Our chief accomplishment was to create a completely new way with new technology of looking at social simulations at the level of fractal geometry. These research initiatives have been supported many times by such authoritative grant-givers like Russian foundation for basic research, Ministry of education and science of Russia, Russian foundation for humanities, Russian Presidential council for grants.
The work of the CFM has been used in many different research applications and programs, including political, historical, and sociological scholarship projects. Social simulation is a powerful tool to produce explanatory frameworks and hypothetical scenarios and prognostication. Dmitry Zhukov, Valery Kanishchev and Sergei Lyamin in the last five years alone have created models of diverse social phenomena, including: the transformation of socio-political institutions, the modernization of city social strati, the mutually-reinforcing actions of governing organs between center and periphery, and demographic behaviors amongst rural populations in Central Russia, the dynamic of the Russian frontier.
Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research, project № 14-06-00093-а «Applying theory of self-organized criticality to the study of historical processes», head – D.S. Zhukov, 2014 – 2016.
Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research, project №10-06-00250-а «Computer modeling of modernization processes by means of fractal geometry», head – D.S. Zhukov, 2010 – 2011.
The overall purpose of the project was a creation of fundamental principles and methodological framework for the computer modeling (by means of fractal geometry) of social phenomena and processes (particularly, modernization processes).
There are the following outcomes of the project development.
The conceptual and analytical structure of methodology of fractal modeling in historical, political and other social research has been worked out. The mathematical models of modernization processes for a number of social-political phenomena have been introduced and proven.
Computer software for realization of fractal models reflecting the direction and dynamics of modernization processes has been designed: programs Mentalofractal, Demofractal, Imitation. A fractal-generator Modernofraсtal 5.1 was registered by the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks, certificate № 2011619003 of November 18th, 2011.
The instruments for complete modeling including methods for source data formalization, fractal structures generation, model calibration and verification, computer experiments setting up and qualitative interpretation of the results have been obtained.
The methodology developed within the project is used in large research programs for social-political phenomena studying. There were a series of computer experiments that were carried out to solve particular research tasks as applied to analysis of the enforced institutional modernization, demographic transition in rural communities and transformation of social networks in post-reform Russian towns. The methodology set forth was used, for example, to study modernization potential of social structures and political institutions in Russia and to predict several “non-standard” effects of modernization impacts on society and political institutions (in light of modernization experience of several foreign countries and Russian historical background).
The heuristic productivity of the fractal models offered has been demonstrated. Some nonlinear effects which appear in social and political systems being subject to quality transformation have been discovered and explained.
Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research, project № 12-06-31111 mol_а «The study of institutional modernization by means of computer fractal simulation», head – S.K. Lyamin, 2012 – 2013.
The overall purpose of the project is a development of the theoretical and methodological (conceptual and
analytical) framework, as well as of software for constructing models by means of fractal geometry in historical and other social sciences. The priority field of approbation of the methodology being developed is the computer modeling of the destruction of archaic informal institutions under forced institutional modernization.
During the implementation of the project, the following results were obtained. For studying various socio-political phenomena, mathematical models of modernization processes – “Modernofractal”, “Demofractal”, “Ecofractal”, “Frontierfractal” – were developed and evaluated.
On the basis of the previous developments the computer software for implementing fractal models was created. Indicators for formalization of models’ governing factors were examined. Model calibration and verification were also performed.
A methodology developed under the RFBR aegis is used in large-scale projects of studying socio-political phenomena. There were modeling and some series of computer experiments carried out that were aimed to solve specific research problems as applied to the analysis of the destruction of traditional informal institutions, demographic transition in the agrarian society, strategies of society-environmental interactions, spatial dynamics of Russian society and state. The qualitative understanding of the empirical data was developed.
The research demonstrated the heuristic productivity of the proposed fractal models. There are some non-linear effects to emerge in social and political systems under qualitative transformations that were detected and then explained The obtained results that are unique for social and political disciplines were published (including a journal from the SCOPUS and WoS list) and presented to the scholarly community on the relevant academic conferences.
State contract 14.B37.21.0552, a project named “Scenarios of destruction of traditional informal institutions: computer simulation and political analysis” (Ordering customer – The RF Ministry of education and science. The Federal academic program “Academic and educational research cadres of innovative Russia”), head – D.S. Zhukov, 2012 – 2013.
The project is designed to develop theoretical and methodological foundations and tools of modeling
used for analysis of social and political institutions’ dynamics. The originality of the study is what it allows solve crucially new tasks and open new methodological and software opportunities in the field of computer modeling of social and political phenomena. Thus the project’s outcomes may be used in other research areas (political science, socio-economic and historical studies).
Modeling allows carry out formalization and systematization of theoretical and empirical best practices of social disciplines for creating application-oriented intellectual production. That is why the project, being a fundamental one, also has prospects of application use in the form of developing practical recommendations concerning mechanisms of state policy on modernization of social and political institutions as well as countering “catastrophic” social technologies.
State contract №П930 of May 26th, 2010, a project named «Forced modernization of political institutions: computer modeling, forecasting of outcomes and non-linear effects» (Ordering customer – The RF Ministry of education and science. The Federal academic program “Academic and educational research cadres of innovative Russia” for 2009 – 2013), head – D.S. Zhukov, 2010 – 2012 гг.
The project provides for use of fractal geometry means to create and explain the model of modernization of political institutions in contemporary Russia. The innovative development for this project is “Modernofractal” program designed on the basis of the “Mentalofractal” software core.
State contract №П562 of May 17th, 2010, «The development of social, cultural and political network relations in Russian cities in the 2nd half of the 19th and early 20 centuries». (Ordering customer – The RF Ministry of education and science. The Federal academic program “Academic and educational research cadres of innovative Russia” for 2009 – 2013), 2010 – 2012 гг., head – S.K. Lyamin.
Within the project the “Imitation” model is applied to study development of network social communications.
The President of the Russian Federation grant, № МК-5604.2012.6, project «Visualized metaphors as a mean of educational communication in the process of teaching history and social studies», head – S.K. Lyamin.
DSP project “Historical, linguistic and culturological framework for formation and preservation of national self-consciousness under conditions of intercultural communication” (The RF Ministry of education and science. The ministerial academic program “The development of academic potential in the higher education (2009 – 2010)”, State registration № 0120.0 803597)
Amongst the project’s tasks is the development of the fractal model of cultural and national assimilation in the post-industrial society.
DSP project № 2.1.3./2626 “Demograhic and ecological problems of the Russian agrarian province in the 20th century: from micro-researches to macro-generalizations” (The RF Ministry of education and science. The ministerial academic program “The development of academic potential in the higher education (2009 – 2010)”, State registration 01.2.00 900970).
Within the project there is the “Demofractal” fractal model, describing demographic processes in late 19th – 20th centuries’ Russian agrarian province that has been verified and evaluated on vast historical material.
State contract № 14.740.11.0240 of September 15th, 2010 «Mechanisms and actors of decision-making: an applied research (case of Russia’s European part cities)» (Ordering customer – The RF Ministry of education and science. The Federal academic program “Academic and educational research cadres of innovative Russia” for 2009 – 2013), 2010 – 2012, head – D.G. Seltser.
Means of fractal geometry is applied to study development of network structures and informal relations inside the regional and sub-regional elites of contemporary Russia.
State contract № 14.740.11.0206 of September 15th, 2010 «Environmental history aspects of the history of the Russian agrarian society: the reflection of global issues on the local level» (Ordering customer – The RF Ministry of education and science. The Federal academic program “Academic and educational research cadres of innovative Russia” for 2009 – 2013), 2010 – 2012, head – V.V. Kanishchev.
Within this project “Demofractal” is applied to study demographic processes, with the extension of chronological framework of modeling to the early 21st century.