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How to Relate Models to Reality? An Epistemological Framework for the Validation and Verification of Computational Models

Claudius Graebner ()
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Claudius Graebner: http://claudius-graebner.com/

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Claudius Gräbner ()

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 2018, vol. 21, issue 3, 8

Abstract: Agent-based simulations have become increasingly prominent in various disciplines. This trend is positive, but it comes with challenges: while there are more and more standards for design, verification, validation, and presentation of the models, the various meta-theoretical strategies of how the models should be related to reality often remain implicit. Differences in the epistemological foundations of models make it however, difficult to relate distinct models to each other and to ensure a cumulative expansion of knowledge. Concepts and the analytic language developed by philosophers of science can help to overcome these obstacles. This paper introduces some of these concepts to the modelling community. It also presents an epistemological framework that helps to clarify how one wishes to generate knowledge about reality by the means of one's model and that helps to relate models to each other. Since the interpretation of a model is strongly connected to the activities of model verification and validation, these two activities will be embedded into the framework and their respective epistemological roles will be clarified. The resulting meta-theoretical framework aligns well with recently proposed frameworks for model presentation and evaluation.

Keywords: Agent-Based Modelling; Epistemology; Models; Validation; Verification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-06-30
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