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Simulation Tools for Social Scientists: Building Agent Based Models with SWARM

Pietro Terna ()

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 1998, vol. 1, issue 2, 4

Abstract: Social scientists are not computer scientists, but their skills in the field have to become better and better to cope with the growing field of social simulation and agent based modelling techniques. A way to reduce the weight of software development is to employ generalised agent development tools, accepting both the boundaries necessarily existing in the various packages and the subtle and dangerous differences existing in the concept of agent in computer science, artificial intelligence and social sciences. The choice of tools based on the object oriented paradigm that offer libraries of functions and graphic widgets is a good compromise. A product with this kind of capability is Swarm, developed at the Santa Fe Institute and freely available, under the terms of the GNU license. A small example of a model developed in Swarm is introduced, in order to show directly the possibilities arising from the use of these techniques, both as software libraries and methodological guidelines. With simple agents - interacting in a Swarm context to solve both memory and time simulation problems - we observe the emergence of chaotic sequences of transaction prices.

Keywords: Agent Based Models (ABM); Chaos; Intelligent Agents; Social Simulation; Swarm (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998-03-31
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