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(9 articles matched your search)

Critical Incident Management: an Empirically Derived Computational Model

Scott Moss
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 1 (4) 1

Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to demonstrate an empirical approach to social simulation. The systems and the behaviour of middle-level managers of a real company are modelled. The managers' cognition is represented by problem space architectures drawn from cognitive science and an endorsements mechanism adapted from the literature on conflict resolution in rulebased systems. Both aspects of the representation of cognition are based on information provided by domain experts. Qualitative and numerical results accord with the views of domain experts.

Special Interest Group on Agent-Based Social Simulation

Rosaria Conte and Scott Moss
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 2 (1) 4


Game Theory: Limitations and an Alternative

Scott Moss
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 4 (2) 2

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe current practice in the game theory literature, to identify particular characteristics that ensure the literature is remote from anything we observe and to demonstrate an alternative drawn from agent based social simulation. The key issue is the process of social interaction among agents. A survey of game theoretic models found no models representing interaction among more than three agents, though sometimes more agents were involved in a round robin tournament. An ABSS model is reported in which there is a dense pattern of interaction among agents and outputs from the model are shown to have the same statistical signature as high-frequency data from competitive retail and financial markets. Moreover, the density of agent interaction is seen to be necessary both to obtain the validating statistical signature and for simulated market efficiency. As far as competitive markets are concerned, game theoretic models evidently assume away the source of the properties observed in real high frequency data and also the properties required for market efficiency.

A European Social Simulation Association

John Scott and Scott Moss
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 5 (3) 9

Abstract: There is growing agreement that the time has come to form a learned society to promote the development of social simulation. The undersigned wish to propose the formation of a European Social Simulation Association (ESSA). Recognising parallel interests and developments in North America, Latin America and Australasia, we would intend ESSA to coordinate with similar organisations in those and other regions to organise an international federation to support the development of social simulation research, education and application.

Towards Good Social Science

Scott Moss and Bruce Edmonds
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 8 (4) 13

Abstract: The paper investigates what is meant by "good science" and "bad science" and how these differ as between the natural (physical and biological) sciences on the one hand and social sciences on the other. We conclude on the basis of historical evidence that the natural science are much more heavily constrained by evidence and observation than by theory while the social sciences are constrained by prior theory and hardly at all by direct evidence. Current examples of the latter proposition are taken from recent issues of leading social science journals. We argue that agent based social simulations can be used as a tool to constrain the development of a new social science by direct (what economists dismiss as anecdotal) evidence and that to do so would make social science relevant to the understanding and influencing of social processes. We argue that such a development is both possible and desirable. We do not argue that it is likely.

Dialogues Concerning a (Possibly) New Science

Guillaume Deffuant, Scott Moss and Wander Jager
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 9 (1) 1

Abstract: The paper relates virtual dialogues about social simulation, with the implicit reference to Galieo\'s \'dialogues concerning two new sciences\'.

The Impact of HIV/AIDS in the Context of Socioeconomic Stressors: an Evidence-Driven Approach

Shah Jamal Alam, Ruth Meyer, Gina Ziervogel and Scott Moss
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10 (4) 7

Abstract: In this paper, we present an agent-based simulation model of the social impacts of HIV/AIDS in villages in the Sekhukhune district of the Limpopo province in South Africa. AIDS is a major concern in South Africa, not just in terms of disease spread but also in term of its impact on society and economic development. The impact of the disease cannot however be considered in isolation from other stresses, such as food insecurity, high climate variability, market fluctuations and variations in support from government and non-government sources. The model described in this paper focuses on decisions made at the individual and household level, based upon evidence from detailed case studies, and the different types of networks between these players that influence their decision making. Key to the model is that these networks are dynamic and co-evolving, something that has rarely been considered in social network analysis. The results presented here demonstrate how this type of simulation can aid better understanding of this complex interplay of issues. In turn, we hope that this will prove to be a powerful tool for policy development.

Alternative Approaches to the Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models

Scott Moss
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 11 (1) 5

Abstract: This paper draws on the metaphor of a spectrum of models ranging from the most theory-driven to the most evidence-driven. The issue of concern is the practice and criteria that will be appro- priate to validation of different models. In order to address this concern, two modelling approaches are investigated in some detailed – one from each end of our metaphorical spectrum. Windrum et al. (2007) (http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/10/2/8.html) claimed strong similarities between agent based social simulation and conventional social science – specifically econometric – approaches to empirical modelling and on that basis considered how econometric validation techniques might be used in empirical social simulations more broadly. An alternative is the approach of the French school of \'companion modelling\' associated with Bousquet, Barreteau, Le Page and others which engages stakeholders in the modelling and validation process. The conventional approach is con- strained by prior theory and the French school approach by evidence. In this sense they are at opposite ends of the theory-evidence spectrum. The problems for validation identified by Windrum et al. are shown to be irrelevant to companion modelling which readily incorporate complexity due to realistically descriptive specifications of individual behaviour and social interaction. The result combines the precision of formal approaches with the richness of narrative scenarios. Companion modelling is therefore found to be practicable and to achieve what is claimed for it and this alone is a key difference from conventional social science including agent based computational economics.

Simulation for Interpretation: A Methodology for Growing Virtual Cultures

Ulf Lotzmann and Martin Neumann
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 20 (3) 13

Abstract: Agent-based social simulation is well-known for generative explanations. Following the theory of thick description we extend the generative paradigm to interpretative research in cultural studies. Using the example of qualitative data about criminal culture, the paper describes a research process that facilitates interpretative research by growing virtual cultures. Relying on qualitative data for the development of agent rules, the research process combines several steps: Qualitative data analysis following the Grounded Theory paradigm enables concept identification, resulting in the development of a conceptual model of the concept relations. The software tool CCD is used in conceptual modelling which assists semi-automatic transformation in a simulation model developed in the simulation platform DRAMS. Both tools preserve traceability to the empirical evidence throughout the research process. Traceability enables interpretation of simulations by generating a narrative storyline of the simulation. Thereby simulation enables a qualitative exploration of textual data. The whole process generates a thick description of the subject of study, in our example criminal culture. The simulation is characterized by a socio-cognitive coupling of agents’ reasoning on the state of the mind of other agents. This reveals a thick description of how participants make sense of the phenomenology of a situation from the perspective of their worldview.