Student material
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 13:28

Masters thesis proposals for 2014/15

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Time to think about thesis topic!

Last week Bernhard and Kolbjörn held short presentations of their research areas and proposed some thesis topics.

Those are available to you in the documents attached to this post.

At the 15th of May students of CAS program was welcomed to spend a day at the  center of Marine Sciences, located at Tjärnö. This station was founded in 1963 and it situated close to the Koster fjord on the west coast of Sweden. Station have a well-developed running sea-water system, scientific laboratories of high international standard, high-tech instrumentation as well as accommodation and a restaurant. The centre’s research vessels and remotely operated vehicles enable to study and collect material from the deepest parts of the Swedish waters.

During the day we was able to listen to the presentation about current researchers,  view the laboratories and equipment,   visit public aquarium with  variety of species, where you can see variety of marine creatures and even touch some  by hands.

The station offers variety of opportunities for master projects at CAS  in collaboration with experienced biologists. If you are interested, you can contact Bernhard Mehlig at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details. 

More about the center could be read at:

We are particular grateful to  Bernhard Mehlig  for organizing the trip, employees  of the center for their time, spend with us ,and Gothenborg University for supplying  transportation and lunch .

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 15:02

Erasmus Mundus summer school in networks 2014

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For all students of the Erasmus Mundus Masters Program in Complexity Science and Complex Adaptive Systems at Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg!

There is a summer school between 10-13 June in networks that we would like to recommend. Check out the attached PDF.

It will be fun!

Are you considering studying CAS or are you already admitted? Are you just curious to learn more about complexity science and want a pedagogical framework to do so?

Then check out Complexity explorer, a project currently under development by the Santa Fe Institute! There you will be able to find resources concerning the complexity field. In particular, have a look at the online course selection which is one feature that has already been launched. Introduction to complexity science is a hot tip!

Friday, 26 April 2013 08:10

Land use modeling

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The awakening awareness about climate change during the last decade have increased the interest for commercial bioenergy. The food price spike in 2008 did however start a debate about the effects that bioenergy production might have on global food prices. The main connection between bioenergy and food production is through land use competition. The aim of this thesis is to create an agent based model based on an already existing conceptual equilibrium model and to compare the two models when applied on global land use competition between food and bioenergy crops. Both models turned out to give similar equilibrium states for the system. An advantage with the agent based model is that it can be used to study dynamic events. It did however prove to be highly unstable with regards to prices and quantities. In order to stabilize the system different mechanisms were introduced. The majority of these mechanisms were intended to target the uncertainty of future prices for the agents. The effects of the mechanisms varied but especially the introduction of a cost for changing production type proved to be efficient in reducing fluctuations. The results of both models show that increased bioenergy production have substantial effects on global food prices.

Friday, 26 April 2013 07:49

Schelling model

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Thomas Schelling, in 1971, showed that a small preference for one's neighbors to be of the same color could lead to total segregation. He used coins on graph paper to demonstrate his theory by placing pennies and nickels in different patterns on the "board" and then moving them one by one if they were in an "unhappy" situation. Here's the high-tech equivalent. The rule this ALife model operates on is that for every colored cell, if greater than 33% of the adjacent cells are of a different color, the cell moves to another randomly selected cell.

This is my first experiment with writing computer programs to simulate interesting processes we come across in real life. There are a number of reasons why this kind of simulation is useful and I'll try to summarize what in my mind are the main ones:

  • Most modelling techniques are based on the notion that an equilibrium state is the norm, while cellular automata (CA) simulations do not have this bias.
  • Instead of trying to create a model that requires a full understanding of the highly complex outcomes of processes, CA allows us to understand the decision rules of a small number of individual actors.
  • Simulation models are very good at incorporating time and space, especially when tied to a geographic information system.
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