Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Literature Review Agent-Based Simulation "On generating hyphoteses using computer simulation"

Conclusions that i get after I read article entitled "On generating hypotheses using computer simulation" by Kathleen M. Carley that was published in the Proceeding of the 1999 International symposium on commend and control research and technology.

What is the use of computer simulation?
  • Computer simulation can be used to develop the theory and generating hypotheses

Why computer simulation is important to generate a hypothesis?
  • Because, social interactions are dynamic, adaptive and non linear.
  • As an example of non-linearity is, the declining ability of an information to shift agent’s perception.
  • As the number of information that support an idea believed by an agent increase, the impact of dis-confirming information decrease.
  • Such non linearity will bring difficulties for the researchers to infer the impact of a learning process, adaptation and agent's response, especially in a dynamic environment.
  • Computer simulation can help researchers to think about the impact of such non linearity and to generate a number of consistent hypotheses.
  • To generate hypotheses using agent based simulation, researchers can conduct virtual experiment.
  • Obtained hypotheses then can be tested through experiment in the real world.

Steps to conduct good virtual experiment
  • Identify core variables: Core variables are parameters that are assumed to be the most relevant variables affecting the dependent.
  • Define the range of parameters that are going to be explored.
  • Set the non-core variables as random numbers or according to the real world data.
  • Run the simulation multiple times for each experiment set. Ideally researchers could obtain much larger data than, that can be obtained in real world experiment.
  • Analyze the result of simulation statistically.
What are the advantages of agent based simulation compare to the human laboratory experiment?
  • Using agent based simulation, researcher can explore range of parameters and type process that are impossible to be explored in the real world.
  • These impossibilities can be caused by the high amount of cost or by the ethical issues.

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