– an ‘anti-simplistic’ modelling approach

By: Bruce Edmonds and Scott Moss
Date: 1st April 2004
CPM Report No.: 04-132

Presented at: The Joint Workshop on Multi-Agent and Multi-Agent-Based Simulation (MAMABS 2004) at 3rd AAMAS, New York, July 2004.

<>Published as: Edmonds, B. and Moss, S. (2005) From KISS to KIDS – an ‘anti-simplistic’ modelling approach. In P. Davidsson et al. (Eds.): Multi Agent Based Simulation 2004. Springer, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 3415:130–144.


A new approach is suggested under the slogan “Keep it Descriptive Stupid” (KIDS) that encapsulates a trend in increasingly descriptive agent-based social simulation.  The KIDS approach entails one starts with the simulation model that relates to the target phenomena in the most straight-forward way possible, taking into account the widest possible range of evidence, including anecdotal accounts and expert opinion.  Simplification is only applied when and if the model and evidence justify this.  This contrasts sharply with the KISS approach where one starts with the simplest possible model and only moves to a more complex one if forced to.  An example multi-agent simulation of domestic water demand and social influence is described.

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