WIREs article

Written by  on May 16, 2013

Yay!  Our latest article is finally out:

Agent-based modeling: a systematic assessment of use cases and requirements for enhancing pharmaceutical research and development productivity

Here’s the description of it on our ABM website.

New paper: Agent-based modeling: a systematic assessment of use cases and requirements for enhancing pharmaceutical research and development productivity, published in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Systems Biology and Medicine. This one walks through various use cases extracted and derived from various more tightly focused modeling and simulation papers. It also lays out a vision for an analog based model repository, including the features such a repository requires in order to satisfy its use cases. In particular, we talk about the need for embedded knowledge inside models.

 

Types of Pluralism

Written by  on May 15, 2013

This paper:

Pluralism, entwinement, and the levels of selection by Robert A. Wilson

distinguishes between object pluralism (consideration of multiple things, in this case the unit of evolutionary selection) and model pluralism (consideration of the putatively the same thing with multiple models). The FURM that I’ve been working on for quite some time, relies on the latter, model pluralism.  More specifically, it is a parallax method intended to steadily pare down the space of possibly accurate models to a manageable size.

What Wilson’s article brought to the foreground for me, however, is the ontological commitment to the existence of the objects (or their attributes), in this case the levels of selection. I seem to subscribe to an ur-pluralism, an agnosticism regarding the very existence of the objects being modeled (aka the referent). This is not an anti-realist position. The referent can exist. But it is an anti-{naive realist} position. The attributes of the referent that you perceive or infer may not exist, e.g. “levels”. I sporadically rant about the inadequacy of the term “level” with respect to modeling complex systems. But I’m always treated to confused expressions and (to me) weird reactions. And while I relish confusion and weirdness (Hail Eris! =><=), perhaps this will help me navigate it more effectively.