It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
At the CCSS, for example, Lars-Erik Cederman uses large-scale computer models to study the origin of international conflict, and is creating a large database documenting the geographic interdependencies of civil violence and wars in countries such as the former Yugoslavia or Iraq.
The CCSS, particularly the Financial Crisis Observatory led by Didier Sornette, is currently the biggest shareholder of ETH Zurich's Brutus supercomputing cluster, which is currently the 88th fastest computer in the world and ranked 10th in Europe. Social supercomputing is also a new focus of other renowned research centres such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Brookings Institution in the United States.
Such simulations, researchers now widely recognize, represent the best chance to gain insight into highly complex problems ranging from traffic flows to evacuation scenarios of entire cities or the spreading of epidemics. Independent projects in the United States and in Europe have already embarked on efforts to build simulations of the entire global economy.
Complementary to large-scale computer simulations, the FuturIcT project also aims to gather and organise data on social, economic and environmental processes on an unprecedented scale, especially by augmenting the results of field studies and laboratory experiments with the overwhelming flood of data now resulting from the world wide web or massive multi-player online worlds such as Second Life.
Furthermore, the rapid emergence of vast networks of distributed sensors will make data available on an almost unimaginable scale for direct use in computer simulations. At the same time, an ethics committee and targeted research will ensure that these data will be explored in privacy-respecting ways and not misused. The goal is to identify statistical interdependencies when many people interact, but not to track or predict individual behaviour.
In a practical sense, the scientists behind the FuturIcT project foresee the development of crises observatories and decision-support systems for politicians and business leaders.[\ex]