What do we mean by 'Computational Social Science'?

Computational Social Science (CSS) refers to the use of computational methods to advance social science knowledge.

Researchers within this field often work with Big Data to investigate social phenomena in a quantitative way. Data sets are either mined from sources such as social media, or created through computational modeling and controlled experiments.  

Some computational social scientists work with more traditional methods of data collection, like surveys, and use computational methods to analyze this data in new ways.

What do we mean by         'Big Data'?

We define Big Data as large scale data sets that are too complex and voluminous to capture, curate, manage and process using traditional data processing software. This type of data requires the use of new computational methods, techniques and technologies in order to reveal insights.

Whilst not all Computational Social Science involves Big Data - all Big Data research conducted by social scientists is considered part of Computational Social Science.

Why is Computational Social Science important?

Computational Social Science holds many opportunities for advancing social science knowledge. It enables social scientists to understand the world in new ways, analyze data at a larger scale than ever before and even produce near real-time insights.