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international working group on

MODelling of Economies and Societies in Transition



Zbigniew Nahorski and Jan W. Owsiński

Newelska 6, 01-447 Warszawa, Poland; Facsimile: (48 22) 38 10 105




sent out irregularly, mainly on the basis of what's new

Edited etc. by Jan Owsiński



Issue no. 17, Autumn 2014



1. MODEST 2014 meeting in Warsaw
2. Invitation to next MODEST Workshop
3. Proposals and suggestions

1. MODEST 2014 meeting in Warsaw


The most recent Workshop of MODEST, traditionally affiliated with the bi-annual Polish BOS (Operations and Systems Research) conference, this time, of course, BOS 2014, took place on September 24-26 (Wednesday-Friday) 2014 in Warsaw. The (broader) BOS 2014 meeting was, also quite traditionally, organised jointly with the Systems Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

This particular event had, however, also a much broader framework. Namely, both BOS 2014 and the MODEST Workshop were collocated with quite a number of other international meetings. These were: the IEEE Intelligent Systems conference (IS 2014), the international conference Soft Methods in Probability and Statistics (SMPS 2014), International Workshop on Fuzzy Intuitionistic Sets and Generalized Nets, as well as the meeting of the working group on greenhouse gas emissions uncertainty assessment. All of these took place in the centre of Warsaw, most of them in the same buildings, starting with the historical Staszic Palais, the formal seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The MODEST Workshop brought, as always, very interesting presentations and discussions, which could well take advantage of the presence of many other scholars, participating in the BOS 2014 Conference, as well as in the other collocated events. The publication of the materials took a similar course as in the case of the preceding workshop (MODEST 2012). Namely, there was no separate MODEST-related volume or journal issue (the latter being, for instance, the case of the BOS conference in Bydgoszcz, BOS 2010). Instead, individual papers were directed to a number of journals, and, after having passed respective refereeing procedures, have been or are being published in these titles. We hope to be able to report on the entire set of the MODEST 2014 papers in the next issue of our Newsletter.

Just as a side remark, it should be noted that the papers included in the MODEST Workshop were authored by scholars from Poland, Sweden, Spain, Algeria, and United Kingdom, while, to our regret, the announced papers by authors coming from Russia and Ukraine could not be presented due to the inability of their authors to join the Workshop. This is, definitely, an evidence on how the bad political events influence in a disruptive manner the scientific exchange (even if MODEST Workshop seems to be somewhat of an exception, since Russian and Ukrainian scientists do, in fact, make it now to various international meetings, the fact that this actually happened cannot simply be denied).

2. Invitation to next MODEST Workshop

It is envisaged that the subsequent MODEST Workshop shall not take place Warsaw, like the tworecent ones, but, instead, in Poznań, in 2016, affiliated, this time, primarily with the EURO-k  Conference, which is scheduled to take place on 3-6 July 2016. This is not to say that the affiliation with the bi-annual BOS Conferences of the Polish Operational and Systems Research Society (here: BOS 2016) shall be dropped. Actually, the plan is to have both events associated with the EURO-k in Poznań. Like in the previous cases, it is intended to have the MODEST Workshop in the form of a series of sessions within the “framework” conference, gaining through interaction with this broader forum.

The standing proposal for the themes of the Workshop – not precluding any other issues, pertaining to modelling and analysis of the transformation processes and phenomena – are (i) the continuing crisis and its impact for the transforming economies (and, indeed, the more general transformations, apparently needed), with special emphasis on the role of financial institutions; (ii) the actual status and role of the information society / knowledge economy paradigms under different change circumstances; and (iii) the summary net impact and mechanisms of the greening of economy. To those, we would like to add, given the present global change and turmoil symptoms: (iv) the economic war and its repercussions – the victims and the beneficiaries.

We indeed look forward to your contributions to and an active participation in the event.


3. Proposals and suggestions


In addition to the themes for the upcoming MODEST Workshop, we return, once again, to the possible subjects of joint work within the MODEST community. Thus, in the previous Newsletters we forwarded some suggestions concerning the potential fields of collaboration, e.g. within the framework of bilateral or broader, multinational European projects. We come back herewith to these ideas, with additional information and one more domain of potential joint work. Let us emphasise that in all those fields not only definite research work is, of course, being carried out, but, actually, some collaborative work is, as well, underway.

These activities, and the related ideas, concentrate around the following four themes (which, of course, do by no means limit the potential scope of concepts for future collaborative work):

  • modeling for the evaluation of the consequences of and design of changes in the Common Agricultural Policy; there are already a number of models that supposedly do the job, but what virtually all of them lack is the micro- or landscape, or community dimension (or, at a bare minimum – the one of a municipality); on the other hand there is also a gap on the real macro scale meaning aggregate effects for the EU and the world; in conditions of the current crisis the knowledge of potential consequences of various policies and instruments at the scale of the real processes, and not only somewhat abstract aggregates, becomes even more important;

  • assessing and modeling the role of ICT in development (place and role in the feedback loop), especially in terms of development dynamics from various starting points, and the possibility of short-cuts; here, as well, the local and regional dimension is of importance; again, this applies equally to the macro- and the real micro- dimensions, in economic and spatial terms;

  • modeling the consequences of policies related to the “green paths”, and the possibility of making (or leaving open and effectively available) the truly “optimum” choices and avoiding the “green paradoxes”, without bearing too much of economic and social costs that would impair short- and medium-term competitiveness; this involves an intricate interplay of time horizons, investment and risk, mainly associated with energy; the recent events on the world scene, oil prices and global-warming-related undertakings included, show it very clearly that the respective models are indeed necessary, and, at that, a variety of them, that could grasp the different aspects and perspectives on these issues;

  • development of the methodologies related to decision making under uncertainty in situations of emergency, with the use of decision rules, decision trees, fuzzy and intuitionistic logic, and respective linguistic representations; this set of methodological tools might be of high value in devising decision support systems for the high-risk operations with limited information and high uncertainty;

  • the economic war, its instruments, mechanisms, and its consequences – the historical precedents, the impact on the adversaries, the true victims and the actual beneficiaries; this, set against the surprisingly rich background of the current events, starting with winter 2013/2014, seems to be a subject that has three exceptionally significant aspects: (I) the capacity to wage the economic war, along with the expected effects in formal, “official” terms; (II) the role of the economic war in uncovering the veiled bottom line facts of the economic situation and economic policies; and (III) the true victims and the actual beneficiaries of such circumstances.

    Should you be interested in collaboration on these themes, or in coining other ones of potential
    interest to members of MODEST, please, contact us about it.



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