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Emeritus Professor

Professor Jim Doran


My current research interests lie primarily in agent-based modelling on a computer, especially Agent-Based Modelling of Guerrilla Wars. I believe that such modelling can usefully enhance our understanding of the dynamics of a typical guerrilla war. To this end I am experimenting with a computer model of a guerrilla war, the Iruba model, based loosely on the Irish War of Independence and the Castro led revolution in Cuba. The limitations of such models soon become clear and raise important methodological questions, and also some technical questions of particular interest to computer scientists (see publication 34).

In addition, I am exploring a somewhat new approach to the Design of Intelligent Agents. In spite of decades of research in AI, the core processes of intelligence remain elusive. In the context of agent design, I conjecture that what we call intelligence emerges from a few relatively simple computational processes specified at roughly the neural network level, but not necessarily in any close correspondence with actual brain processes. Accordingly I have been experimenting with sets of computational processes to establish their emergent properties and limitations, and also attempting to derive effective agent designs directly from the properties of the agent's environment (see publication 24).

In the last decade or so I have also published papers concerning the following topics - the numbers refer to publications in the list of my publications below:

  • agent-based modelling of early human societies (1, 2, 3, 4, 17, 18)
  • agent-based modelling for sustainable resource management (25, 26, 28, 29)
  • methodological aspects of agent-based modelling (12, 19, 23, 27)


  • the detection of agents in a model of the space-time continuum (30, 31, 32)
  • the collective properties of agents with partial foreknowledge (33)

Here are my main publications for 1995 - 1999:

  1. Doran J E "Modelling Early Human Societies" AISB Quarterly, 90 (Winter 94/5), pp 31-33.
  2. Doran J E and M Palmer "The EOS Project: integrating two models of Palaeolithic social change" In Artificial Societies: the Computer Simulation of Social Life (eds. N Gilbert and R Conte), 103-125. London: UCL Press, July 1995.
  3. Doran J E "Simulating Prehistoric Societies: Why? and How?" (Invited paper) Aplicaciones informaticas en Arqueologia: Teoria y Sistemas Vol II (Proceedings of Second International Symposium on Computing and Archaeology, Bilbao, 1993). Gastiburo S.L.: Bilbao. pp 40-55. November, 1995.
  4. Doran J E and M Palmer "The EOS project: modelling prehistoric sociocultural trajectories". In Aplicaciones informaticas en Arqueologia: Teoria y Sistemas Vol I (Proceedings of First International Symposium on Computing and Archaeology, Paris 1991). Gastiburo S.L.: Bilbao. pp 183-198. November, 1995.
  5. Doran J E "Modelling Sociocultural Trajectories" ASIM_Mitteilungen, Nr 53, October 1996.
  6. Doran J E "Simulating Societies using Distributed Artificial Intelligence". In Social Science Microsimulation (eds. Troitzsch K G, Mueller U, Gilbert G N and Doran J E ). Springer: Berlin. October 1996. pp. 381-393.
  7. Troitzsch K G, Mueller U, Gilbert G N and Doran J E (eds.). Social Science Microsimulation. Springer: Berlin. 471 pages. October 1996.
  8. Doran J E "Artificial Societies and Cognitive Archaeology" Archeologia e Calcolatori, 7 (1996), 1231-1245. March, 1997.
  9. Doran J E "Distributed Artificial Intelligence and Emergent Social Complexity". In Time, Process and Structured Transformation in Archaeology. (eds. S. E. van de Leeuw and J McGlade). London & New York: Routledge ("One World Archaeology" series, vol 26). pp. 283-297. May, 1997.
  10. Doran J E, Franklin S, Jennings N R & Norman T J. "On Cooperation in Multi-Agent Systems" The Knowledge Engineering Review, 12(3), 309-314. October, 1997.
  11. Doran J E "Foreknowledge in Artificial Societies" In Simulating Social Phenomena (eds. R Conte, R Hegselmann, and P Tierna), Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems 456, Springer: Berlin. pages 457-469. Sept 1997 (click here, (Word)).
  12. Doran J E "From Computer Simulation to Artificial Societies" Transactions SCS, 14(2), 69-77. June 1997 [Special Issue: Multi-Agent Systems and Simulation]
  13. Doran J E "Simulating Collective Misbelief" Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Vol 1(1) <>. January, 1998.
  14. Doran J E "Social Simulation, Agents and Artificial Societies" Proceedings of Third International Conference on Multi-Agent Systems, Paris, France. July 3-7 1998. (Extended Abstract of Invited Address) pp 4-5. July, 1998.
  15. Doran J E (co-authors: K Binmore, C Castelfranchi, M Wooldridge) "Rationality in Multi-Agent Systems" The Knowledge Engineering Review, 13(3), 309-314. September, 1998.
  16. Doran J E "Agents in Space-Time" in Proceedings of UKMAS99 Conference, Hewlett-Packard, Bristol. December 1999.

    and my main publications for 2000 - 2005:

  17. Doran J E, "Trajectories to Complexity in Artificial Societies: Rationality, Belief, and Emotions". Dynamics in Human and Primate Societies, edited by Tim Kohler and George Gummerman, Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Oxford University Press. January, 2000. pp. 89-105.
  18. Doran J E, "Prospects for Agent-Based Modelling in Archaeology". Archeologia e Calcolatori, 10, 33-44, 1999. (January, 2000).
  19. Doran J E, "Questions in the Methodology of Artificial Societies". Tools and Techniques for Social Science Simulation (eds. R. Suleiman, K. G. Troitsch and G. N. Gilbert). Physica-Verlag, pp. 17-25. January, 2000.
  20. Doran J E, "Agent-Based Models of Decentralisation and Sustainable Resource Management", Proceedings of International Workshop on Modelling Agents Interactions in Natural Resources and Environment Management, Montpellier, March 29-31, 2000.
  21. Doran J E, "The Archaeology of Artificial Societies". Proceedings of the AISB'00 Symposium on Starting from Society - the Application of Social Analogies to Computational Systems, Birmingham, UK: AISB, 15-21. (ISBN 1 902956 13 8), April, 2000.
  22. Aylett R, Dautenhahn K, Doran J E, Luck M, Moss S, and Moshe Tennenholtz. "Can Models of Agents be Transferred between Different Areas?" Knowledge Engineering Review, 15(2), pp. 199-203. June 2000.
  23. Doran J. E. "Hard Problems in the Use of Agent-Based Modelling". Proceedings of Fifth International Conference on Social Science Methodology (ISA-RC33): Social Science Methodology in the New Millennium, Cologne, October 3-6, 2000. [CD-ROM]
  24. Doran J. E. "An Alternative Approach to Cognitive Processes and Multi-Agent Systems" Proc. UKMAS 2000. Oxford, December, 2000.
  25. Doran J. E. "Intervening to Achieve Co-operative Ecosystem Management: Towards an Agent Based Model ". Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Vol. 4(2). March 2001. ON LINE:
  26. Doran J. E. "Agent-Based Modelling of Ecosystems for Sustainable Resource Management". In "Multi-Agent Systems and Applications". (ACAI'01 Summer School, Prague, July 2001, Proceedings), eds. M Luck, V Marik, O Stepankova, R Trappl. Springer: LNAI 2086. June 2001. Pp. 383-40.
  27. Doran J. E. "Can Agent-Based Modelling REALLY be Useful?” In "Cooperative Agents: Applications in the Social Sciences", (N. J. Saam and B. Schmidt eds.), Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, December 2001. Pp. 57-81.
  28. Doran J. E. “Agent-Based Modelling for Environmental Coalition Formation”, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Knowledge Systems for Coalition Operations (KSCO-2002), (Tate. A., Ed.) , Toulouse, France, 23-24 April 2002. Pp. 33-41.
  29. Doran J. E. “Modelling Intervention Strategies for Cooperative Environmental Management”, Proceedings of the iEMSs 2002 Conference, Lugano, Switzerland, June 2002, (eds. A E Rizzoli and A J Jakeman), Volume 2, pp 245-250.
  30. Doran J. E. “Agents and MAS in STaMs”. In: “Foundations and Applications of Multi-Agent Systems: UKMAS Workshop 1996-2000, Selected Papers” (Eds. M d’Inverno, M Luck, M Fisher, C Preist), Springer Verlag, LNCS 2403, July 2002, Pp. 131-151.
  31. Doran J. E.Finding Agents in a Two-Dimensional Boolean STaM”. In: “Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science”, Proc. AICS 2002 Conference, Limerick, Ireland, (eds. M. O’Neill, R. F. E. Sutcliffe, C. Ryan, M. Eaton, N. J. L. Griffith), Springer Verlag, LNAI 2464, Sept. 2002. Pp. 35-44.
  32. Doran J. E. "Detecting Agents: the McCarthy and Hayes Martian Problem", Full paper in “Working Notes of UKMAS 2002” (The Fifth UK Workshop on Multi-Agent Systems) held at the Foresight Centre, University of Liverpool, December 18-19th, 2002.
  33. Doran J. E.Agents with Exact Foreknowledge” in “Mechanizing Mathematical Reasoning: Essays in Honor of Jörg H. Siekmann". ed. D. Hutter and W. Stephan, LNAI, 2605, Springer Verlag, March 2005.
  34. Doran J. E.Iruba: An Agent-Based Model of the Guerrilla War Process”. Presented at ESSA 2005 Conference, held in Koblenz, September 2005, and published in Pre-Proceedings.
  35. Doran J.E. "Agent Design for Agent Based Modelling". In "Agent Based Computational Modelling: Applications in Demography, Social, Economic and Environmental Sciences", (eds. Francesco C Billari, Thomas Fent, Alexia Prskawetz, Jurgen Scheffran), Physica-Verlag (Springer), 2006, Pp. 215-223.

Biographical note

I read mathematics at Hertford College, Oxford, and then in the Sixties became a specialist in artificial intelligence at the University of Edinburgh under the guidance of Donald Michie. After four years at the UK Atlas Computer Laboratory, in 1973 I moved to the University of Essex in the Department of Computer Science where I am now an Emeritus Professor. I formally retired in 2001. Throughout my career I have also applied statistical and computer methods in archaeology and anthropology. From this work arose my present interest in agent-based modelling and social simulation. My publications and projects reflect this mix of research interests.

Emeritus Professor J E Doran,
Department of Computer Science,
University of Essex,
Wivenhoe Park,
Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK

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