This page is a guide or resource list to help support students, junior faculty / researchers, or those otherwise new in the systems sciences realm. If you have any suggested sources you would like to add or updates, comments, and/or questions feel free to email peterdtuddenham at
ISSS offers awards for student papers at its annual conference. More details to follow.

Universities in the USA
Best Systems Science and Theory Colleges in the US | 2021 (

This is a list of student and junior-level researcher resources specific to the systems sciences in some form, whether theory, methods, software, or in combination. It won't include everything, but will include those that are (1) updated regularly, (2) cover an array of disciplines, (3) cover an array of geographies, and will only include sources noted by a sizable amount of students and junior-level researchers as a useful resource (i.e., not self-promoting links sent as suggestions).  This list is evolving and growing and suggestions are welcome.

  • CoMSES Net's Job Board, the Network for Computational Modeling in Social and Ecological Sciences, agent-based and computational models for the study of social and ecological systems has jobs for everyone from computer scientists to social scientists.
#models , #social , #agentbased , #ecology, #jobs, #CoMSES

Systems Modeling Software, Tools, & Resources
#conceptmapping #visualization
#hybrid #systemdynamics
#systemdynamics #discreteevent #agentbased #GIS #hybrid

#hybrid #agentbased #socialnetworks #gis #systemdynamics #python

#agentbased #systemdynamics #hybrid


#hybrid #agentbased #socialnetworks #gis #systemdynamics


Complex Systems modeling toolkit of cadCAD



Courses, Workshops, & Other Trainings



Readings to Get Started
General Overviews of Systems Methods
  • Garson, G. D. 2009. Computerized simulation in the social sciences: A survey and evaluation. Simulation & Gaming 40.2: 267–279.
  • Gilbert, N., and K. G. Troitzsch. 1999. Simulation for the social scientist. Philadelphia: Open Univ. Press.
  • Lansing, J. S. 2003. Complex adaptive systems. Annual Review of Anthropology 32:183–204.
  • Miller, J. H., and S. E. Page. 2007. Complex adaptive systems: An introduction to computational models of social life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.
  • Mitchell, M. 2011. Complexity: A guided tour. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Shalizi, C. R. 2006. Methods and techniques of complex systems science: An overview. In Complex systems science in biomedicine. Edited by T. S. Deisboeck and J. Yasha Kresh, 33–114. New York: Springer.

Modeling Methods

  • de Savigny, D., and T. Adam, eds. 2009. Systems thinking for health systems strengthening. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
  • Epstein, J. M. & Axtell, R. (1996). Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
  • Finegood, D. T., L. Johnston, P. Giabbanelli, et al. 2012. Complexity and systems theory. Oxford Bibliographies: Public Health. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Galea, S., M. Riddle, and G. A. Kaplan. 2010. Causal thinking and complex system approaches in epidemiology. International Journal of Epidemiology 39:97–106.
  • Gilbert, N. & Troitzsch, Klaus G. (2005) Simulation for the Social Scientist. (Second Edition). New York: Open University Press.
  • Heppenstall, A. J., Crooks, A. T., See, L. M., Batty, M. (Eds.) (2012). Agent-Based Models of Geographical Systems. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Janssen, M.A. (2015). Introduction to Agent Based Modeling.
  • Leischow, S. J., A. Best, W. M. Trochim, et al. 2008. Systems thinking to improve the public’s health. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 35.2: S196–S203.
  • Luke, D. A., and K. A. Stamatakis. 2012. Systems science methods in public health: Dynamics, networks and agents. Annual Review of Public Health 33:357–376.
  • Norman, C. D. 2009. Health promotion as a systems science and practice. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 15.5: 868–872.
  • Plsek, P. E., and T. Greenhalgh. 2001. The challenge of complexity in health care. British Medical Journal 323:625–628.
  • Railsback, S. F. & Grimm, V. (2012). Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Shoham, Y. & Leyton-Brown, K. (2009). Multiagent Systems: Algorithmic, Game-Theoretic, and Logical Foundations. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Weiss, G. (Ed.) (1999). Multiagent Systems: A Modern Approach to Distributed Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Wilensky, U. & Rand, W. (2015). An Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling: Modeling Natural, Social, and Engineered Complex Systems with NetLogo. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Willis, C. D., C. Mitton, J. Gordon, and A. Best. 2012. Systems tools for systems change. BMJ Quality and Safety 21.3: 250–262.
Agent-based Models
  • Auchincloss, A. H., and A. V. Diez Roux. 2008. A new tool for epidemiology: The usefulness of dynamic-agent models in understanding place effects on health. American Journal of Epidemiology 168.1: 1–8.
  • Berk, R. 2008. How you can tell if the simulations in computational criminology are any good. Journal of Experimental Criminology 4:289–308.
  • Epstein, J. M. 2006. Generative social science: Studies in agent-based computational modeling. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.
  • Galea, S., C. Hall, and G. A. Kaplan. 2008. Social epidemiology and complex system dynamic modeling as applied to health behavior and drug use research. International Journal of Drug Policy 20.3: 209–216.
  • Gilbert, N. 2008. Agent-based models. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Grimm, V., U. Berger, F. Bastiansen, et al. 2006. A standard protocol for describing individual-based and agent-based models. Ecological Modeling 198:115–126.
  • Israel, N., and M. Wolf-Branigin. 2011. Nonlinearity in social service evaluation: A primer on agent-based modeling. Social Work Research 35.1: 20–24.
  • Railsback, S. F., and V. Grimm. 2012. Agent-based and individual-based modeling: A practical introduction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

Social Network Models

  • Borgatti, S. P., A. Mehra, D. J. Brass, and G. Labianca. 2009. Network analysis in the social sciences. Science Magazine 323:892–895.
  • Christakis, N. A., and J. H. Fowler. 2009. Social network visualization in epidemiology. Norsk Epidemiology 19.1: 5–16.
  • Hawe, P., C. Webster, and A. Shiell. 2004. A glossary of terms for navigating the field of social network analysis. Journal of Epidemiological and Community Health 58:971–975.
  • Knoke, D., and S. Yang. 2008. Social network analysis. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Luke, D. A., and J. K. Harris. 2007. Social network analysis in public health: History, methods, and applications. Annual Review of Public Health 28:69–93.
  • Smith, K. P., and N. A. Christakis. 2008. Social networks and health. Annual Review of Sociology 34:405–429.
  • Valente, T. W. 2010. Social networks and health: Models, methods, and applications. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Wasserman, S., and K. Faust. 1994. Social network analysis: Methods and applications. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

System Dynamics Models

  • Forrester, J. W. 2007. System dynamics—a personal view of the first fifty years. System Dynamics Review 23.2–3: 345–358.
  • Groesser, S. N., and M. Schwaninger. 2012. Contributions to model validation: Hierarchy, process, and cessation. System Dynamics Review 28.2: 157–181.
  • Homer, J. B., and G. B. Hirsch. 2006. System dynamics modeling for public health: Background and opportunities. American Journal of Public Health 3:452–458.
  • Rahmandad, H., and J. D. Sterman. 2012. Reporting guidelines for simulation-based research in social sciences. System Dynamics Review 28.4: 396–411.
  • Richardson, G. P. 1991. Feedback thought in social science and systems theory. Waltham, MA: Pegasus.
  • Sterman, J. D. 2000. Business dynamics: Systems thinking and modeling for a complex world. Boston: McGraw Hill.
  • Sterman, J. D. 2006. Learning from evidence in a complex world. American Journal of Public Health 96.3: 505–514.

Underlying Theoretical Constructs in Modeling

  • Cederman, L.-K. 2005. Computational models of social forms: Advancing generative process theory. American Journal of Sociology 110:864–893.
  • Centola, D., and M. Macy. 2007. Complex contagions and the weakness of long ties. American Journal of Sociology 113.3: 702–734.
  • Granovetter, M. S. 1973. The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology 78.6: 1360–1380.
  • Groesser, S. N., and M. Schaffernicht. 2012. Mental models of dynamic systems: Taking stock and looking ahead. System Dynamics Review 28.1: 46–68.
  • Hedstrom, P., and P. Ylikoski. 2010. Causal mechanisms in the social sciences. Annual Review of Sociology 36:49–67.
  • Richardson, G. P. 2011. Reflections on the foundations of system dynamics. System Dynamics Review 27.3: 219–243.
  • Watts, D. J. 2004. The “new” science of networks. Annual Review of Sociology 30:243–270.
  • Wolstenholme, E. F. 1992. The definition and application of a stepwise approach to model conceptualisation and analysis.  European Journal of Operational Research 59:123–136.

Comparing & Combining Methods / Model Hybridization

  • Macal, C. M. 2010. To agent-based simulation from system dynamics. In Proceedings of the 2010 Winter Simulation Conference, 5–8 December 2010, Baltimore, M D. Edited by B. Johansson, S. Jain, J. Montoya-Torres, J. Hugan, and E. Yücesan, 371–382. Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.
  • Palmius, J., and T. Persson-Slumpi. 2010. A comparison of three approaches to model human behavior. In AIP conference proceedings: Ninth International Conference on Computing Anticipatory Systems, 3–8 August 2009, Liege, Belgium. Vol. 1303. Edited by D. M. Dubois, 354–362. Melville, NY: American Institute of Physics.
  • Rahmandad, H., and J. Sterman. 2008. Heterogeneity and network structure in the dynamics of diffusion: Comparing agent- based and differential equation models. Management Science 54.5: 998–1014.
  • Swinerd, C., and K. R. McNaught. 2012. Design classes for hybrid simulations involving agent-based and system dynamics models. Simulation Modeling Practice and Theory 25:118–133.


Other Resources

Here are some videos from the graduate course that is offered around and as a part of the ISSS Annual Meeting.
Systems Thinking in Practice, Systems Lineages - Implications for Research and Practice, Debora Hammond at the ISSS Annual Meeting Graduate Course in Boulder CO, July 2016
Systems Inquiry - Gary Metcalf at the ISSS Annual Meeting Graduate Course in Boulder CO, July 2016
Disclaimer: The resource list was adapted from Elkins & Gorman (2014) by adding other resource lists from a variety of disciplines and more current ones as well, while removing the summaries for sake of list simplicity and to not get myself in trouble in some way for copyright infringement even even self-citing. It extends this work in a variety of ways too beyond readings, software and courses. All lists are still under development.