UCD Dynamics Lab for Computational Social Science                                       

Address UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy
University College Dublin
Dublin 4
Telephone 00353 1 7164627  
Address UCD School of Sociology
Telephone 00353 1 7168561


Project 1:  AUTHENTIC -Autonomic Home Area Network Infrastructure   Dr Diane Payne Principal Investigator

The Dynamics Lab at UCD Geary  is participating in a major research programme led by UCD Clarity ( The overall project is funded by Enterprise Ireland and is part of the IERC strategic research area on Home Area Networks. This project seeks to design and deliver a Home Area Network (HAN) infrastructure capable of supporting opportunistic decision making pertaining to effective energy management within the home ( The Dynamics Lab will use an Agent Based Modelling (ABM) approach which can simulate and test various realistic alternatives for domestic energy user behaviour and outcomes within the Home Area Network Infrastructure. The ABM will draw on the insights from the behavioural research approach within the social sciences which is very useful with regard to modelling decision making under various conditions of bounded rationality and social learning. The ABM models will e calibrated and tested through empirical data collection in a number of representative households during the course of this research. This research will provide insights as to how individuals can be incentivised over time in order to adopt new and more efficient energy use behaviour in the home and how those behavioural decisions can be maintained over the medium term.


Project 2: Exploring Social Media for improved Learning, Healthcare Management and Intervention in Patient groups in Ireland   Dr Diane Payne Principal Investigator

There is relatively little systematic research to date on the use and impact of social media in healthcare management, how health care professional and patients behave through interaction in social media forums and how these new lateral forms of information diffusion impact on individual healthcare practitioner learning and decision making. This research project will first map the network structure and actor attributes over time of one or more selected on-line patient groups. Second, it will develop cross-sectional and longitudinal network models to explore the importance of individual behavioural attributes and network structures for different type of information diffusion and learning behaviours across patients and professionals via the social media usec. It will aim to study the impact of social media on the adoption rate (innovation) of a new “treatment” (e.g medication, therapy, etc) in the patient group over time. This project is led by Dr Diane Payne at the Dynamics Lab and is funded under the UCD Strategic and Major Initiatives Scheme 2012.


Project 3: Dynamics of Innovative Healthcare Delivery: A social network approach.  Dr Diane Payne Principal Investigator

This project is led by Dr Diane Payne at the Dynamics Lab and the post-doctoral researcher is Dr Pablo Lucas. The research focuses on the delivery of Irish healthcare provision through the roll-out of Primary Care Teams at the local level. It examines the evolution over time of the social networks underpinning Primary Care Teams. Using a decision network approach, it explores the conditions which might enhance and/or restrict collaboration within Primary Care Teams. This project is part of a larger research programme entitled “Innovation Policy Simulation for the Smart Economy” (IPSE) funded under PRTLI5, Strand 2. (2011-2016).



Project .4  Collective Decision Modelling and Applications  

This research comprises a collection of various case studies of collective decision making in policy networks.The studies focus on collective decision making at local, national and international levels of public policy and insights into the various collective decision processes are provided by the development and/or application of computer simulation modelling techniques. This research primarily involves various types of collaboration with colleagues, including Dr Jacob Dijkstra at the ICS, University of Groningen