Discrete Event Modeling of the Morphodynamics Involved in Claude Levi-Strauss’s Canonical Formula: Application to Corsican Mythology

By Jean François Santucci and Ghjasippina Thury-Bouvet.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This presentation deals with an approach called DEVS (Discrete Event Specification) issued from Computer Science and applied to the Claude Levi-Strauss ‘s canonical formula as a mean of anthropological investigation.This mathematical formula relates myths to cultural artefacts and is applicable to mental processes. A lot of scholars have proposed a set of models (most of them coming from the mathematical domain) allowing to deal with the Canonical formula. However the two following remarks have led us to propose the modelling of the canonical formula using DEVS (Discrete EVent Specification) formalism: (i) the dynamic inherent to Claude Levi-Strauss‘s formula was difficult to be explicitly represented; (ii) the overall complexity of the formula which allows to deal with one myth but also a set of variations of the same myth and finally the set of all the myths of a given zone has never been completely treated. The purpose of the paper is to define a DEVS modelling which will allow to deal with the morphodynamics of Claude Levi-Strauss‘s canonical formula by incorporating structural changes to the DEVS model. The basics notions concerning both the DEVS formalism and the introduction of dynamical structure changes into this formalism will be detailled. We will test the significance of the proposed modelling through its application to a set of tales issued from the Corsican Mythology.

Keywords: DEVS (Discrete Event Specification), Claude Levi-Strauss's Canonical Formula, Myths, Structural Anthropology, Computer Science Simulation

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.229-236. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 524.290KB).

Dr. Jean François Santucci

Professor, University of Corsica-CNRS, Corte, Corsica, France

JEAN-FRANÇOIS SANTUCCI is Professor in Computer Sciences at the University of Corsica since 1996. He has been the advisor of eight PhD students since 1996 and he is currently the advisor of five other PhD students in computer sciences. His main research interest is discrete event modelling and simulation of complex systems. He has been responsible for two European research projects in the area of test and validation of digital systems and in the area of water management processes in Mediterranean islands. Since 2003 he is working in interdisciplinary research topics associated to archaeology and anthropology: in the one hand he is performing researches in the archeaoastronomy field (investigating various aspects of cultural astronomy throughout Corsica and Algeria) and on the other hand he is applying computer sciences approaches such as GIS (Geographic Information Systems) or DEVS (Discrete Event Specification) to anthropology.

Ghjasippina Thury-Bouvet

Associated Researcher, University of Corsica-CNRS, Corte, Corsica, France

GHAJSIPPINA THURY-BOUVET graduated in Anthropology in 1988 at the University of Corsica and completed her PhD there in 1994 on the sacred stones in the Corsican imaginary. Her main research topic is the study of the Corsican mythology related to forthtales, toponyms and megaliths. She is also involved in archaeoastronomy studies for the Corsican megalithic monuments. She is performing these research activities within the framework of a project of the University of Corsica concerning the design of an anthropology and archaeology database for Corsica using a GIS (Geographic Information System) approach.


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