How are physical and social spaces related? – cognitive agents as the necessary “glue”

Edmonds, Dr Bruce (2003) How are physical and social spaces related? – cognitive agents as the necessary “glue”. [Preprint]

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There have been very few models which explicitly include actions and effects within a physical space as well as communication and action within a social space. This paper argues that such models will be necessary if we are to understand how and why human entities organise themselves in physical space. A consequence of such models will involve a move away from relatively simple individual-based simulations towards more complex agent-based simulations due to the necessary encapsulation of the agents who act in space and communicate with peers. Thus some sort of cognitive agency will be necessary to connect the communication with the action of the individuals. This parallels Carley’s call for social network models to be agentified (Carley). Thus this paper argues that such agency will be unavoidable in adequate models of the spatial distribution of human-related actors and, further, that the spaces within which action and communication occur will have to be, at least somewhat, distinct. Thus the burdon of proof is upon those modellers who omit such aspects. To establish the potential importance of the interplay between social and physical spaces, and to illustrate the approach I am suggesting, I exhibit a couple of agent-based simulations which involve both physical and social spaces. The first of these is an abstract model whose purpose is simply to show how the topology of the social space can have a direct influence upon spatial self-organisation, and the second is a more descriptive model which aims to show how a suitable agent-based model may inform observation of social phenomena by suggesting questions and issues that need to be investigated.

Item Type:Preprint
Additional Information:Presented at the "topical workshop on agent-based computational modelling " in Vienna, Decmber 2003. A version to be published in a book based around this workshop.
Keywords:space, geography, social network, segragation, water demand, fear, agents, social simulation
Subjects:Psychology > Social Psychology > Social simulation
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:4261
Deposited By: Edmonds, Dr Bruce
Deposited On:20 Apr 2005
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

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