August 2007


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Laszlo Gulyas <[log in to unmask]>
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MASON Multiagent Simulation Toolkit <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 14 Aug 2007 15:15:37 +0200
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**** Apologies for cross-posting ****


Computational Tools for Social Simulation
Workshop at e-Social Science 2007 (
October 7-9, Ann Arbor, Michigan, US

The methodology of computational modeling and simulation is gaining
momentum in the social sciences, including economics, sociology, and
political science. Social simulation is often viewed as a ‘third symbol
system’ that offers an alternative to, or ‘middle ground’ between,
natural language (i.e., verbal) and mathematical modeling. Computational
models retain much of the flexibility of verbal models; yet, they enforce
precision and consistency. Computational methods, however, have their own
set of challenges, especially when applied by researchers whose expertise
lies in domains different from software development.

The current trend in applying agent-based computational models to the
social sciences began to gain momentum in the mid-1990s. As with most
emerging methodologies, agent-based social simulation at that time lacked
unified standards, widely adopted methodologies, and well-
articulated best practices. Only a single dedicated toolset (i.e., Swarm),
was widely available and even that was only available in a prototype
version. Simulations were written using a variety of unrelated programming
techniques and languages. Since implementation and publishing standards
had not yet been articulated, these models were often ‘black boxes’ whose
results were hard to replicate.

The last decade has seen an intensive, yet unfinished development of
computational modeling methods for social science, both in understanding
the range of applicability of the approach and in furthering the technical
and methodological toolset of social simulation. In particular, the number
of available toolkits for social simulation has increased, and the
toolkits themselves have become more full-featured and easier to use. The
aims of the proposed workshop are to discuss the current state of the art
of tools and techniques for computational modeling in the social sciences
with special focus on the agent-based methodology, and to provide an
opportunity to shape future developments of those tools and in the use of
computational modeling within the social sciences.

Intended Audience

This workshop is primarily intended for users and developers of existing
tools for social simulation with special focus on the agent- based
approach. However, social scientists from all disciplines who are
interested in social simulation are also welcome.

Goals of the Workshop

The aim of the workshop is to provide a venue for describing and comparing
the available computational tools for social simulation (focusing on
agent-based modeling), and to discuss future user needs exploiting the
emerging toolset of e-Science. Participants are also encouraged to discuss
future trends and explore possibilities for emerging standards in social


This workshop welcomes submissions concerning all aspects of tools for
agent-based social simulation, including but not limited to:

- Platforms for social simulation, in particular for agent-based modeling

- Tools for processing and analyzing the results of social simulation

- Simulations mixing human and artificial agents

- Design of social simulation experiments

- Efficient execution of social simulation experiments

- Tools for harnessing computational resources (e.g. grid systems) for
social simulation

- Experiences with existing tools for social simulation

- Web-based simulation and its application to the social sciences

- GIS-based spatial simulation and coupled human-environmental systems

- Tools/platforms for mixing the agents with other approaches (e.g.,
system dynamics)


The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS, has indicated interest to host a special
section in one of their future issues based on a selection of the papers
presented at the Computational Tools for Social Science workshop.


Electronic submissions of abstracts (300 words), extended abstracts (2500
words) or full papers are expected at [log in to unmask] For formatting
instructions, please, consult with Full papers should be
submitted in two forms:

(a) the full manuscript, in the format recommended at

(b) an anonymous version of the manuscript (i.e. without authors,
affiliations or acknowledgements) as a PDF file.

Important Dates

August 26 Submission of Abstracts, Extended Abstracts or Full
Papers for
possible presentation at the workshop.

September 9 Notifications of acceptance for workshop presentation

October 7 Workshop

December 7 Submission of Full Papers for the JASSS Special Section

January 15 Notification of Acceptance for JASSS Special Section


Laszlo Gulyás, Ph.D., Director of Research at AITIA International Inc and
adjunct professor at Lorand Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary. (Member
of the MASS Development Team).

Michael J. North, MBA, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Center for Complex
Adaptive Agent Systems Simulation within the Decision and Information
Sciences Division of Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL USA, and
Coordinator of the Repast Organization for Architecture and
Design (ROAD).

William Rand, Ph.D., Research Fellow at the Northwestern Institute on
Complex Systems (NICO), Northwestern University, Evanston, IL USA and
Member of the NetLogo Development Team at the Center for Connected
Learning and Computer-Based Modeling.

Rick L Riolo, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Director of the
Computer Lab for the Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS),
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI USA.