CoeGSS will work with an integrative toolbox for global systems analysis. The integration will be centred on recent methodological advances in the construction and use of synthetic populations. A synthetic population provides a model of a given population, typically of humans, but if the need arises also of plants, animals, cars, buildings and more. The synthetic population is based on individuals that are different from the actual ones, but in such a way that the population as a whole matches the empirical one in the distribution of attributes and relations that matter for the problem at hand. CoeGSS will provide generators for such populations at a global, but also at smaller scales. They will include maps, datasets for empirical populations, algorithms for their dynamics, tools for statistical analysis and visualization instruments.
CoeGSS will use a portfolio of methods to take advantage of high-performance computing and big data. Its key strength is the fact that it can implement different methods with an explicit theoretical background, namely the theory of global systems. This approach is formulated on the basis of algorithmic game theory and a state-of-the-art understanding of socio-cultural evolution. To ensure that computer-based methods don’t run with the actual problems to be solved, CoeGSS will embed their use in stakeholder dialogues that provide an on-going feedback from practitioners.
CoeGSS carries out three pilot studies to apply these methods to selected global challenges:
the diffusion of health-relevant social habits, the possibility of green growth, and the dynamics of global urbanisation.