Business Analysis

Business Analysis

Business Analysis

Business analysts must respond to the challenges of today’s highly competitive global economy by developing practical, creative and financially sound solutions that will address business problems and grasp new opportunities. This excellent guide sets out the essential toolkit required. It is also ideal for students wanting to gain university and industry qualifications in business analysis and information systems, and is particularly beneficial for those studying for the BCS Professional Certificate in Business Analysis. Important additions in the third edition include expanded discussions regarding gap analysis and benefits management, the impact of Agile software development and an introduction to business architecture.

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Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science (Princeton Studies in Complexity)

Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science (Princeton Studies in Complexity)

The Final Volume of the Groundbreaking Trilogy on Agent-Based Modeling

In this pioneering synthesis, Joshua Epstein introduces a new theoretical entity: Agent_Zero. This software individual, or “agent,” is endowed with distinct emotional/affective, cognitive/deliberative, and social modules. Grounded in contemporary neuroscience, these internal components interact to generate observed, often far-from-rational, individual behavior. When multiple agents of this new type move and interact spatially, they collectively generate an astonishing range of dynamics spanning the fields of social conflict, psychology, public health, law, network science, and economics.

Epstein weaves a computational tapestry with threads from Plato, Hume, Darwin, Pavlov, Smith, Tolstoy, Marx, James, and Dostoevsky, among others. This transformative synthesis of social philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, and agent-based modeling will fascinate scholars and students of every stripe. Epstein’s computer programs are provided in the book or on its Princeton University Press website, along with movies of his “computational parables.”

Agent_Zero is a signal departure in what it includes (e.g., a new synthesis of neurally grounded internal modules), what it eschews (e.g., standard behavioral imitation), the phenomena it generates (from genocide to financial panic), and the modeling arsenal it offers the scientific community.

For generative social science, Agent_Zero presents a groundbreaking vision and the tools to realize it.

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6 comments

  1. 19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Book for Business Analysts, December 17, 2010
    By 
    Kristi L. Brown (Bloomington, Indiana USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Business Analysis (Paperback)
    I’ve been recently transitioned asa business analyst at work and have been combing through all sorts of BA material to learn more about my new field. I’ve been through at least 7 different BA books and this one is by far my favorite. I keep it with me all the time… it’s a great reference book. It also presents the material in an easy and understandable way. I highly recommend this book to any business analyst… new or seasoned.

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  2. 9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Nice overview about business analysis for beginners, December 17, 2011
    By 
    Pirkka Rannikko (Tampere, Finland) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Business Analysis (Paperback)
    I guess I was looking for a book about business process modelling when I stumbled upon this one. The reviews at Amazon.co.uk were so positive that I decided to read the book, although it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

    I think the book gives a nice overview about the subject for someone new to the field. It is very well written and relatively short which makes it an easy read. The book won’t be as useful for someone already experienced in business analysis, but perhaps it is a mandatory piece in the bookshelf. I am not a business analyst myself, but having a strong UX/UCD and “requirements engineering” background, there was less new information for me than what I had hoped.

    In my opinion the most interesting parts of the book were the ones discussing about specific techniques like fishbone diagrams, business activity modeling (BAM), benefits mapping etc. Perhaps the companion title Business Analysis Techniques: 72 Essential Tools for Success would be a worthwhile read for the likes of me looking for practical information.

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  3. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Concise Summary of Business Analysis Tools, May 24, 2014
    By 
    BigSis

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Business Analysis (Paperback)
    I had this book for my 300 level Business Analysis college class (rented from the university), and liked it so I decided to buy it. My field of study is business analysis.
    Pros:
    *Concise-very readable! Right to the point, no fluff
    *Great explanation of business analysis in relation to business strategy and the IT technical side of a business
    *Easy-to-follow organization and layout

    Cons:
    *(for USA) Some techniques described are more common in the UK than in the USA my professor said, but most topics are universal
    *Lack-of-in-depth description, direction, and examples would make this text hard to use on its own. With in-class demonstrations, though, it becomes a very handy companion. Purchase this book if you want a good overview of what it means to be a business analyst.
    *Headers do not say what chapter number you are in- Why not?! I do not understand how textbooks are allowed to be printed without headers on each page saying what chapter it is.

    FYIs
    *The book is in all black and white.
    *For taking tests: the diagram on page 172 is incorrect; “business continuity” should match the text and be under the “General” heading, not the “Non-functional” heading.
    *Since the book is written in British English, at first I found it slowed me down and distracted me when I was reading it, because I wasn’t used to English wording and spelling in the business world. “Program” becomes “programme,” “organization” becomes “organisation,” and “agree to/with” becomes “agree.”

    If I hadn’t taken the class I still would buy this book to have a better understanding of the field of business analysis.

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  4. 6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The cutting edge in modeling social behavior, February 25, 2014
    This review is from: Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science (Princeton Studies in Complexity) (Hardcover)
    I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this book. Epstein is a pioneer in using agent-based models — computerized artificial societies — to elaborate and conceptualize complex processes of social organization and evolution. Here, he focuses on simple agents that nonetheless have properties essential to human actors: (1) information gleaned from the world, subject to biases of local availability, (2) emotional responses that take time to subside, and (3) social influence from their fellow agents. This book unfolds in a manner very much like Epstein’s previous book with Robert Axtell, Growing Artificial Societies (1996). That is, a basic modeling idea is described and explored, and throughout the book more detail is gradually added so that new interesting questions can be asked.

    In the modeling of human behavior, individual-level models of cognition are often overly complex, and do not lend themselves to studying social behaviors. At the same time, population-level models often use drastically oversimplistic models of cognition and behavior, such as the rational actor model from economics or simple game theoretic strategies like Tit-For-Tat. This books presents a halfway point — far more cognitively realistic than most population models, far more tractable than most cognitive models. The second half of the book proceeds through a series of examples and uses the model to draw analogies toward many important social behaviors, from jury deliberation to lynch mobs to the Arab Spring. There is math, but it’s mostly fairly simple algebra.

    This is definitely an academic book, but the writing is far from dry. I really enjoyed it, and I think it will end up being highly useful to both students and experts from any field in the social, and behavioral sciences. I recommend this book for anyone interested in modeling or otherwise better understanding social behavior.

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  5. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    So long a Results, June 29, 2014
    By 
    David Martin (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science (Princeton Studies in Complexity) (Hardcover)
    Technical and thoughtful, good introduction to the field, but lacks the greater meaning I was hoping for. Lots of information, not really an underlying reason. Like a long results section without the discussion or conclusion

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  6. 0 of 50 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    Gethefugouddahere, February 19, 2014
    This review is from: Agent_Zero: Toward Neurocognitive Foundations for Generative Social Science (Princeton Studies in Complexity) (Hardcover)
    I went to Princeton. Einstein taught at Princeton. L’Princeton c’est moi. Q.E.D. Read my book Away from neurocognitive anti-foundations for an anti-generative antisocial science for an opposing view.

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