences with Evolutionary Simulation." This course deals with a social theory for emergence of a community, a state, and a market. A variety of problematic situations leading to social dilemma, such as a war of all against all, free-rider problem etc., are explained. Also it is introduced that the dilemmas can be solved with emergence of a community, a state, and a market, using evolutionary game theory and evolutionary simulation.

This course aims to cultivate student’s capability to draw insights of a complex society in a manner of social systems sciences. It is achieved by explaining a social scientific interpretation for mathematical models and computer programs dealing with the problematic situations and critical discussions with students.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
1) Understand the concepts, a social exchange such as 1:1 and 1:N generalized exchange, the war of all against all, free riders, in-group favoritism, a predatory state etc.;
2) Understand that these concepts have a structure of social dilemma and they can be described as a mathematical model or a program;
3) Understand how evolutionary game theory and an evolutionary simulation can be applied to social sciences; and
4) Interpret the outputs from the model, in particular, understand that the model leads to a variety of insight into a community, a nation, and a state.


general exchange, a war of all against all, free-rider problem, in-group favoritism, predatory state, social dilemma, evolutionary game theory, evolutionary simulation, community, nation, state

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

As with all the other courses in this category (400 Transdisciplinary Course), this course is offered in the "Active Learning" mode which requires students to take an active role in their own learning. Therefore, it is required to submit a summary report at the end of each session. (In case you are not able to attend a class, you should inform the instructor of your reason for absence in advance.) Class attendance is required and taken into account for grades.

The course puts importance on the linkage between a social scientific interpretation and a model’s structure. Therefore, social or historical facts are explained as specifically as possible, and the corresponding mathematical model or program also are explained with mathematics as basic as possible. The social scientific interpretations on the model are discussed in a class, and then students learn a social systems’ view point for a complex society and history.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Systems Science on Society and History Understand puzzles in social science with systems sciences
Class 2 Collective Direct Reciprocal System - Emergence of Community Explain the collective direct reciprocity.
Class 3 Tag-Based Community System - Emergence of Nation Explain the formation of trust on a tag
Class 4 Protection System of a proprietary rights by Punishment - Emergence of State Explain a proprietary rights supported by punishment.
Class 5 Defense System supported by Tribute - Emergence of State Explain the relationship with tribute and defense.
Class 6 Exchange System of Goods - Emergence of Market Explain the emergence of money
Class 7 Insight into Modern Society - Social Entrepreneur, Local Money Discuss the meaning of social entrepreneur and local money
Class 8 Reality in Social Sciences - Social Systems Theory, Non-linear Science and Verification Understand future tasks of the evolutionary approach in social sciences


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are posted on OCW-i and/or provided during the classes.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students are encouraged to participate in discussions. Each student is required to prepare and submit the following two reports: one report to criticize the course’s models of a community, a nation, and a state in terms of its background, its structure, and interpretations: the other report to plan a new model dealing with an interesting social or historical phenomenon, using the evolutionary approach. (Outputs beyond a plan will be much evaluated, but they are not required.) The assessment will be based on participation in the discussions (20%) and the two reports (40% each).

For the credits of this course, as with all the other courses in this category (400 Transdisciplinary Course), students have to submit an original paper which addresses "the nature and scope" of the given field/discipline and its "social role." An important part of assessment is made on the quality of the paper. Details of the requirements of the paper will be explained in the first class meeting.

Related courses

  • SHS.P441 : Graduate Lecture in Politics, Law and Administration S1A
  • SHS.P442 : Graduate Lecture in Politics, Law and Administration S1B
  • SHS.P443 : Graduate Lecture in Politics, Law and Administration F1A
  • SHS.P444 : Graduate Lecture in Politics, Law and Administration F1B

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Prospective students should be familiar with mathematical model and computer programming, and also have interests in a society.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Takehiro Inohara, inohara.t.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp

Office hours

Instructor’s office: Rm. 813, 8 Fl., West Bldg. 9. Contact by e-mail in advance to schedule an appointment.


This course includes the content of science.

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