Introduction to Spreadsheet Modeling and Metaheuristics

  • Abraham Duarte
  • Manuel Laguna
  • Rafael Martí
Part of the EURO Advanced Tutorials on Operational Research book series (EUROATOR)


Models, as a simplified representation of reality, are used daily in an attempt to control or understand some aspects of a real system. Simplification of reality is the accepted view of the modeling process, which assumes that reality represents the absolute truth. Without getting too deep into a philosophical discourse, it is worth mentioning the notion of model-dependent realism, a phrase coined by physicists Stephen Hawkings and Leonard Molinow in their book The Grand Design. Model-dependent realism “is based on the idea that our brains interpret the input from our sensory organs by making a model of the world to aid in the decision-making process.” This implies that more than one model of a real system can be built and that we are free to use whatever model is more convenient as long as it has the same accuracy as other alternative models. It also implies that there is no theory-independent concept of reality. Therefore, “according to model-dependent realism, it is pointless to ask whether a model is real, only whether it agrees with observation.”


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.E.T.S. Ingeniería InformáticaUniversidad Rey Juan CarlosMadridSpain
  2. 2.Leeds School of BusinessBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Universidad de ValenciaBurjassot, ValenciaSpain

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