The ODISSEI Hub will design and set-up a benchmark for social sciences that addresses a real world problem that social scientists are working on and that ideally draws from various data sources. Benchmarking is about creating a system of reference, in which various models that address the same task can be compared, in order to be able to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches and gain new insights. For computer scientists, benchmarks provide a standardized way to validate predictive models, which has proven to be able to detect major breakthroughs, like deep learning. However, social scientists mostly focus on causality and explanation, and so whether social systems can be predicted remains debatable. It could be argued though that causality and explanation, as well as prediction are different sides of the same coin. As such, they can supplement and strengthen each other and provide a more complete and insightful picture of social phenomena.

Project team Benchmarking: Paulina Pankowska (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Task Leader), Adriënne Mendrik (Eyra), and Daniel Oberski (Utrecht University).

Questions regarding Benchmarking? Contact Suze Zijlstra (ODISSEI Coordination Team).