Personal Understanding and Publically Useful         Knowledge in Social Simulation                                       ...
Some “stylized facts” about PhDStudents (and other new researchers)• They are very keen to tell people all the  details of...
This Talk will…• …attempt to explain why these occur• Point out some mistakes and confusions that  some researchers make• ...
Outline of Talk   1. Introduction: Motivation and Some      Preparatory Philosophy   2. Personal Knowledge   3. Public Kno...
Part 1:      Motivation and Some Preparatory                 PhilosophyPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowle...
Social Intelligence Hypothesis• Kummer, H., Daston, L., Gigerenzer, G. and Silk, J. (1997)• The crucial evolutionary advan...
An Evolutionary PerspectiveSocial intelligence implies that:• Groups of humans can develop their own  (sub)cultures of tec...
SIH In academic life• Different communities of practice develop  within different academic groups• There will be a core of...
Kuhn and scientific revolutions• Kuhn (1962)• Observed that science often progresses in  terms of fairly sudden revolution...
Example: Continental Drift• From Kuhn (1962)• That the earth’s crust was composed of huge  “floating” plates that slowly m...
Explanatory Coherence• Thagard (1989)• People choose whether to believe something  depending on how it would affect the  c...
Growing an internal “Ecology” ofIdeas• As the network of ideas, associations and  knowledge grows and is pruned a stable  ...
Theoretical Spectacles• Kuhn (1962): when we have adopted a theory  we tend to filter what we see:  – We notice aspects of...
The Tethered Goat  In terms of ideas and assumptions, people arelike a tethered goat, they can wander a little way       f...
The Key Question (for this talk)          What kinds of thing are usefully                 communicated?In other words, of...
The Sad FactJust because it is interesting and/or important  to you, does not mean it will be to othersOr to put it in a p...
Part 2:                            Personal KnowledgePersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simu...
Polyani and Personal Knowledge• Polanyi (1974)• Some kinds of knowledge are not explicitly  communicable…• rather they are...
Some Examples of PersonalKnowledge• How to ride a bicycle• What is socially acceptable at informal  occasions• In what cir...
How to Simulate• Although one can learn many supporting aspects of  social simulation, such as   –   What the commands mea...
“Bridging Rules”• Cartwright (1980)• Makes a distinction between:  – Explanatory Laws – why things happen  – Phenomenologi...
“Bridging” in Social Simulation• The details of the simulation run provides a possible  “explanation” of the results but i...
Conceptual Frameworks• A set of inter-related ideas that a person (or  occasionally a research group) uses to understand  ...
Part 3:                                Public KnowledgePersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Si...
Popper and Feyerabend• Feyerabend (1975): It does not matter how  one gets hypotheses (indeed one should  not constrain th...
The Sociality of Precise Entities• Precisely defined entities (simulations, data sets,  hypotheses, proofs, algorithms) ca...
Transmitting Ideas via PreciseEntities• Often, the most effective way to get an idea  accepted, is to transmit an associat...
Part 4:                           Some ComplicationsPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simul...
Context• Humans unconsciously and automatically  learn to recognise/categorise kinds of  situation and then preferentially...
A (simplistic) illustration of context from thepoint of view of an actor   Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Kn...
Consequences of the Context-Dependency of Human Thought• Much academic explicit thought relies on the reliable,  but impli...
Thinking Analogically• In an analogy the referential mappings to the domain of application are  flexibly created in a crea...
Inseparability of Ideas and Message• Quite a lot of separation between ideas and the way  these are communicated, but this...
Part 5:       Sharing Different Kinds of ThingsPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation...
Simulation Models• Simulation models are effectively not just  the code of the simulation, but to be  meaningful, need a c...
Theories• Theories are not simple, despite the  impression that might be given in papers  etc. (Giere 1988)• But rather, l...
Data Sets• These can be very persuasive but are not  often shared• There are now websites to do this with, but  there are ...
Ideas• Single ideas are somewhat difficult to  transmit• As explained, people are not open to new  ideas, unless they prov...
Conceptual Frameworks• Trying to communicate a whole framework is  very VERY difficult• Not only because the elements of t...
Methodologies• Almost always, a mixture of precise and  implicit knowledge parts• Similar to a conceptual framework, in th...
Visions• This is a general story, a motivating narrative  that outlines what could come to pass• This seems to “travel” re...
Part 6:         Some Examples and ConclusionPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, B...
Axtell & Epstein’s Growing ArtificialSocieties• They had huge difficulty in getting their  simulation work published in so...
Axtell et al. Aligning Simulation Models• Argued simple points – that replication is  important but also surprisingly hard...
Deffuant, Amblard and WeisbuchHow Can Extremism Prevail?• Showed a simple model, that others could  easily re-implement an...
Barreteau, Bousquet & Attonaty Role-Playing Games for Opening the Black Box ofMulti-Agent Systems• Is also illustrated wit...
Edmonds and Moss KISS vs KIDS• A conceptual paper…• But, the “KIDS” idea was taken up as a  label primarily by those that ...
Many “PhD” papers I review…I don’t want to name these but many I seetend to…• Concentrate on what they did in terms of   t...
Conclusion• The aim of this talk is to make you more aware  of the impact of academic social life on your  activities and ...
References•   Axtell, R., R. Axelrod, et al. (1996). "Aligning Simulation Models: A Case Study and Results." Computational...
Ad. for a workshop 5/6 Sept!                The End         Bruce Edmonds  http://bruce.edmonds.name Centre for Policy Mod...
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Personal understanding and publically useful knowledge in Social Simulation

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There are two different ways in which social simulation can help a researcher - by honing their intution about how certain models and mechanisms (roughly what Polanyi meant by "Personal Knowledge") and in demonstrating hypotheses that might be interesting and relevant to other researchers in the field (roughly what Popper meant by "Objective Knowledge"). Both are valid goals and useful, indeed I would argue both are essential to real progress in social simulation. However, too often, these are conflated and confused, to the detriment of social simulation. This talk aims to clearly distringuish between the two modes, including the different ways of obtaining them, their different (and complementary) uses as well as when and how these are appropriate to communicate to others. In short a "model" of simulation usefullness is outlined with implications for the method of social simulation.

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  • Imagine a professor of physics in a wild place – does his intelligence help him to survive?
  • Reader 1980, Man on Earth
  • Personal understanding and publically useful knowledge in Social Simulation

    1. 1. Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation Bruce Edmonds Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan UniversityPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 1
    2. 2. Some “stylized facts” about PhDStudents (and other new researchers)• They are very keen to tell people all the details of what they have done• They often come across some text/person which transforms their way of thinking• They often want to convince the world of their new conceptual framework or methodology• Their language can be very bound up with their “home” research group, sometimes to the extent that others find it hard to understand them Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 2
    3. 3. This Talk will…• …attempt to explain why these occur• Point out some mistakes and confusions that some researchers make• To make a distinction between personal and “public” knowledge• Appreciate the value of non-communicable knowledge• To encourage you to think about what you communicate to other researchers and how• …and thus help you to have a greater impact in terms of reporting your research Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 3
    4. 4. Outline of Talk 1. Introduction: Motivation and Some Preparatory Philosophy 2. Personal Knowledge 3. Public Knowledge 4. Some Complications 5. Sharing Different Kinds of Things 6. Some Examples Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 4
    5. 5. Part 1: Motivation and Some Preparatory PhilosophyPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 5
    6. 6. Social Intelligence Hypothesis• Kummer, H., Daston, L., Gigerenzer, G. and Silk, J. (1997)• The crucial evolutionary advantages that human intelligence gives are due to the social abilities it allows• Explains specific abilities such as imitation, language, social norm instinct, lying, alliances, gossip, politics etc.• Social intelligence is not a result of general intelligence, but at the core of human intelligence, “general” intelligence is a side- effect of social intelligence Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 6
    7. 7. An Evolutionary PerspectiveSocial intelligence implies that:• Groups of humans can develop their own (sub)cultures of technologies, etc. (Boyd and Richerson 1985)• These allow the group with their culture to inhabit a variety of ecological niches (e.g. the Kalahari, Polynesia) (Reader 1980)• Thus humans, as a species, are able to survive catastrophes that effect different niches in different ways (specialisation) Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 7
    8. 8. SIH In academic life• Different communities of practice develop within different academic groups• There will be a core of (often implict) practices, styles, techniques, assumptions that define that group and hence are (pretty much) not alterable• Other items (often explict) will be the focus of debate within the community such as models, data sets, explicit hypotheses etc. Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 8
    9. 9. Kuhn and scientific revolutions• Kuhn (1962)• Observed that science often progresses in terms of fairly sudden revolutions rather than via a gradual build up of knowledge• “Revolutionary science” involves a change in paradigm• In between revolutions: “normal science”• Effect of “theoretical spectacles” where data is selected dependent on paradigm• Different paradigms are incommensurable Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 9
    10. 10. Example: Continental Drift• From Kuhn (1962)• That the earth’s crust was composed of huge “floating” plates that slowly moved was resisted by established researchers for a long time until the weight of evidence became overwhelming and a sufficient of (mostly younger) researchers had adopted this (Kuhn’s “revolutionary science”)• In contrast, ideas/results that are compatible with existing ideas can be incrementally added with relative ease (“normal science”) Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 10
    11. 11. Explanatory Coherence• Thagard (1989)• People choose whether to believe something depending on how it would affect the coherency of the (augmented) network of (relevant) beliefs Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 11
    12. 12. Growing an internal “Ecology” ofIdeas• As the network of ideas, associations and knowledge grows and is pruned a stable structure appears• This is (usually) resistant to ideas that are incoherent with what is already there• Asking others to change whole parts of the structure is unlikely to be accepted easily• Ideas that strengthen the existing structure (giving it more coherence) are more likely to be accepted but only if it delivers a lot Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 12
    13. 13. Theoretical Spectacles• Kuhn (1962): when we have adopted a theory we tend to filter what we see: – We notice aspects of data/observations that agree with it or are explained by it – We don’t notice (or explain away) anything that does not fit with the theory• We see the world “through” the present theory• This effect is even stronger with agent-based simulation models, because: – they are readily interperable in terms of them – the act of playing with a model over a period of time involves you in the model and its construction Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 13
    14. 14. The Tethered Goat In terms of ideas and assumptions, people arelike a tethered goat, they can wander a little way from what they were taught but not far Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 14
    15. 15. The Key Question (for this talk) What kinds of thing are usefully communicated?In other words, of all the knowledge-relatedthings one researcher has (e.g. ideas,conceptual frameworks, models, proofs,methodologies, data sets, case studies etc.)what is worth telling other researchers about(in presentations, papers etc.) and how? Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 15
    16. 16. The Sad FactJust because it is interesting and/or important to you, does not mean it will be to othersOr to put it in a positive light… Some things that are not useful and/or meaningful to persuade others about, arevitally important to us individually and can be the powerhouse behind a creative academic career Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 16
    17. 17. Part 2: Personal KnowledgePersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 17
    18. 18. Polyani and Personal Knowledge• Polanyi (1974)• Some kinds of knowledge are not explicitly communicable…• rather they are primarily passed on by doing things together…• involving action, observation and a close feedback between people Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 18
    19. 19. Some Examples of PersonalKnowledge• How to ride a bicycle• What is socially acceptable at informal occasions• In what circumstances to use particular kinds of language• How to be a physicist/sociologist/biologist etc.• How to talk• What (most) words mean• How to think Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 19
    20. 20. How to Simulate• Although one can learn many supporting aspects of social simulation, such as – What the commands mean – How to run programs, make graphs – How to analyse results – Particular algorithms• A lot that is crucial about simulation is learning by doing in a community of others, including: – The style of doing social simulation – What makes a good/interesting simulation – How different simulation mechanisms work together – How to relate/interpret simulation results to the observed world Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 20
    21. 21. “Bridging Rules”• Cartwright (1980)• Makes a distinction between: – Explanatory Laws – why things happen – Phenomenological Laws – which literally fit the data• And pointed out that often these were different• For example the gas laws, and the atomic model of what is happening in a gas• The connections between these were often left implicit, as defined by a community of practice, even in “mature” sciences – a kind of personal knowledge Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 21
    22. 22. “Bridging” in Social Simulation• The details of the simulation run provides a possible “explanation” of the results but is very complex (which is the point of doing it!)• The simulator will develop an intuition and rules of thumb…• Which may be made explicit in terms of a hypothesis about how/why the simulation gives the results it does• Some simulations concentrate on making this explanation as clear as possible but leave the connection with what is observed as an analogy• Others concentrate on connecting the specification and results with evidence but leave any comprehensible explanation vague or implicit – e.g. only implied by graphs of results and textual description• But really we need these linked, but this is rarely explicit Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 22
    23. 23. Conceptual Frameworks• A set of inter-related ideas that a person (or occasionally a research group) uses to understand what is happening or what they are doing• Can be the engine behind a stream of productive research• But is basically personal, only transmittable by a longer-term interaction…• And even then each person constructs their own version internally• Which is important in terms of developing different approaches when the problem/environment changes Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 23
    24. 24. Part 3: Public KnowledgePersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 24
    25. 25. Popper and Feyerabend• Feyerabend (1975): It does not matter how one gets hypotheses (indeed one should not constrain this processes)• Popper (1965): but these become publically useful (i.e. something akin to knowledge) if what is communicated is: 1. Possible to show it is wrong (which includes being well sufficiently well-defined) 2. and people have ample chance to do so Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 25
    26. 26. The Sociality of Precise Entities• Precisely defined entities (simulations, data sets, hypotheses, proofs, algorithms) can be transmitted faithfully• That is, they survive distant transmission without error• This allows for a very social process in science, where different people can consider the same entities, which provide a precise common reference• And (possibly) allow a collective exploration of variations of these (or uses of them)• Which might result in a true evolution of these entities• This does not mean that interpretations, discussions, understanding of these are not important…• …but that these might change with fashions, needs, politics etc. over a shorter time frame Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 26
    27. 27. Transmitting Ideas via PreciseEntities• Often, the most effective way to get an idea accepted, is to transmit an associated precise entity, such as a simulation• You cannot control how the associated ideas will be interpreted• But at least this is re-interpreted from the precise entity each time by each person rather than being a re-interpretation of an interpretation of an… etc.• The precise entities often persist long after the associated interpretations have lost potency Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 27
    28. 28. Part 4: Some ComplicationsPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 28
    29. 29. Context• Humans unconsciously and automatically learn to recognise/categorise kinds of situation and then preferentially allows access to memory based on this• This means that what is relevant to a kind of situation automatically comes to mind and makes “foreground” conscious thought feasible• (with the exception of socially instituted contexts) contexts are not usefully reifiable Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 29
    30. 30. A (simplistic) illustration of context from thepoint of view of an actor Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 30
    31. 31. Consequences of the Context-Dependency of Human Thought• Much academic explicit thought relies on the reliable, but implicit, co-recognition of the appropriate context• Making as much of the context assumptions explicit as possible is an important part of being more scientific• But it is impossible to do 100%• Much social science keeps descriptions within context, maintaining its qualitative richness, but this is less “social” in terms of the collaborative processes of science• Thinking from within different cognitive contexts is a creative and productive method• But not itself usefully communicable (in possible contrast to the results of that thought) Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 31
    32. 32. Thinking Analogically• In an analogy the referential mappings to the domain of application are flexibly created in a creative fashion each time• Thus there is a part (“the analogy”) that is applied to a different context, but…• … its meaning (mapping of analogy to in-context references) is different each time it is applied• We are so adapt at applying ideas in an analogical fashion that we are often unaware of the process• The analogy may be transmitted in formal form (as a simulation or an explicit hypothesis)• Analogies give an impression of generality because the form may be the same but, in fact, the mappings are different each time.• This contrasts with “scientific” applications where what the different parts of the model refer to are specified explicitly• Analogical thinking is powerful in developing personal understanding, but is different from actually modelling social phenomena• Some simulations are used only as a computational analogy (e.g. evolution of cooperation) Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 32
    33. 33. Inseparability of Ideas and Message• Quite a lot of separation between ideas and the way these are communicated, but this is never total.• All communication does rely (eventually) on implicit shared understanding (e.g. natural language, how to make computational devices etc.) but, if this can be relied upon, then expressions using this can be effectively formal – such as an explicit hypothesis – and hence used to effectively communicate precise elements…• ..but it also means that even precise entities carry with it implicit “flavours/conations/assumptions/messages”• …and that the effective communication of one kind of entity often is facilitated by the communication of associated entities. Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 33
    34. 34. Part 5: Sharing Different Kinds of ThingsPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 34
    35. 35. Simulation Models• Simulation models are effectively not just the code of the simulation, but to be meaningful, need a cluster of other things – A set of results to help give an understanding of what the simulation does – Explicit hypotheses about it – A variety of descriptions at different levels about the simulation code – A description of how this simulation is currently being interpreted in terms the meaning of its parts in terms of what is being modelled Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 35
    36. 36. Theories• Theories are not simple, despite the impression that might be given in papers etc. (Giere 1988)• But rather, like simulations, have different aspects, including: – Its formal expression – exemplar precise formulations of this (models) – the meaning of its terms Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 36
    37. 37. Data Sets• These can be very persuasive but are not often shared• There are now websites to do this with, but there are issues of confidentiality, license conditions etc.• Helpful to be accompanied with descriptions of: – Context of data – Summaries of it, graphs tables – An example of its use – Maybe some hypotheses it seems to confirm/disconfirm Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 37
    38. 38. Ideas• Single ideas are somewhat difficult to transmit• As explained, people are not open to new ideas, unless they provide added value in terms of making their thought systems more coherent or in terms of what it allows them to do• Again, ideas travel better with precise exemplars Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 38
    39. 39. Conceptual Frameworks• Trying to communicate a whole framework is very VERY difficult• Not only because the elements of this rely on their relation to all the other elements and so is hard to communicate bit by bit• It is hard to “think outside the box” from within such a framework and make your thoughts understandable by others• Often explicit exemplars that come out of the framework are more effective “ambassadors” for the framework Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 39
    40. 40. Methodologies• Almost always, a mixture of precise and implicit knowledge parts• Similar to a conceptual framework, in that you have to “live” it, so that one learns it within a community that follows it, in addition to those parts that are explicitly described (statistics, SNA methods, etc.)• Often what people do is primary and rationales of why are subsequent to this, which it makes difficult to “convert” others Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 40
    41. 41. Visions• This is a general story, a motivating narrative that outlines what could come to pass• This seems to “travel” relatively well as narratives seem to be innate in humans• However these tend to be transitory and highly related to fashion in academic and funding circles• Also one cannot control the interpretation of these narratives, once “released” they are out of your control Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 41
    42. 42. Part 6: Some Examples and ConclusionPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 42
    43. 43. Axtell & Epstein’s Growing ArtificialSocieties• They had huge difficulty in getting their simulation work published in social science and economic journals• The book was successful far more in terms of the simulations demonstrated than in the ideas in the book• As a result of the exemplars of what (even simple) simulations could achieve this enabled an interest that sparked exploration of alternatives to analytic-dominated approaches Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 43
    44. 44. Axtell et al. Aligning Simulation Models• Argued simple points – that replication is important but also surprisingly hard• But persuasive in terms of a series of examples of actually doing it• Motivation for others to do it is that it can allow the attack on the interpretation of simulation models by revealing hidden assumptions (as in Edmonds & Hales 2003) Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 44
    45. 45. Deffuant, Amblard and WeisbuchHow Can Extremism Prevail?• Showed a simple model, that others could easily re-implement and play with• Had some explicit hypotheses• And lots of results, with extensive illustration, exploration and analysis• The intended interpretation only played a small part in this Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 45
    46. 46. Barreteau, Bousquet & Attonaty Role-Playing Games for Opening the Black Box ofMulti-Agent Systems• Is also illustrated with an extensive case study to convince that the approach is not only possible but enables researcher to do things not possible elsewhere• Primarily cited as an exemplar of the participatory approach and of interdisciplinary research work• Showed a new approach (to most) and what one can achieve using it Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 46
    47. 47. Edmonds and Moss KISS vs KIDS• A conceptual paper…• But, the “KIDS” idea was taken up as a label primarily by those that were already making complex evidence-based simulations• Probably nobody who believes in simple (KISS) models was convinced• The body of relevant KIDS simulations and their usefullness will ultimately determine its take up Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 47
    48. 48. Many “PhD” papers I review…I don’t want to name these but many I seetend to…• Concentrate on what they did in terms of the specification of their simulations etc.• Have a certain “zeal” in wanting to explain their personal conceptual framework• Have a relative lack of resultsOf course, many more mature researchers dothis too! Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 48
    49. 49. Conclusion• The aim of this talk is to make you more aware of the impact of academic social life on your activities and research• In particular, to motivate you to think about what you try to communicate in formal ways (theses, papers, conference presentations) and what can only come into play in extended interactions (discussions, collaborations) with others and as a personal treasure of ideas, intuitions etc.• For example, telling others what you have done in great detail or trying to convince others of your personal conceptual framework Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 49
    50. 50. References• Axtell, R., R. Axelrod, et al. (1996). "Aligning Simulation Models: A Case Study and Results." Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory 1: 123-141.• Barreteau, B., Bousquet, F. and Attonaty, J-M. (2001) Role-Playing Games for Opening the Black Box of Multi-Agent Systems: Method and Lessons of Its Application to Senegal River Valley Irrigated Systems’, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 4(2):5 (http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/4/2/5.html)• Boyd and Richerson (1985) Culture and the evolutionary process, University of Chicago Press.• Cartwright, N. (1983) How the Laws of Physics Lie, Oxford University Press.• Deffuant, G. Amblard, F. and Weisbuch, G. (2002) How Can Extremism Prevail? a Study Based on the Relative Agreement Interaction Model, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 5(4):1 (http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/5/4/1.html)• Edmonds, B. and Hales, D. (2003) Replication, Replication and Replication - Some Hard Lessons from Model Alignment. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 6(4) (http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/6/4/11.html)• Edmonds, B. and Moss, S. (2005) From KISS to KIDS – an ‘anti-simplistic’ modelling approach. In P. Davidsson et al. (Eds.): Multi Agent Based Simulation 2004. Springer, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 3415:130–144. (http://cfpm.org/cpmrep132.html)• Epstein, J. M. and Axtell, R., (1996) Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up, MIT Press.• Feyerabend, P. (1975) Against Method. New Left Books.• Giere, R. (1988) Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.• Kuhn, T (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press.• Kummer, H., Daston, L., Gigerenzer, G., & Silk, J. (1997). The social intelligence hypothesis. In P. Weingart, P. Richerson, S. D. Mitchell & S. Maasen (Eds.), Human by nature: Between biology and the social sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.• Polanyi, M. (1974) Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, University of Chicago Press.• Popper, K. R. (1979) Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach. Oxford University Press.• Reader, J. (1990) Man on Earth. Penguin Books.• Thagard, P. (1989) Explanatory coherence, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12:435-502. Personal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 50
    51. 51. Ad. for a workshop 5/6 Sept! The End Bruce Edmonds http://bruce.edmonds.name Centre for Policy Modelling http://cfpm.orgPersonal Understanding and Publically Useful Knowledge in Social Simulation, Bruce Edmonds, ESSA Sum Sch, Toulouse, July 2012, slide 51

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