HumanICT: Modelling and Simulating Human Systems

Today, in most industries, new products (for instance cars or aircrafts) are first designed and tested with computer simulations. In this process the manufacturers considerably expand their capacities to innovate and to undertake risk evaluation. Would it be possible to proceed in a similar fashion when designing the organisation or policies concerning large human systems (markets, transport systems, urban planning, energy networks, anti-crime policies…) ?

The recent progress in data collection and management, the increase of computing power with the development of computer grids in particular, offer new possibilities. For instance large scale simulations accurately predicted the diffusion of the H1N1 virus. Other simulations include the daily movements of a population of a country to help designing the transport system, simulating a major crisis to test the robustness of financial institutions, modelling the dynamics of financial bubbles through the simulation of a large number of traders…

HumanICT is a project which aims at developing these approaches more extensively by involving scientists from the social sciences, mathematics, physics and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) to address the related scientific challenges and to develop new applications in several fields. It is developed in close relation with the European flagship project: FuturICT .