Economic Simulations in Swarm: Agent-Based Modelling and Object Oriented Programming - By Benedikt Stefansson and Francesco Luna: A Review and Some Comments about Agent Based Modeling
There are three different symbol systems available to social scientists: the familiar verbal argumentation and mathematics, but also a third way, computer simulation. Computer simulation, or computational modeling involves representing a model as a computer program. The key question is: What tools can we use in building our models, if we follow the third way ? Simulation will have to be written in some Esperanto: it is obvious that the current Babel is against the emergence of a renewed enthusiastic effort in economic theory. Swarm is a library of functions offering tools in the middle between basic programming (Fortran, C, C++, Java) and closed packages for dynamic simulation; it helps us to develop our own software, using a well-defined protocol and powerful tools to deal with agents' behavior, interaction and time sequences.So it can be considered an excellent candidate to play the role of simulation's Esperanto. Swarm will break the main barrier preventing a complete diffusion of these techniques, i.e. the necessity of being able to write code, to assemble it, to look for bugs etc. with a substantial advance in spreading the knowledge emerging from artificial experiments and simulation.
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