Checking Simulations: Detecting and Avoiding Errors and Artefacts
The aim of this chapter is to simulations. The reader with a set of concepts and a range of suggested activities that will enhance his or her ability to understand agent-based simulations. To do this in a structured way, we review the main concepts of the methodology (e.g. we provide precise definitions for the terms “error” and “artefact”) and establish a general framework that summarises the process of designing, implementing, and using agent-based models. Within this framework we identify the various stages where different types of assumptions are usually made and, consequently, where different types of errors and artefacts may appear. We then propose several activities that can be conducted to detect each type of error and artefact.
KeywordsAccessory assumptions Agent-based modelling artefact Computer modelling Computer scientist Computer simulation Core assumption Error Formal language Inference engine Modeller Modelling Modelling roles Programmer Re-implementation Replication Simulation Social process Symbolic system Thematician Validation Verbal argumentation Verification
The authors have benefited from the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (projects CSD2010-00034, DPI2004-06590, DPI2005-05676, and TIN2008-06464-C03-02) and of the Junta de Castilla y León (projects BU034A08 and VA006B09). We are also very grateful to Nick Gotts, Gary Polhill, Bruce Edmonds, and Cesáreo Hernández for many discussions on the philosophy of modelling.
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