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Computational Science & Philosophy Department

The Department of Computational Science & Philosophy is home to computer scientists, philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians who carry out leading research on fundamental topics in computation, complex systems, data science, ethics, value theory, and much more.

Computational Science at Frankfurt School addresses foundational questions in computation and information, with applications to machine learning and statistics, data and decision sciences, computational social science, network science, mathematical biology, epidemiology, and finance. Our research regularly appears in the premier journals of our fields, including Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, Physical Review Letters, SIAM journals, Statistical Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, among others. Members of the department advise government agencies and companies in Europe and the United States and have founded several successful companies. Our faculty members are the academic directors of the flagship Master of Science in Applied Data Science program and the Master of Science in Data Analytics and Management, which together anchor the Frankfurt School’s #1 ranking in Europe and #12 ranking globally of top universities for a digital education by the Times Higher Education.

Philosophy at Frankfurt School specializes in research on the foundations of normativity and the analysis of complex systems, including their ethical and societal assessment and model-based explanations of social phenomena. Our faculty members are internationally known for their research in metaethics, especially conceptual role expressivism and inferentialist relaxed realism; computational social science, evidenced by the Hegselmann & Krause bounded confidence model; and probability and bounded rationality, with a special focus on imprecise probabilities. Our research is published in the best philosophy journals, including Noûs, Mind, Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy & Phenomenological Research, Ethics, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science and Philosophical Studies, among others. The department also organizes the annual FrankMeta conference series, which is among the top international conferences in metaethics. Our philosophers direct the Management, Philosophy & Economics BSc program, which gives our students an incomparable international education by employing individually tailored, Oxbridge-style teaching sessions.  

5th Frankfurt Metaethics Conference (FrankMeta.5), 23-24 June 2023

The Annual Frankfurt Metaethics Conference (FrankMeta) aims to offer a forum for current research in metaethics, broadly construed, including research on topics in the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology of normativity, as well as papers on the nature of rationality, reasons, and similar topics.

The conference will run over two days and provide plenty of time for discussion. It is free and open to all.

Center for Human and Machine Intelligence

The Center for Human and Machine Intelligence hosts an interdisciplinary faculty from computer science, philosophy, economics, finance and the decision sciences, connecting theory to practice at the center of European finance.

Faculty Members


In the following, we present selected publications by the faculty in our Computational Science and Philosophy Department, that have been published in prestigious journals since 2013 or have been accepted for publication.

Representative Publications

Köhler, S. 2022. What is (Neo-)Pragmatists’ Function? Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 1-17 (DOI: 10.1080/00048402.2022.2034904)

Hegselmann, R., Douven, I., 2022. Mis- and Disinformation in a Bounded Confidence Model, 2022, Artifical Intelligence (DOI:

Tiefensee, C., 2022. Indeterminacy and Collective Harms, Philosophical Studies. (forthcoming).

Köhler, S. (2022) Can We Have Moral Status for Robots on the Cheap?, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (forthcoming).

Böttcher, L., Gersbach, H., 2022. A Refunding Scheme to Incentivize Narrow-Spectrum Antibiotic Development, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology Vol. 84(Article number: 59).

Tiefensee, C., Wheeler, G., 2022. Why Formal Objections to the Error Theory are Sound, Analysis. (forthcoming).

Mingtao, X., Böttcher, L., Chou, T., 2022. Controlling epidemics through optimal allocation of test kits and vaccine doses across networks, IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering. (forthcoming)

Schneider, T., Dunbar, O., Wu, J., Böttcher, L., Burov, D., Garbuno-Inigo, A., Wagner, G., Pei, S., Daraio, C., Ferrari, R., Shaman, J., 2022. Epidemic management and control through risk-dependent individual contact interventions, PLOS Computational Biology.

Böttcher, L., Asikis, T., 2022. Near-optimal control of dynamical systems with neural ordinary differential equations, Machine Learning: Science and Technology Vol. 3(4).

Asikis, T., Böttcher, L., Antulov-Fantulin, N., 2022. Neural ordinary differential equation control of dynamics on graphs, Physical Review Research Vol. 4(1, 013221).

Antulov-Fantulin, N., Böttcher, L., 2022. On the accuracy of short-term COVID-19 fatality forecasts, BMC Infectious Diseases Vol. 22(Article-No. 251).

Böttcher, L., Gersbach, H., Wernli, D., 2022. Restoring the antibiotic R&D market to combat the resistance crisis, Science and Public Policy Vol. 49(1), S. 127-131.

Böttcher, L., 2022, Contagion Dynamics in Complex Networks, in: Automata and Complexity,: Essays presented to Eric Goles on the occasion of his 70th birthday, Cham: Springer, S. 75-82.

Tiefensee, C., Wheeler, G., 2021. Error, Consistency and Triviality, Noûs (DOI: 10.1111/nous.12375).

Wheeler, G., 2021. Comment: Moving Beyond Sets of Probabilities, Statistical Science Vol. 36(2), S. 201-204.

Böttcher, L., 2021. Computional Statistical Physics, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Wheeler, G., Cozman, F., 2021. On the imprecision of full conditional probabilities, Synthese.

Köhler, S., 2021. Normative Disagreement: A Functional Account for Inferentialists, Philosophical Studies 178: 617-637.

Tiefensee, C., 2021, Metasemantics for the Relaxed, in: Russ Shafer-Landau (Hrsg.): Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 16, Oxford: Oxford University Pr., S. 108-133.

Böttcher, L., D'Orsogna, M., Chou, T., 2021. A statistical model of COVID-19 testing in populations: effects of sampling bias and testing errors, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A, Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences Vol. 380(2214).

Wernli, D., Clausin, M., Antulov-Fantulin, N., Berezowski, J., Biller-Andorno, N., Blanchet, K., Böttcher, L., Burton-Jeangros, C., Escher, G., Flahault, A., Helbing, D., et al., 2021. Building a multisystemic understanding of societal resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic, BMJ Global Health Vol. 6(Article-No. e006794).
Böttcher, L., Porter, M., 2021. Classical and Quantum Random-Walk Centrality Measures in Multilayer Networks, SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics Vol. 81(6), S. 2704-2724.

Böttcher, L., Nagler, J., 2021. Decisive conditions for strategic vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science Vol. 31(Article-No. 101105).

Wald, S., Böttcher, L., 2021. From classical to quantum walks with stochastic resetting on networks, Physical Review E Vol. 103(Article-No. 012122).

Böttcher, L., D`Orsogna, M., Chou, T., 2021. Using excess deaths and testing statistics to determine COVID-19 mortalities, European Journal of Epidemiology Jg. 36, S. 545-558

Ferguson, B., Köhler. S. (2020) ‘Betterness of Permissibility‘, Philosophical Studies 177 (2020): 2451-2469.

Collins, P., Krzyzanowska, K., Hartmann, S., Wheeler, G., Hahn, U., 2020. Conditionals and Testimony, Cognitive Psychology Vol. 122 (Article 1013329)

Köhler, S. (2020) Instrumental Robots, Science and Engineering Ethics 26: 3121-3141.

Tiefensee, C., 2020. Ought and Error, Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 117(2), S. 96-114.

Boult, C., Köhler, S. (2020) Epistemic Judgment and Motivation, The Philosophical Quarterly 70 (2020): 738-758

Böttcher, L., 2020. A Random-Line-Graph Approach to Overlapping Line Segments, Journal of Complex Networks Vol. 8(Article-No. cnaa029).

Fan, J., Meng, J., Liu, Y., Saberi, A., Kurths, J., Nagler, J., 2020. Universal gap scaling in percolation, Nature Physics Vol. 16, S. 455-461.

Richter, P., Henkel, M., Böttcher, L., 2020. Aging and relaxation in bistable contagion dynamics, Physical Review E Vol. 102(Article-No. 042308).

Böttcher, L., Montealegre, P., Goles, E., Gersbach, H., 2020. Competing activists - Political polarization, Physica A Vol. 545(Article-No. 123713).

D'Angelo, F., Böttcher, L., 2020. Learning the Ising Model with Generative Neutral Networks, Physical Review Research Vol. 2(Article-No. 023266).

Böttcher, L., Gersbach, H., 2020. The Great Divide: Drivers of Polarization in the US Public, EPJ Data Science Vol. 9(Article-No. 32).

Hoferer, M., Böttcher, L., Herrmann, H., Gersbach, H., 2020. The impact of technologies in political campaigns, Physica A Vol. 538(Article-No. 122795).

Böttcher, L., Antulov-Fantulin, N., 2020. Unifying continuous, discrete, and hybrid susceptible-infected-recovered processes on networks, Physical Review Research Vol. 2(Article-No. 033121).

Böttcher, L., Xia, M., Chou, T., 2020. Why case fatality ratios can be misleading: individual- and population-based mortality estimates and factors influencing them, Physical Biology Vol. 17(Article-No. 065003).

Pedersen, A., Wheeler, G., 2019, Dilation and Asymmetric Relevance, in: Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 103: International Symposium on Imprecise Probabilities: Theories and Applications, S. 324-326.

Jasper De Bock, Cassio P. de Campos, Gert de Cooman, Erik Quaeghebeur, Gregory Wheeler (Hrsg.), 2019. Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 103: The 11th International Symposium on Imprecise Probabilities: Theories and Applications (ISIPTA 2019), 3-6 July 2019, Ghent, Belgium.

Hegselmann, R., Krause, U., 2019. Consensus and Fragmentation of Opinions With a Focus on Bounded Confidence, American Mathematical Monthly Vol. 126(8), S. 700-716.

Tiefensee, C., 2019. Relaxing about Moral Truths, Ergo Vol. 6(31), S. 869-890.

Wheeler, G., 2019, Less is More for Bayesians, Too: forthcoming, in: Routledge Handbook of Bounded Rationality, London: Routledge.

Tiefensee, C., 2019. What's Wrong with Relaxing?, Journal of Moral Philosophy Vol. 16, pp. 725-742.

Tiefensee, C., 2019, Why making no difference makes no moral difference, in: Karl Marker, Annette Schmitt, Jürgen Sirsch (Hrsg.): Demokratie und Entscheidung : Beiträge zur Analytischen Politischen Theorie, Wiesbaden: Springer, S. 231-244.

Xu, S., Böttcher, L., Chou, T., 2019. Diversity in Biology: definitions, quantification, and models, Physical Biology Vol. 16.

Strub, S., Böttcher, L., 2019. Modeling deformed transmission lines for continuous strain sensing applications, Measurement Science and Technology Vol. 31(3).

Nauer, S., Böttcher, L., Porter, M., 2019. Random-Graph Models and Characterization of Granular Networks, Journal of Complex Networks Vol. 7, S. 1-27.

D'Souza, R., Gómez-Gardeñes, J., Nagler, J., Arenas, A., 2019. Explosive phenomena in complex networks, Advances in Physics Vol. 68(3), S. 123-223.

Zotos, E., Nagler, J., 2019. On the classification of orbits in the three-dimensional Copenhagen problem with oblate primaries, International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics Vol. 108, S. 55-71.

Timme, M., Nagler, J., 2019. Propagation patterns unravelled, Nature Physics Vol. 15, S. 308-309.

Nagler, J., Stollmeier, F., 2019, Long-Term Behavior in Evolutionary Dynamics from Ergodicity Breaking, in: Complex Networks X: Proceedings of the 10th Conference on Complex Networks CompleNet 2019, Cham: Springer, S. 85-95.

Elkin, L., Wheeler, G., 2018. Resolving Peer Disagreements Through Imprecise Probabilities, Noûs Vol. 52(2), S. 260-278.

Hegselmann, R., 2018, Moral Dynamics, in: Sven Ove Hansson, Vincent F. Hendricks (Hrsg.): Handbook of Formal Philosophy, New York: Springer.

Wheeler, G., 2018, Bounded Rationality, in: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford: The Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.

Köhler, S., 2018. Expressivism, Meaning, and All That, Canadian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 48(3-4), S. 337-356.

Tiefensee, C., 2018. Saving which Differences?: Creeping Minimalism and Disagreement, Philosophical Studies.

Nagler, J., Hoven, J., Helbing, D., 2018, An Extension of Asimov´s Robotics Laws, in: Dirk Helbing (Hrsg.): Towards Digital Enlightenment, Cham: Springer, S. 41-46.

Köhler, S., 2018. Moral Responsibility Without Personal Identity?, Erkenntnis. An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy.

Zimmer, P., Kruse, K., Nagler, J., 2018. Anomalous percolation features in molecular evolution, Physical Review E Vol. 98(2).

Schröder, M., Nagler, J., Timme, M., Witthaut, D., 2018. Hysteretic percolation from locally optimal individual decisions, Physical Review Letters Vol. 120(24).

Stollmeier, F., Nagler, J., 2018. Unfair and anomalous evolutionary dynamics from fluctuating payoffs, Physical Review Letters Vol. 120(5).

Böttcher, L., Herrmann, H., Gersbach, H., 2018. Clout, activists and budget: The road to presidency, PLoS ONE.

Böttcher, L., Herrmann, H., Henkel, M., 2018. Dynamical universality of the contact process, Journal of Physics A Vol. 51(12).

Hegselmann, R., 2017, Wissenschaftsintegration, -reflexion und -kommunikation: drei übergreifende Ziele der Graduiertenausbildung, in: Hanna Kauhaus, Norbert Krause (Hrsg.): Fundiert forschen, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 19-33.

Wheeler, G., 2017, Machine Epistemology and Big Data, in: Lee McIntyre, Alex Rosenberg (Hrsg.): The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science, New York: Routledge, S. 321-329.

Hegselmann, R., 2017. Thomas C. Schelling and James M. Sakoda: The Intellectual, Technical, and Social History of a Model, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation Vol. 20(3).

Köhler, S., 2017. Expressivism, Belief, and All That, Journal of Philosophy Vol. 114(4), S. 189-207.

Böttcher, L., Nagler, J., Herrmann, H., 2017. Critical behaviors in contagion dynamics, Physical Review Letters Vol. 118(8).

Chen, X., Nagler, J., Fu, X., 2017, Information dissemination in social-featured opportunistic networks, in: Social Network Analysis: Interdisciplinary Approaches and Case Studies, Boca Raton [u.a.]: CRC Press, S. 309-342.

Zhu, K., Fu, X., Li, W., Lu, S., Nagler, J., 2017, Population growth in online social networks, in: Xiaoming Fu, Jar-Der Luo, Margarete Boos (Hrsg.): Social Network Analysis: Interdisciplinary Approaches and Case Studies, Boca Raton [u.a.]: CRC Press, S. 285-306.

Böttcher, L., Lukovic, M., Nagler, J., Havlin, S., Herrmann, H., 2017. Failure and recovery in dynamical networks, Scientific Reports Vol. 7.

Böttcher, L., Andrade Jr., J., Herrmann, H., 2017. Targeted Recovery as an Effective Strategy against Epidemic Spreading, Scientific Reports Vol. 7.

Böttcher, L., Woolley-Meza, O., Brockmann, D., 2017. Temporal dynamics of online petitions, PLoS ONE Vol. 12(5).

Mayo-Wilson, C., Wheeler, G., 2016. Scoring Imprecise Credences: a Mildly Immodest Proposal, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. 93(1), S. 55-78.

Böttcher, L., Woolley-Meza, O., Goles, E., Helbing, D., Herrmann, H., 2016. Connectivity disruption sparks explosive epidemic spreading, Physical Review E Vol. 93.

Schröder, M., Chen, W., Nagler, J., 2016. Discrete scale invariance in supercritical percolation, New Journal of Physics Vol. 18.

Verma, T., Russmann, F., Araujo, N., Nagler, J., Herrmann, H., 2016. Emergence of core - peripheries in networks, Nature Communications Vol. 7.

Böttcher, L., Araujo, N., Nagler, J., Mendes, J., Helbing, D., Herrmann, H., 2016. Gender Gap in the ERASMUS Mobility Program, PLoS ONE Vol. 11(2).

Böttcher, M., Nagler, J., 2016. Promotion of cooperation by selective group extinction, New Journal of Physics Vol. 18.

Cho, Y., Mazza, M., Kahng, B., Nagler, J., 2016. Genuine non-self-averaging and ultraslow convergence in gelation, Physical Review E Vol. 94(2).

Schröder, M., Chakraborty, S., Witthaut, D., Nagler, J., 2016. Interaction Control to Synchronize Non-synchronizable Networks, Scientific Reports Vol. 6.

Verma, T., Araujo, N., Nagler, J., Andrade Jr., J., Herrmann, H., 2016. Model for the growth of the world airline network, International Journal of Modern Physics C Vol. 27(12).

Saberi, A., Ebrahimnazhad Rahbari, S., Dashti-Naserabadi, H., Abbasi, A., Cho, Y., Nagler, J., 2016. Universality in boundary domain growth by sudden bridging, Scientific Reports Vol. 6.

Wheeler, G., 2015. Is there a logic of information?, Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence Vol. 27(1), S. 95-98.

Hegselmann, R., Krause, U., 2015. Opinion dynamics under the influence of radical groups, charismatic leaders, and other constant signals: a simple unifying model, Networks And Heterogeneous Media Vol. 10(3), S. 477-509.

Pedersen, A., Wheeler, G., 2015, Dilation, disintegrations, and delayed decisions, in: Thomas Augustin, Serena Doria, Enrique Miranda, Erik Quaeghebeur (eds): Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Imprecise Probability: Theories and Applications, Rom: Aracne editrice int.le S.r.l., pp. 227-236.

Böttcher, L., Woolley-Meza, O., Araujo, N., Herrmann, H., Helbing, D., 2015. Disease-induced resource constraints can trigger explosive epidemics, Scientific Reports Vol. 5(16571).

D'Souza, R., Nagler, J., 2015. Anomalous critical and supercritical phenomena in explosive percolation, Nature Physics Vol. 11, S. 531-538.

Lamouroux, D., Nagler, J., Geisel, T., Eule, S., 2015. Paradoxical effects of coupling infectious livestock populations and imposing transport restrictions, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Vol. 282(1800).

Mani, R., Böttcher, L., Herrmann, H., Helbing, D., 2014. Extreme power law in a driven many-particle system without threshold dynamics, Physical Review E Vol. 90(4).

Tiefensee, C., 2014. Expressivism, anti-Archimedeanism and Supervenience, Res Publica (20) S. 163-181.

Wheeler, G., 2014, Character Matching and the Locke Pocket of Belief, in: Franck Lihoreau, Manuel Rebuschi (Hrsg.): Epistemology, Context, and Formalism, Cham: Springer, S. 187-195.

Pedersen, A., Wheeler, G., 2014. Demystifying Dilation, Erkenntnis. An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy Vol. 79(6), pp. 1305-1342.

Zhu, K., Li, W., Fu, X., Nagler, J., 2014. How Do Online Social Networks Grow?, PLoS ONE Vol. 9(6).

Chen, W., Schröder, M., D'Souza, R., Sornette, D., Nagler, J., 2014. Micro-transition cascades to percolation, Physical Review Letters Vol. 112(15).

Stollmeier, F., Geisel, T., Nagler, J., 2014. Possible Origin of Stagnation and Variability of Earth's Biodiversity, Physical Review Letters Vol. 112(22).

Schröder, M., Ebrahimnazhad Rahbari, S., Nagler, J., 2013. Crackling noise in fractional percolation, Nature Communications Vol. 4.

Kneip, V., 2013. Politische Verantwortung in der Marktwirtschaft: zur Übertragung von Citizenship-Konzepten auf Konsumenten und Unternehmen, Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik Jg. 14(1), S. 62-85.

Wheeler, G., Scheines, R., 2013. Coherence and Confirmation Through Causation, Mind Vol. 122(485), pp. 135-170.

Kneip, V., 2013. Protest campaigns and corporations: cooperative conflicts?, Journal of Business Ethics Vol. 118(1), S. 189-202.

Hanne Andersen, Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao J. Gonzalez, Thomas Uebel, Gregory Wheeler (eds), 2013. New Challenges to Philosophy of Science, Dordrecht: Springer.

Chen, W., Nagler, J., Cheng, X., Jin, X., Shen, H., Zheng, Z., D'Souza, R., 2013. Phase transitions in supercritical explosive percolation, Physical Review E Vol. 87(5).

Chen, W., Cheng, X., Zheng, Z., Chung, N., D'Souza, R., Nagler, J., 2013. Unstable supercritical discontinuous percolation transitions, Physical Review E Vol. 88(4).

The following events regularly take place in the Computational Science and Philosophy Department: