Welcome to the Introduction to the first mini-book, Local Food Economy Game - Logical View, in the Local Food Economy Game Model Repository. This model will guide and constrain our design and implementation of the LFEGame.com agent-based simulation model.
This general class model is more accurately described as a metamodel. A metamodel is a model used to build other models. That is, it is a model that prescribes how to specify models that comply with its general architecture and constraints on the relationships between allowable model elements. "Allowable" in this sense means that the element is somehow derived from and related to an element in the metamodel.
A metamodel can be used two ways. It may be used ro guide development of new models built "from scratch" as solutions to a problem or design need. Or it can be used as a specification to guide the selection of technology candidates to be used in implementation of the proposed solution. We will, for example, take each of the agent-based simulation technology platforms that Jelal has identified through his web research and assess its features and capabilities in light of its ability to express models that satisfy our metamodel.
If we are lucky, we will find a free or affordable, easy-enough-to-use agent-based simulation platform that we can use to build our LFEGame model. In the best of all cases, the technology selected will have been developed by researchers who share a similar view of how agent-based simulation software should be designed and implemented. All we'd need to do in this case is use the supplied platform to build our LFEGame exploratory learning environment.
But this "best of all worlds" situation is not likely to happen. It is more likely that we will find some agent-based simulation framework that comes close to our requirements but is missing some vital pieces. In this case, we "stand on the sholders of giants" as the saying goes in research circles. We'll design and build extensions to the selected platform. In sucn a case, we reduce the time, energy and expense of our project by leveraging existing technologies.
Our worst case scenario is that we find nothing among the agent-based simulation technologies available that embodies models the same that we look at them as reflected in our metamodel. In this case, we'd be stuck with selecting a development platform and completely "rolling our own."
From what I have seen, however, we're not likely to need to resort to this low a level of development.
Our next steps will be along two fronts:
In addition to these general next steps, I am going to develop an HTML-based, non-PDF version of the LFEGame General Class Model so it can easily be viewed and commented upon on-line.