CAP 6675: Complex Adaptive Systems

Fall 2012

·       Instructor: Dr. Ivan Garibay, UT-556, 2-1163,

·       Class Time and Location: T/R 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM, ENGR 383

·       Class website:

·       CAP 6675 Syllabus

·       CAP 6675 Schedule

Skip to Lecture Notes (topics covered, distributed material, homeworks, deadlines, etc.)
Skip to Important Dates
Skip to Assigned Papers
Skip to Student Papers Presentations Schedule
Skip to Recommended Reading
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Skip to Final Project Presentation Schedule

Papers for this semester

Papers 1 (Complexity)

Papers 2 (Cellular Automata)

Papers 3 (Cellular Automata)

Papers 4 (Agent-Based Social Sciences)

Papers 5 (Agent-Based Social Sciences)

Papers 6 (Evolution of Cooperation)

Papers 7 (Agent-Based Computational Economics)

Papers 8 (Agent-Based Computational Economics)

Papers 9 (Networks)

Papers 10 (Evolution of Complexity)

Course Description

Complex adaptive systems (CAS) are a broad class of systems consisting of multiple interacting adaptive agents. These systems, which span a wide range of disciplines, have a number of characteristics in common. They are large distributed systems consisting of many self-similar components that interact and adapt. These interactions among the distributed components are self-organizing and produce emergent collective behavior in the system as a whole. CAS tend to be difficult to analyze using traditional analytical models. Agent-based models have been shown to be effective methods for studying CAS. This course will introduce the basic definitions of CAS, discuss example cases of CAS and their features, and implement and analyze computational simulations of CAS.


-       Cellular automata

-       Social systems

-       Evolution of cooperation

-       Self-organization

-       Social networks

-       Agent-Based Computational Economics

This course will be structured as follows:

  1. Two papers will be assigned each week. You will be asked to read the papers and write a one-page summary/critique/comparison of the papers each week. These summaries will make up 15% of your final grade. Late summaries will not be accepted. You may drop two summaries.
  2. Each week two students will be asked to present the papers for that week to the class in an oral presentation. This presentation will include summarizing the paper and leading a discussion on the paper topic. These presentations will make up 20% of your final grade.
  3. You will have two homework projects during the first half of the course. All programming can be done in any programming language. These homeworks will be worth 25% of your final grade.
  4. Throughout the class you will work on a final research project. Before the middle of the course each student proposes an individual project. The proposed ideas are discussed in one or more individual meetings and one particular project is agreed upon between the instructor and the student. During the second half of the course, the student carries out the agreed project. The student writes up his/her work in a 8 to 10 pages paper (in the style of a conference paper). Towards the end of the semester all students will be ask to present their project to the class. The project due date, students must bring three extra copies of their project to be distributed to other three students to be anonymously peer reviewed. The last day of classes all students must bring their written reviews. Your final project grade will be partially based on the peer reviews of your work and the reviews that you write about other student’s projects. All projects will be compiled into a class book and published as an EECS Technical Report and also in the class website. Copies of this book will be distributed to all students. This final research project is worth 40% of your final grade.

Important Dates

August 28, 2012

September 18, 2012

October 9, 2012

November 15, 2012

Recommended Readings:

Complex Adaptive Systems

Complex Adaptive Systems in Social Sciences & Economics

Mathematical Treatment of Complex Systems

Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation

Complex Systems (Some Related Accounts and Seminal Works):

Lecture Notes

August 21, 2012 - Introduction

August 23, 2012 - Complexity

August 28, 2012 - Complexity

August 30, 2012- Complexity

September 4, 2012

September 6, 2012

September 11, 2012

September 13, 2012 -

September 18, 2012 -  Cellular Automata

September 20, 2012 - Cellular Automata

September 25, 2012 – Cellular Automata

September 27, 2012- Competition and Cooperation

October 2, 2012

October 4, 2012

October 9, 2012

October 11, 2012

October 16, 2012- Adaptation

October 18, 2012

October 23, 2012 - Adaptation

October 25, 2012

October 30, 2012 - Networks

November 1, 2012

November 6, 2012 - Networks

November 8, 2012

November 13, 2012 - Evolution of Complexity

November 15, 2001

November 20, 2012

November 22, 2012

November 27, 2012

November 29, 2012

Final Exam Date, December 6