ZIF Sociophysics Conference

ZiF SocioPhysics Conference
A banner for the 2002 ZiF SocioPhysics Conference, Germany, where Jurgen Mimkes talked on a Lagrangian derived free energy minimization formulation of social systems with chemical-modeled social bonds, Wolfgang Weidlich talked about sociodynamics of social systems, and Dietrich Stauffer talked about the Sznajd model.
In hmolscience, ZiF Sociophysics Conference was a 6-9 Jun 2002 interdisciplinary international conferences on the subject of sociophysics, which took place at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (Zentrum fiir interdisziplinare Forschung | ZiF), Bielefeld Germany, organized by Frank Schweitzer and Klaus Troitzsche, wherein a number of noted pioneers of sociophysics lectured, including: Jurgen Mimkes, Wolfgang Weidlich, Dietrich Stauffer, and Gunter Haag.

The following is the abstract of the SocioPhysics Conference: [1]

“The aim of the international conference SocioPhysics was to provide an overview of different approaches to quantitative modeling and computer simulation of social systems that have been developed within the physics and the social sciences. The meeting thus made reference to an international science development, in the social sciences, computer science and natural sciences new form alliances: econophysics, socionics, computational economics are just a few examples. The German Physical Society (DPG) has now established a working group "Physics of socio-economic systems" (AKSOE).

The great international interest in SocioPhysics proved the conference registrations from 18 different countries, including the United States and Brazil. The nearly 70 conference participants from very different disciplines (physics, mathematics, sociology, computer science, demography, philosophy, political science, economics) was presented in 27 lectures and 17 posters, a wide range of SocioPhysics concepts whose applications z. B. Decision Processes and voting behavior, collective opinion, include development of cooperation and of social networks.

Considerable space occupied the partly controversial but also constructive discussions on whether and to what extent physical methods are applicable to the description of social systems. It became clear that it in no way comes to a simple transfer of physical concepts, but to provide an accurate understanding of the related reductions. As the various examples showed in the oral presentations and posters, SocioPhysics modeled less social actors with their complex worldview, but rather the dynamics of their collective interaction with analogies to physical many-body systems play a major role. So the question comes to the "reasonable" abstraction of social processes and the limits of the interpretation of the results of particular significance, which can only be clarified in interdisciplinary discourse.
At the end, the participants agreed that the conference has made an important contribution to outline the possibilities and the limitations of a physical modeling of social processes. The multidisciplinary discussions and the lively atmosphere during the four days were here praised highly. The scientific director of the AG SocioPhysics would like to thank very warmly the ZiF for financial and organizational support for the implementation of the Convention.”

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A cursory perusal of the abstracts indicates that the meat of the conference was Jurgen Mimkes talk on the “The Structure of Complex Systems: Thermodynamics, Socio-Economics”, wherein he makes the following discerning connection:

“The state of large stochastic systems of N objects may be calculated by the Lagrange principle L(N) = T log P(N) + E(N) → maximum ! P is the probability, that is to be maximized under a system condition E, and T is the Lagrange ordering parameter. L is the Lagrange function of the system, that may be far away or close to stability. At equilibrium the Lagrange function is at maximum. In natural sciences, E is given by the chemical bonds and the (negative) Lagrange function corresponds to the free energy, from which all thermodynamic states may be calculated. In social systems, the Lagrange principle corresponds to the common benefit. The function E represents the social bonds of the system.”

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The following are related quotes:

SocioPhysics has become an attractive field of research over the past years, despite some controversies about its scientific eligibility and potential use for the understanding of social phenomena. This international conference tends to reflect these discussions: It brings together scientists from various disciplines, such as physics, sociology, informatics, demography, philosophy, political sciences, economics. They will jointly discuss whether and to what extent physical models and tools can be reasonably used to enhance quantitative methods and computer simulations in the social sciences. Ideally, this interdisciplinary dialog will result in a mutual enhancement: Social scientists may learn about the latest development in applying physical methods to the life and social sciences, physicists and other natural scientists may increase their awareness of problems, methods, and needs in the social sciences.”
— Frank Schweitzer (2002), “Aim and Scope” of SocioPhysics Conference [1]

See also
Sociophysics conferences

1. Schweitzer, Frank and Troitzsche, Klaus. (2002). ZiF SocioPhysics Conference (abs) (toc) (pdf), Center for Interdisciplinary Research (Zentrum fiir interdisziplinare Forschung) (ZIF), Bielefeld Germany, Jun 6-9.

Further reading
● Mimkes, Jurgen. (2002). “The Structure of Complex Systems: Thermodynamics, Socio-Economics”, SocioPhysics Conference (abs) (toc) (pdf), Center for Interdisciplinary Research (Zentrum fiir interdisziplinare Forschung) (ZIF), Bielefeld Germany, Jun 6-9.

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