Faculty Profile: Claudio Cioffi-Revilla

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla

Director, Center for Social Complexity

Primary Research: Quantitative, mathematical, and simulation models applied to complex human and social systems

Office: 5200 Alan and Sally Merten Hall 
Phone: 703-993-1402

Current Research Interests

His current projects include NSF- and DOD-funded research on computational models of socio-natural systems that integrate cultural dynamics and environmental change. His NSF-funded research focuses on the rise and fall of polities in Inner Asia (Mongolia and its neighbors), where he is the Principal Investigator in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution his ONR-funded projects focus on agent-based models of political instability and ecological dynamics in Eastern Africa and Asia.

Teaching Interests

He currently teaches courses on Origins of Social Complexity, Complexity Theory for Computational Social Science, and Introduction to CSS. Prior to joining Mason, he taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has also held visiting appointments and lectureships in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In 2002 he designed and initiated the Mason Ph.D. program in Computational Social Sciences, the first program in the country with this specific focus.

Dr. Cioffi-Revilla’s full curriculum vitae can be viewed here:


  1. Power Laws in the Social Sciences: Discovering Non-equilibrium Dynamics in the Social University. Forthcoming. Ms. under review at Cambridge University Press.
  2. Politics and Uncertainty: Theory, Models and Applications. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  3. The Scientific Measurement of International Conflict: Handbook of Datasets on Crises and Wars, 1495-1988 A.D. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1990.
  4. Communication and Interaction in the Global System. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publishers. 1987. Editor with R.L. Merritt, D.A. Zinnes.
  5. Mathematical Models in International Relations. Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1979.

Refereed Articles and Chapters

46. Computational Social Science, Conflict Analysis and the 21st Century Threat Triad. In 21st Century Information Technologies and Enabling Policies for Counter Terrorism. Ed. by R. Popp. IEEE Press, 2006 forthcoming.

45. Information Technologies for Counterterrorism and Empowering Policy in the 21st Century. In 21st Century Information Technologies and Enabling Policies for Curriculum vitae: Claudio Cioffi-Revilla 5 Counter Terrorism. Ed. by R. Popp. IEEE Press, 2006 forthcoming. With D. Allen, R. Popp.

44. The Big Collapse: A Brief Cosmology of Globalization. In Globalization and Global History, eds. B. Gills & W. R. Thompson. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.

43. Replication of Sugarscape Using MASON (Multi-Agent Simulator of Networks and Neighborhoods, Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Agent-Based Approaches in Economic and Social Complex Systems AESCS 2005, Tokyo Institute of Technology, July 9–13, 2005. With A. Bigbee, S. Luke.

42. MASON: A Java Multi-Agent Simulation Environment, Simulation: Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International 81(7)2005:517–527. With S. Luke, L. Panait, K. Sullivan

41. A Canonical Theory for the Emergence and Development of Social Complexity, Journal of Mathematical Sociology 29(2)2005:133–153.

40. Mnemonic Structure and Sociality: A Computational Agent-Based Simulation Model, In Proceedings of the Agent 2004 Conference on Social Dynamics: Interaction, Reflexivity and Emergence, D. Sallach & C. Macal, eds. University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory. With S. Paus, S. Luke, J. L. Olds & J. Thomas

39. The Next Record-setting Warfare in the Global Setting: A Long-Term Analysis, Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 90(2) Summer 2004: 61-78.

38. Origins of Warfare. In W.H. McNeill et al, eds, Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group. 2004.

37. Power Laws, Scaling, and Fractals in the Most Lethal International and Civil Wars. In The Scourge of War: New Extensions on an Old Problem, P.F. Diehl, ed. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2004. Pp. 3-27. With M.I. Midlarsky.

36. Comparative Analysis of Agent-Based Social Simulations: GeoSim and FEARLUS Models, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulations 6(4) October 2003. With N. Gotts. http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/6/4/10.html

35. Invariance and Universality in Social Agent-Based Simulations, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A. 99, Suppl. 3(14) 2002: 7314-7316. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/99/suppl_3/7314

34. Necessity and sufficiency in social phenomena: theoretical and methodological progress. In Necessary Conditions: Theory, Methodology, and Applications. G. Goertz, H. Starr, eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002: 295-303.

33. Chinese Warfare and Politics in the Ancient East Asian International System, ca. 2700 B.C. to 722 B.C., International Interactions 26(4) 2001: 347–378. With D. Lai.
32. War and Warfare: Scales of Conflict in Long-Range Analysis. In World System History: The Social Science of Long-Term Change, R.A. Denemark, J. Friedman, B.K. Gills, G. Modelski, eds. London: Routledge, 2000, pp. 253–272.

31. Ancient Warfare: Origins and Systems. In Handbook of War Studies II, M.I. Midlarsky, ed. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2000, pp. 59–89. Curriculum vitae: Claudio Cioffi-Revilla 6

30. Evolution of Maya Polities in the Ancient Mesoamerican System, International Studies Quarterly 43(4) 1999: 559–98. With Todd Landman.

29. Origins and Age of Deterrence: Comparative Research on Old World and New World Systems, Cross Cultural Research: Journal of Comparative Social Science 33(3) 1999:239–64.

28. Struggles for Power: A Punctuated Equilibrium Model of Interstate Rivalries. In The Dynamics of Enduring Rivalries, P.F. Diehl, ed. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press. 1998. Pp. 64–97.

27. The Road to War: Modeling the Onset of War with Political Uncertainty Theory, Proceedings of the Conference on Mathematical Models of International Conflict, Institute for Mathematical Applications IMA, Wadham College, University of Oxford, UK, April 1997.

26. Origins and Evolution of War and Politics, International Studies Quarterly 40(1) 1996:1–44.

25. Opportunity, Willingness, and Political Uncertainty: Theoretical Foundations of Politics, Journal of Theoretical Politics 7(4) 1995:447–476. Repr. in Necessary Conditions: Theory, Methodology, and Applications. G. Goertz, H. Starr, eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 2002. With Harvey Starr.

24. War and Politics in Ancient China, 2700 to 722 B.C.: Measurement and Comparative Analysis, Journal of Conflict Resolution 39(3) 1995:467–494. With D. Lai.

23. Response to Moul’s Comments on ‘The Likely Magnitude, Extent, and Duration of an Iraq-UN War, Journal of Conflict Resolution 38(1) 1994:170–172.

22. On the Likely Magnitude, Extent, and Duration of the Iraq-UN War, Journal of Conflict Resolution 35(3) 1991:387–411.

21. The Long-Range Analysis of War, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 21(4)1991:603–629.

20. Probabilistic Dynamics of Crises and War: Mathematical Contributions, Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal 20(2)1989:125-151.

19. Mathematical Contributions to the Scientific Understanding of War, Mathematical and Computer Modeling 12(4/5),1989: 561-575. Repr. in P.E. Johnson (Ed.), Formal Theories of Politics: Mathematical Modeling in Political Science. Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press, 1989.

18. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla and Raymond Dacey. “The Probability of War in the n – Crises Problem: Modeling New Alternatives to Wright’s Solution, Synthese: An International Journal of Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science 76(1) 1988:285-305. With Raymond Dacey.

17. Crises, Wars, and International Stability. In C. Cioffi-Revilla, R.L. Merritt, D.A. Zinnes, eds. Interaction and Communication in the Global System. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publishers, 1987, pp. 49–66.

16. Teoria polemologica e scienza dei conflitti [Conflict Theory and the Science of Conflict], Progetto Pace [Italian Quart. Journal of Peace Research] 1(2)1986:25–48. Curriculum vitae: Claudio Cioffi-Revilla 7

15. Teoria della conflittualità internazionale [A Theory of International Conflict], Teoria Politica [Italian Journal of Political Theory] 2(1) 1986: 95-122.

14. Political Reliability and War in the International System, American Journal of Political Science 29(1) 1985:47-68.

13. Simulation of Reliability Kinematics in Political Systems of Order (m,n). In U. Luterbacher, M.D. Ward, eds. Dynamic Models of International Conflict. Boulder, CO: Lynn Rienner Publishers. 1985, pp. 278–318.

12. European Political Cooperation: An Application of Political Reliability Theory to Integration, International Studies Quarterly 28 (4) 1984:467–492.

11. The Political Reliability of Italian Governments: An Exponential Survival Model, American Political Science Review 78(2) 1984:318–338.

10. Stati Uniti e Comunità Europea: Conflitto o Cooperazione? [The United States and the European Community: Conflict or Cooperation? Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica [Italian Political Science Review] 13(3) 1983:445-466.

9. A Probability Model of Credibility: Analyzing Deterrence in Strategic Nuclear Systems, Journal of Conflict Resolution 27(1) 1983:73-108.

8. Political Reliability in International Relations,” in D.A. Zinnes, ed., Conflict Processes and the Breakdown of International Systems , Denver, CO: University of Denver Monograph Series in World Affairs, Vol. 27, Book 2, 1983, pp. 11-45.

7. Communications Research and the New International Information Order, Journal of International Affairs 35(2) 1981/82:225-245. With R.L. Merritt.

6. Fuzzy Sets and Models of International Relations, American Journal of Political Science 24(1) 1981:129-159.

5. La teoria delle catastrofi e i fenomeni discontinui in politica e in economia [Catastrophe Theory and Discontinuous Phenomena in Politics and Economics], in U. Gori and O. Onori, eds., Techniche di analisi per le decisioni politiche ed economiche [Analytic Techniques for Political and Economic Decisionmaking], Milan: Franco Angeli editore, 1980. pp. 87-96.

4. Diplomatic Communications Theory: Channels, Signals, and Networks, International Interactions 6(3)1979:209–265.

3. Il contributo delle scienze naturali alla ricerca sulla pace [The Contribution of the Natural Sciences to Peace Research], in U. Gori, ed., Natura e orientamenti delle ricerche sulla pace [The Nature and Approaches to Peace Research], Milan, Italy: Franco Angeli editori, 1979. pp. 289-308.

2. A Cusp Catastrophe Model of Nuclear Proliferation, International Interactions 4(3) 1978:199–224.

1. Odysseus Today: Quantitative Approaches to International Relations, in M. Bunge, J. Galtung, M. Malitza, eds., Mathematical Approaches to International Relations. Bucharest, Romania: Romanian Academy of Social and Political Sciences and UNESCO, 1977. pp. 23-33. With U. Gori, F. Attinà

Other Publications

  1. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla and John B. Rundle, Driven Threshold Systems and Scaling Processes: Earthquakes and Wars. Colorado Center for Chaos and Complexity, Cooperative Institute for Research on Environmental Science CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, October 2001. Science Poster.
  2. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla. Invited “Comment” on Guillermo Algaze’s, “Initial Social Complexity in Southwestern Asia: The Mesopotamian Advantage,” Current Anthropology, Vol. 42, no. 2, April 2001, pp. 216–17.
  3. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla. “The Road to War: Modeling the Onset of War with Political Uncertainty Theory,” Proceedings of the Conference on Mathematical Models of International Conflict, Institute for Mathematical Applications IMA, Wadham College, University of Oxford, UK, April 1997.
  4. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla. “The Long-Range Analysis of War (LORANOW) Project: A Description’, Newsletter of the Conflict Process Section of the American Political Science Association. 1994. Also published in electronic media, World Systems Network, http://csf.colorado.edu/wsystems/sarch/html
  5. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, Data Resources for the Study of Interstate Conflict: What We Have and What We Need. Prepared for the Workshop on Advancing the Scientific Study of War, Sponsored by the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung GmbH, Washington, D.C., 27-28 August 1991.
  6. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla. “The Interstate Conflict Datasets Catalog (ICDC): A Progress Report,” DDIR-UPDATE [Newsletter of the Data Development for International Research (DDIR) Project], Vol. 3, no. 1, October 1988, pp. 1-4.
  7. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla. “Time-Dependent Reliability of Global Security Systems: Some Lessons from National Security Analysis,” in International Federation for Automatic Control, Proceedings of the 11th World IFAC Congress, Tallinn, Lithuanian SSR (London: Pergamon Press, 1990).
  8. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla. “Scientific Datasets for International Stability and Global Security: The «Interstate Conflict Datasets Catalog» (ICDC),” in Peter Kopacek and Harold Chestnut, eds., International Conflict Resolution and Systems Engineering: Proceedings from the 1989 IFAC International Workshop in Budapest, Hungary. Oxford, U.K.: Pergamon Press, 1989.
  9. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla. “Thoughts on Strategic Weapons: Three Models on Instability
    and Catastrop

View a more complete list of Dr. Cioffi-Revilla’s publications here.

Selected invited lectures, presentations, colloqui

  • Accademia Internazionale Medicea
  • Ateneo Científico de Madrid
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Yale University/HRAF
  • Tel Aviv University
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Technical University of Vienna
  • Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Università di Trieste
  • University of Lund
  • University of Vienna
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • Moscow State University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Washington
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Kyoto
  • Foundation for the Future
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of Michigan
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Smithsonian Institution NMNH
  • Johns Hopkins University/APL

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