Joseph Hickey

I joined the Complexity Science Group as a PhD student in January 2015.

Research interests

  • Simple models of the formation and evolution of social hierarchy
  • Network models of social hierarchy
  • Structure and evolution of legal citation networks
  • Propagation of legal principles in citation networks

Conference presentations

  • "Self-organization and time-stability of social hierarchies", Conference on Complex Systems (2018)
  • "Characterizing the evolution of Canadian family law using citation network clustering", Conference on Complex Systems (2018)
  • "Expectation-maximization clustering reveals evolution of jurisprudence in Canadian defamation law", Conference on Complex Systems (2016)
  • "Citation networks in law: detection of hierarchy and identification of key events", Canadian Association of Physicists Annual Congress (2016)
  • "Modeling judicial decision making as a random Boolean network: An exploratory first look", Statistical and Computational Challenges in Networks and Cybersecurity Workshop (2015) (poster)


  • J. Hickey, L. Campbell, and J. Davidsen, "How do landmark judgments and statutory changes influence the amount and subject of litigation? Citation network analysis of Canadian court decisions" (submitted)
  • J. Hickey and J. Davidsen, "Self-organization and time-stability of social hierarchies", PLoS ONE 14(1): e0211403 (2019)
  • J. Hickey and I. L'Heureux, "Classical nucleation theory with a radius-dependent surface tension: a 2-D lattice gas automata model", Phys. Rev. E 87, 022406 (2013)


  • Faculty of Graduate Studies Entrepreneurship & Innovation Award
  • NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral)


joseph.hickey (at)