Types of Simulation

Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Why Read This Chapter?

To understand the different ways that computer simulation can differ in terms of (a) purpose, (b) targets for simulation, (c) what is represented, and (d) its implementation; and subsequently, to be more aware of the choices to be made when simulating social complexity.


This chapter describes the main purposes of computer simulation and gives an overview of the main issues that should be regarded when developing computer simulations. While there are two basic ways of representing a system in a simulation model – the equation-based or macroscopic approach and the individual-based or microscopic approach – this chapter (as the rest of the handbook) focuses on the latter. It discusses the various options a modeller faces when choosing how to represent individuals, their interactions and their environment in a simulation model.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden
  2. 2.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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