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Thoughts about modeling programs...

A goup of applied researchers at Systems Sciences has developed Economic Simulation Models. This simulation modeling platform looks like it might be interesting to play around with. But I expect that it might be insufficient for the entire project as it is not really a simulation software.

From the website: "The package, or modeling language, permits an analyst to build a network model of an economic system and find equilibrium prices and quantities over time. The network model can include nodes that represent natural resources, conversion processes, markets, and demand centers. Intelligence built into the nodes generates market-driven production, pricing, and capacity expansion decisions for each node that affect the behavior of other nodes in the network."

Perhaps we should look into obtaining a copy of this program?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Skye Bender-deMoll and Dan McFarland's SoNIA is an interesting program that seems worthy of consideration. ("SoNIA is a Java-based prototype package for visualizing dynamic or longitudinal "network" data. By dynamic data, we mean that in addition to information about the relations (ties) between various entities (actors, nodes) there is also information about when these relations occur, or at least the relative order in which they occur.")

SoNIA would allow us to map out, in its most basic form, the directed network that Barabasi speaks of in Linked . However, SoNIA is not very visual; the conclusions that it draws are not apparent in their entirety by simply looking at the model...which brings me to an important question: how visual do we anticipate this model will be? We have "SimCity" on one end of the spectrum, and SoNIA on the other extreme; where do we anticipate that our game will fall on this scale? SoNIA is also lacking for our purposes in that it doesn't have the ability to make links of its own based on the characteristics of its actors, it relies on the programmer to add the links themselves. However, SoNIA does have the ability to model change over time, taking a snapshot at various points.

Visit the SoNIA website at Stanford University.