Attending to Temporal Assumptions May Enrich Autonomous Agent Computer Simulations

Attending to Temporal Assumptions May Enrich Autonomous Agent Computer Simulations

Gus Koehler (University of Southern California, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/jats.2009010101
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Abstract

Agent-based computer simulations use agents on landscapes to investigate epidemics, social phenomena, decision making, supply networks, the behavior of biological systems, and physical and chemical processes, among other things. This essay examines how agents and landscapes are oriented in time and this orientation’s relevance to observing and interpreting findings. I argue that the proposed temporal deepening of how simulations are constructed involving interaction of multiple temporalities (itself a kind of temporality) could lead to the unexpected triggering of cascades of secondary emergences. Such cascades may already be there but going unobserved. Buddhist cosmology is briefly used as a contrast with current simulation temporal orientations to illuminate key points. Katherine Hayles’s work on media, my theoretical work on time-ecologies and heterochrony, and J. T. Fraser’s theory of the nested hierarchy of time and associated causalities are used to explore these issues.

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