Regular Article

The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 214, Issue 1, pp 77-108

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Towards a living earth simulator

  • M. PaolucciAffiliated withISTC-CNR Email author 
  • , D. KossmanAffiliated withETH Zurich
  • , R. ConteAffiliated withISTC-CNR
  • , P. LukowiczAffiliated withDFKI
  • , P. ArgyrakisAffiliated withAristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • , A. BlandfordAffiliated withUCL
  • , G. BonelliAffiliated withISTC-CNR
  • , S. AndersonAffiliated withUniversity of Edinburgh
  • , S. de FreitasAffiliated withCoventry University
    • , B. EdmondsAffiliated withCPM, Manchester Metropolitan University
    • , N. GilbertAffiliated withCRESS, University of Surrey
    • , M. GrossAffiliated withETH Zurich
    • , J. KohlhammerAffiliated withFraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD)
    • , P. KoumoutsakosAffiliated withETH Zurich
    • , A. KrauseAffiliated withETH Zurich
    • , B. -O. LinnérAffiliated withLinköping University
    • , P. SlusallekAffiliated withDFKI
    • , O. SorkineAffiliated withETH Zurich
    • , R. W. SumnerAffiliated withDisney Research Zurich
    • , D. HelbingAffiliated withETH Zurich


The Living Earth Simulator (LES) is one of the core components of the FuturICT architecture. It will work as a federation of methods, tools, techniques and facilities supporting all of the FuturICT simulation-related activities to allow and encourage interactive exploration and understanding of societal issues. Society-relevant problems will be targeted by leaning on approaches based on complex systems theories and data science in tight interaction with the other components of FuturICT. The LES will evaluate and provide answers to real-world questions by taking into account multiple scenarios. It will build on present approaches such as agent-based simulation and modeling, multiscale modelling, statistical inference, and data mining, moving beyond disciplinary borders to achieve a new perspective on complex social systems.

Graphical abstract