Discussion papers

CPM-02-91 - 18 March 2002

Towards an Ideal Social Simulation Language

Bruce Edmonds and Steve Wallis

A condensed version will be presented as: Edmonds, B. (2002)Towards an Ideal Social Simulation Language. 3rd International Workshop on Multi-Agent Based Simulation (MABS’02) at AAMAS’02, Bologna, 15-16 July 2002.


The problem of social simulation is analysed, indentifying what I call ‘syntactic’ and ‘semantic’ complexity. The presence of these means that social simulation has particular needs in terms of computational tools. I suggest an approach where one identifies, documents and checks constraints from a variety of sources. Eight criteria for a computational tool to support social simulation are listed. I speculate that a general computational framework for developing, running and comparing models could greatly aid social simulation. This would facilitate the management and checking of the complex clusters of models that complex systems seem to necessitate.