Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Creative force fields

Yesterday (29th september) I made an appearance as an opponent at a seminar on the topic of mathematical modelling for predicting the spread of culture (Swedish title: "Kan algoritmer ge oss bättre förståelse för kultur och regional utveckling?").

The work that I was reviewing was that of Massimo Buscema at the Semeion Institute in Rome, who has been collaborating with several counties in Sweden in order to make predictions of how culture in the region will grow in the future.

The central tool for this analysis is the 'topological weighted centroid' (TWC) which can be viewed as a generalisation of centre of mass of set of points representing cultural activities.

I am highly critical of the validity and utility of these tools, since it is unclear what the TWC actually represents.

If you want to know more please have a look at the video:

(I make my appearance around 2:20 into the video)