Author Archive


Hi class,

For next Wednesday we will start with a talk and discussion with Michael Pellegrino, the Director of Operations at NYC CitiBike.

We will then discuss the exciting topics of mechanism design and participatory game design (no more presentations!). Please make sure you do the following readings (at least a pass) before class:

From Week 09 if you haven’t done so:

  • Bram Cohen, Incentives Build Robustness in BitTorrent (PDF at Google Drive, WK_09)
  • Chapter 22 – Markets and Information from the Networks book (PDF at Google Drive, WK_09)
  • Eytan Adar and Bernardo A. Huberman. Free Riding on Gnutella (PDF at Google Drive, WK_09)

For week 10:

  • Wilensky, U., Stroup, W. (2000) Networked gridlock: Students enacting complex dynamic phenomena with the HubNet architecture. In B. Fishman & S. O’Connor-Divelbiss (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth Annual International Conference for the Learning Sciences (pp. 282-289). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. June 14 – 17.
  • Dimitris Papanikolaou. Cloudcommuting: Games, Interaction, and Learning  (PDF at Google Drive, WK_10)
  • Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, Robert Zubek MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research  (PDF at Google Drive, WK_10)

Only if you want and have time:

  • Herman Kahn and Irwin Mann. WAR_GAMING (PDF at Google Drive, WK_10)
  • Clayton Thomas and Walter Deemer. THE ROLE OF OPERATIONAL GAMING IN OPERATIONS RESEARCH (PDF at Google Drive, WK_10)

Email me if you have questions!


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Hi Class,

Next week we will talk about Game Theory. We have lot of (and quite new) stuff to discuss!

This week’s assignment

You have to take your last week’s project a step further and connect it in a network. You may either think of your Arduinos as clients talking to a web server (in NodeJS) who will be storing/fetching data from a database (MongoDB) through the Internet. Or you may think of your Arduinos as interconnected peers that can be both clients and servers that store data locally without connecting to a central server. Your progress in this assignment should give you enough insight for the technology you will deploy in your final project. You may work in teams so that you can combine your Arduinos.

Those of you that haven’t yet updated the blog with your last week’s assignment please do so.


Prepared to discuss the following readings, in the order they appear bellow. Admittedly it is a lot of material so I do not expect you to read it in detail but rather to skim it and be able to provide an overview and summarize few points on each reading. If you want you may choose to focus in depth in one of them but at least you need to have an understanding of what the others cover.

Email me for any questions



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Hi Class,

For tomorrow please limit your presentations to 10-15 minutes per team, so that we have another 10-15 minutes for feedback and roughly 20-30 minutes at the end for an open discussion. You may also wanna spend 1 minute about your final project if you have any idea already.

We will have one guest reviewer so make sure that you give enough context in your presentations for someone who has not seen your previous assignments before. Focus on what was the question/topic you wanted to study, what method you followed (e.g. data viz, simulation, causal-loop, etc.) and what insights your analysis gave you. By “insights” I do not necessarily mean conclusions – your insights might be some broader reflections. Also, make a comment (or at least be prepared to answer) on what challenges you faced, what worked and what didn’t work in your methods, and what would be a better methodology or even a better question/topic to research if you had the opportunity to do your analysis from scratch. In short, what can we learn about CitiBike or NYC from your mid-term projects?

Good luck and see you all tomorrow!


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Hi Class,

As you prepare for your mid-term reviews make sure that each one of you obtains the following for our next class on October 6, after mid-term.

In class 6 and class 7 (which will be lab/workshops) we will talk about RFID sensing and communication via Ethernet protocol. Although some of you may be interested in other tracking or communication technologies for your final projects such as visual tagging with QR codes, checking-in with mobile phones etc., communication using wireless/WiFi, GSM, etc., in the next 2 classes we will be using RFID and Ethernet. RFID is a very common technology for tracking in MoD systems while Ethernet shields allow you to setup and program your own Arduino-based servers (e.g. smart stations) which is pretty awesome.

Before placing orders, you may wanna first ask the technical support at ITP if any of the following parts exist already in school. For the weekly assignment after class 6 it is preferred that you work individually so that you all get familiar with RFID technology and get your hands dirty with a little bit of soldering. If however any of you has serious concerns and wants instead to work in teams ask me first.

Arduino & Ethernet
1 Arduino Uno (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11021) AND 1 Arduino Ethernet Shield (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9026)
1 Arduino Ethernet w/o PoE (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11229)

Ethernet Cable
1 CAT 6 (Ethernet) cable – 10ft or shorter (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8917)

RFID sensor & tags
1 RFID Reader ID-12LA, 125kHz (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11827)
1 RFID Reader Breakout Board (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13030)
RFID tags 125kHz, cards, pack of 5 (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11506)

Headers, Breadboards, jumper wires
2 Break Away Headers – Straight (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/116)
Breadboard – look here (https://www.sparkfun.com/search/results?term=breadboard)
Jumper wires (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11242)

The following is optional:
LEDs: You don’t need any LEDs to connect the ID12 to the Arduino, however you may need them if you want to do fun stuff. If you use LEDs I highly recommend the RGB Neopixels from Adafruit: http://www.adafruit.com/category/168

Resistors: You don’t need any resistors to connect the ID12 to the Arduino, however you may need resistors if you want to add LEDs, etc.
Push Buttons: Same as for LEDs and Resistors. You may also want to get a couple of fun arcade-style push buttons (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9180)

Place your orders in time so that you have the equipment for class 6.

Email if if you have any questions



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Hi All,

I have uploaded some System Dynamics related readings and models in the Drive. I have also left a copy of the book Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World at ITP – If you want to have a look at the book and scan any chapters ask Sabrina. If you decide so, the chapters you should read are the following:

Ch 3. The Modeling Process

Ch 4. Structure and Behavior of Dynamic Systems

Ch 5. Causal Loop Diagrams (until 5.4.5)

Ch 6. Stock and Flows

Ch 7. Dynamics of Stocks and Flows

Ch 8. Closing the Loop: Dynamics of Simple Structures

You can download (and experiment with) the Vensim models used in the book as examples from the book’s website here: http://www.mhhe.com/business/opsci/sterman/ and more specifically here: http://www.mhhe.com/business/opsci/sterman/models.mhtml

The following online resources are useful:

Interesting articles on causal-loop analysis. You may wanna quickly read them first:

A System Dynamics Approach to Rabbits (interesting step-by-step tutorial)


John Sterman’s online papers (also in our Google Drive depository):

Jay Forester’s (founder of SD) seminal book Principles of Systems (only the first few chapters)

For Agent Based modeling I encourage you to look at NetLogo’s website. You will find a lot of useful information there plus you will have the opportunity to experiment with the models from the library. Also Mitch Resnick’s book Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds.

Regardless of whether you choose to work with System Dynamics or Agent Based systems you should all learn how to make causal loop diagrams and causal loop analysis.

Good luck,


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Hi All:

As a preparation for tomorrow’s class on Modeling & Simulation of Complex Systems please do the following:

Agent-Based Modeling in Netlogo

Download NetLogo from here: https://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/download.shtml

If you have time (recommended):

Read the small description “What is NetLogo” here: https://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/docs/

Open the Wolf Sheep Predation model from the Models Library (you can find the library here but it also comes with NetLogo once you download it). Read this: http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/models/WolfSheepPredation and experiment with the model. Think about the types of questions you can address/approach with it.

Open the Traffic Grid model from the Models Library (http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/models/TrafficGrid). Do the same as above

System Dynamics in Vensim 

Download Vensim PLE v 6.3 from here: http://vensim.com/free-download/

See you all tomorrow


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hello world

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