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Overview on Agent-Based Social Modelling and the Use of Formal Languages

Overview on Agent-Based Social Modelling and the Use of Formal Languages
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Author(s): Cristina Montañola-Sales (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Barcelona Tech, Spain), Xavier Rubio-Campillo (Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain), José M. Cela-Espin (Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain), Josep Casanovas-Garcia (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - Barcelona Tech, Spain) and Adriana Kaplan-Marcusan (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 45
Source title: Formal Languages for Computer Simulation: Transdisciplinary Models and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Pau Fonseca i Casas (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4369-7.ch011


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The use of agent-based modelling and simulation techniques in the social sciences has flourished in the recent decades. The main reason is that the object of study in these disciplines, human society present or past, is difficult to analyse through classical analytical techniques. Population dynamics and structures are inherently complex. Thus, other methodological techniques need to be found to more adequately study this field. In this context, agent-based modelling is encouraging the introduction of computer simulations to examine behavioural patterns in complex systems. Simulation provides a tool to artificially examine societies where a big number of actors with decision capacity coexist and interact. However, formal modelling in these areas has not traditionally been used compared to other fields of science, in particular in their use of formal languages during the modelling process. In this chapter, the authors aim to revise the most relevant aspects on modelling in social sciences and to discuss the use formal languages by social scientists.

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