Towards a manifesto for open simulation

CPM Report No.: 07-171
By:  Gary Polhill and Bruce Edmonds


The difficulties associated with adequately describing agent-based social simulation software in scientific journals necessitate the establishment of norms for making the software more accessible. We consider here norms for documentation and licensing that outline a manifesto for open simulation, which we hope the community will sign up to. Licensing in particular has a number of thorny issues associated with it: the default under the Berne Convention turns software into a black box, raising a question over whether it can form a legitimate part of the domain of scientific discourse, or for that matter, of open and accountable government. Researchers must therefore take action to ensure their software is not released under an inappropriate licence. We recommend that a manifesto be produced based on the proposals in this paper, and call upon researchers to (a) sign up to that manifesto; (b) implement its proposals; (c) comment on licences when reviewing articles and proposals; (d) encourage others to do the same.

Keywords: Agent-Based Social Simulation, Replication, Software Licences, Documentation, Archiving.

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