Multi-Agent-Based Simulation: Why Bother?

  • Scott Moss
  • Emma Norling
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3891)


This year’s MABS workshop was the sixth in a series which is intended to look at “using multi-agent models and technology in social simulation,” according to the the workshop series homepage [1]. We feel that this is an appropriate time to ask the participants and the wider community what it is that they hope to gain from this application of the technology, and more importantly, are the tools and techniques being used appropriate for achieving these aims? We are concerned that in many cases they are not, and consequently, false or misleading conclusions are being drawn from simulation results. In this paper, we focus on one particular example of this failing: the consequences of the inappropriate use of numbers. The translation of qualitative data into quantitative measures may enable the application of precise analysis, but unless the translation is done with extreme care, the analysis may simply be more precisely wrong. We conclude that as a community we need to pay careful attention to the tools and techniques that we are using, particularly when borrowing from other disciplines, to make sure that we avoid similar pitfalls in the future.


Management Research Strategic Management Journal Social Simulation Workshop Series Establishment View 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Moss
    • 1
  • Emma Norling
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Policy ModellingManchester Metropolitan UniversityUK

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