The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants information on ideas and approaches that could help develop interactive simulation platforms that will work to validate social science research methods.
A notice posted Wednesday on FedBizOpps stated DARPA eyes simulations or “forensic social science supercolliders” that could help evaluate social science research methods for using “strong inference” to identify factors that lead to particular human behaviors and systems.
“[Such] simulations could provide testbeds in which social science research methods can be forensically evaluated for their capabilities and their limitations to correctly identify and characterize different causal mechanisms and dynamics that give rise to observed complex behaviors and systems,” the notice said.
DARPA expects successful forensic social science supercolliders to have potential applications in social sciences and national security such as ways to study “high-impact systemic disruptions” like conflicts or economic collapse.
Responses to the request for information will help DARPA identify a set of first principles that could lead to complex social behaviors as part of the project’s first technical area, the FBO notice stated.
The candidate principles could be drawn from psychology, sociology, economics, network science, biology, linguistics, physics, game theory, ecology and anthropology, among other disciplines.
The second technical area requires ideas on the development of simulation platforms that could help calibrate qualitative and quantitative social science research methods that are designed to determine causality in social behaviors and systems.
DARPA also wants ways to create metrics and evaluation frameworks that will gauge the limitations of social science research methods in identifying causality under the third technical area.
Respondents could also identify limits to the three technical areas or suggest other ideas that could help DARPA meet its research goals under the Forensic Social Science Supercolliders program.
Interested participants can submit responses through Oct. 18.