A Minimalist Epistemology for Agent-Based Simulations in the Artificial Sciences
The epistemology of computer simulations has become a mainstream topic in the philosophy of technology. Within this large area, significant differences hold between the various types of models and simulation technologies. Agent-based and multi-agent systems simulations introduce a specific constraint on the types of agents and systems modelled. We argue that such difference is crucial and that simulation for the artificial sciences requires the formulation of its own specific epistemological principles. We present a minimally committed epistemology which relies on the methodological principles of the Philosophy of Information and requires weak assumptions on the usability of the simulation and the controllability of the model. We use these principles to provide a new definition of simulation for the context of interest.
KeywordsAgent-based simulation Artificial sciences Multi-agent systems Constructionism Controllability Usability
The author wishes to thank the participants to the Summer School On Computer Simulation Methods for engaging discussions and observations around the topics treated in this contribution and two anonymous reviewers for important critiques which have contributed improving this paper. The author was partially supported by the Project PROGRAMme ANR-17-CE38-0003-01.
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