WCSS2010 Opening


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Opening talk by Rosaria Conte @ WCSS2010

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  • I take the welcome of ESSA to the world-wide Conference on simulation. The size of this conference, the largest edition of WCSS so far, clearly indicates that the field is fast growing. I think we are authorized, if not asked, to start drawing some prima facie conclusions about The role of simulation in the devlopment of Science.
  • Let me start with some history, only a brief note which is far from new for many in this audience. The feld took a start in the early 90s in Surrey and soon crawled all over Europe. Several events, and event series had a start before the end of last century, and a number of crucial promotional events gave impulse to the field thanks to Nigel and the simsoc consortium.
  • ESSA is moving up, not only in terms of membership, but also in terms of activity, special interest groups and events organized an sponsored
  • In the meantime, the field was moving on in the rest of the world as well… which led to new associaitons and to the world-wide conference
  • What’s the effect of all these efforts. Let us see
  • What you see here is a graph where we plotted two sets of data represented by bars of different colors, the blue ones stand for variation in cites found in Google Scholar for scientific publications in each discipline considered within social and behavioural sciences and social ICT, with (blue bars) or without (red bars) simulation tags in the period 2000-4 (firs two bars) and 2004-8 (second two bars). Blue bars always increase unlike red ones, which instead show a decreasing rate of growth, or even receive a decreasing number of citations
  • Here the same data as the slides before are shown wrt application fields rather than disciplines. The results show a comparable pattern.
  • Simulation performs well. Indeed, the gap visible widens as while the ate of growth of simulation is found to increase even from 2008 over 2004, that of the corresponding diciplines in most cases is found to slow down. Of course, one might object that cites referring to publ. 2008 are certainly lesser than those of previous years, but whilst this seems to have affected indeed the variaiton of the disciplines alone, it does not seem to have affected simulation cites per discipline, which tend to show a positive growth. A second consideration, more obvious concerns interdisciplinary field, in which simulation performs better, ie,. Gets higher cites. What is also interesting is that the scientific area does not matter. Simulation cites are high both in SSH and ICT. Finally, there are some disciplines in which he increas ein cites of simulation is more evident than others, for ex. Law and geography. How do we explain it?
  • These results are extremely encouraging
  • There are temptations to give up the heading. This is partly due to a law of marketing. When headings have been going around for a while, we scientists feel pushed to give them up as if fields of science were bound to go out of fashion, like a pair of shoes. Partly, it is due to the trade-off between keep one’s identity and hook up other fields. Simulation is an asset.
  • WCSS2010 Opening

    1. 1. Trends in Social Simulation Rosaria Conte
    2. 2. In Europe  Started in Surrey in the early 90s: the SimSoc Symposia  The first world-wide conferences: ICCS&SS series  Independent series: ABS in Passau, Dagstuhl,  ABSS at AgentLink  SimSoc consortium  JASSS  ESSA  ESSA conferences  ZUMA summer school  ESSA summer school
    3. 3. ESSA  Growing membership (currently ca. 350)  Current SIGs  Market Dynamics,  Policy  Social Conflict and Social Simulation (SCSS),  Societal Transitions SIG  1st summer school  Sponsorship of new events:  EPOS 2010 - 4th Conference on Epistemological Perspectves on Simulation, 1st ESSA Summer School, Univ. of Brescia, WCSS, Social Conflict and Social Simulation WS, SCIVE 2010 - Social Complexity of Informal Value Exchange.
    4. 4. In the World  MABS  Independent event series: Agent Conference NorthWestern,  Agent-Directed Simulation (ADS) Symposium, Orlando, Florida,  Santa Fè projects  Associations, NAACSOS, PAAA  WCSS conferences
    5. 5. Outputs?  Trends in social simulation: cites  Scientific publications  Applications
    6. 6. Cites per field/discipline
    7. 7. Cites per application domain
    8. 8. Still to be checked…  Projects  Patents
    9. 9. Any Lesson?  General positive trend of simulation  The gap widens  Stronger in interdisciplinary fields (complex systems)  Technologies do not matter: increase stronger in complexity than ICT, in economics and political science than MAS.  Scentific areas do not matter: except complexity, equally strong in SSH as in ICT  Interesting increase in law and geography: could be due to applications? Lets see.
    10. 10. How to interpret?  Hard to say  Multiplication of events? Promotion? Associations?  Regional and worldwide conferences?
    11. 11. Questions to address • Which major consequences should we expect? Are all of them positive? • Which field and areas to invest in, and how? • Which strategic alliances to promote or strengthen – Which new frontiers? – Application fields: so far lawmakers and adiministrators. What about professions and industry?
    12. 12. Simulating the future of simulation… • Not dismiss heading before time • Simulation is an asset on which to capitalize and build upon… • Which future to prospect? Let us make a simulation :-) Thank you