Course Introduction


The course is built on patterns. A pattern is a discernible regularity in the world or in a manmade design. In a way, a pattern is the basic unit of understanding in the case of both humans and intelligent machines. Thus, a skilful person or an effective software tool is, first, able to distinguish various patterns and, secondly, is able to utilize the patterns in a successful way to solve real-life problems. In the first part of the course, I will introduce the following 18 patterns divided into three groups: (see also introductory slides available at Materials section):

Mind: patterns and biases

1)       The World of Mental Model

2)       Automaticity of being

3)       Bad is stronger than good

4)       Choice-supportive bias

5)       Fundamental Attribution Error

6)       Social mind

Patterns in individual behaviour

7)       Metrics as guides

8)       Regret avoidance

9)       Network effect

10)     Plan B – or not

11)     Prisoner's dilemma & Tit for Tat

12)     Mixed strategy

System patterns and their outcomes

13)    Butterfly effect

14)    Fixes that fail

15)    Tragedy of commons

16)    Long tails (success to successful)

17)    Autopoietic silos

18)    Bubbles (escalation)

Because of the general nature of the course, there are no specific pre-requirements for the course, except curiosity and willingness to deliberate complex issues from various viewpoints.

In the first part of the course, we study 1) the basic nature of each pattern, 2) the reasons behind the pattern, 3) practical consequences and problems created by the pattern, and 4) some connections between the patterns.

The main course material is K. Kilkki, An Introduction to Communications Ecosystems (available at Additional reading material includes R. Hämäläinen, R. Jones, E. Saarinen, Being Better Better, Living with Systems Intelligence (available at Additional recommended reading material will be available during the course.

An intermediate exam will be arranged after this part with the main purpose of promoting the understanding of the patterns.

In the second part of the course, we are searching for patterns from real cases. Cases are often, but not always, related to communications technologies or communications ecosystems. This part also contains numerous small experiments and exercises, and two group works. The main aim of those diverse tasks is to create distinct feelings about the nature of the patterns. 

I am convinced that you will find some interesting and relevant patterns to be used both in your professional and personal life.

You are warmly welcome to the course,

Kalevi Kilkki
Senior University Lecturer

Last modified: Wednesday, 19 February 2020, 1:29 PM