Course information


  • Catalog #: BIT885
  • Name: Complexity & Simulations in Business Research
  • Dates: Winter 2010
  • Time: Thursdays, 1-4pm
  • Location: R54XX


This fourteen-week seminar is about complexity & simulations in business research. In this seminar I will introduce several techniques (or approaches or technologies or theories) that fit under these relatively new approaches to simulation, research, and exploration that absolutely require today's powerful computers. We will look at the Game of Life, multi-agent models, and genetic algorithms, thought we will focus on multi-agent models. We will try both to gain a theoretical understanding of each of these techniques and also to get hands-on experience with these technologies. Throughout the seminar we will examine applications of each of these theories to business-related problems. At the end of the seminar students will design an experiment applying multi-agent models to a business problem related to the student's field of research.

Purpose of the course

This course is a concepts and tools course for PhD students at the University of Michigan. The purpose is to give students the ability to understand, evaluate, and perform evolution- and complexity-based research.

Target audience

The target audiences for this course are PhD students from around the University of Michigan, particularly in the Ross School of Business and the School of Information.

Goals for the course

I have a few basic goals for students who complete this course:

  • Students should be able to discuss, read about, and evaluate computationally-based business research (including multi-agent simulations, genetic algorithms, and genetic programming).
  • Students should be able to understand the value of and potential contributions of this type of research.
  • Students should be able to implement simple multi-agent-based models.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License