© Copyright JASSS

  JASSS logo ----

Scott Moss and others (2002)

A European Social Simulation Association

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation vol. 5, no. 3

To cite articles published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, please reference the above information and include paragraph numbers if necessary

Received: 28-Jun-2002      Accepted: 28-Jun-2002      Published: 30/6/2002

* Abstract

This is a proposal to form a European Social Simulation Association (ESSA). ESSA is intended to coordinate with similar organisations in North America, Latin America and Australasia and other regions to organise an international federation to support the development of social simulation research, education and application.

Development of Social Simulation Research, Education and Application; European Social Simulation Association

There is growing agreement that the time has come to form a learned society to promote the development of social simulation.

The undersigned wish to propose the formation of a European Social Simulation Association (ESSA). Recognising parallel interests and developments in North America, Latin America and Australasia, we would intend ESSA to coordinate with similar organisations in those and other regions to organise an international federation to support the development of social simulation research, education and application.

The objectives of ESSA would be to:
  • Encourage the development of social simulation in Europe and more widely.
  • Promote international cooperation among those working in the field while recognising the distinctiveness of European social simulation research
  • Promote and support the development of European post-graduate courses and other qualifications in social simulation
  • Liaise with other groups to reduce unnecessary clashes in the scheduling of conferences, meetings and workshops relating to social simulation
  • Support and organise regular regional and international conferences

The society will be composed of members who would pay a modest subscription and who will elect officers and a management committee charged with developing the European association and participating in the establishment of a wider supraregional federation of this and similar associations worldwide.

Computational social science as a method and as an approach to analysing the social world has been growing in popularity in the past decade. From modest beginnings in the early 1990s, the field now has many meetings and conferences, is linked to two journals ( JASSS and CMOT), and is becoming more visible to graduate students wanting to write doctoral theses using simulation.

One sign of the vitality of the area is the growing number of papers being submitted to JASSS. Another is the proliferation of meetings worldwide with a simulation or agent-based modelling theme. Although these are healthy signs of 'self-organised' growth, a number of contributors to the field feel that the time has come to promote its development in a more orderly way.

In September 2001, the fifth workshop in the SimSoc series was held in Kazimierz Dolny, Poland and at the end of that meeting, it was resolved to start a 'Society for Social Simulation'.

Independently, a few weeks later at the Sackler Colloquium of the US National Academies of Science on "Adaptive Agents, Intelligence and Emergent Human Organization", held in Irvine, California, some of those present also concluded that a society for social simulation would be desirable. There are now a number of proposals to start graduate programmes in social simulation in the US and several annual workshops and conferences are running or planned (for example, the CMOT and CASOS series at Carnegie-Mellon, the Agent 200x series in Chicago, and the Lake Arrowhead series run from UCLA). Kathleen Carley of Carnegie-Mellon volunteered to promote the idea among North American groups.

In Europe, in addition to SimSoc, there is also the Agent-Based Social Simulation SIG of AgentLink, the International Conferences on Social Simulation, the series of meetings held at Schloss Dagstuhl, and numerous other events.

There is also much activity in Asia, especially in Japan and South-East Asia, and in Australia and there is a need for better contacts at an international level.

The undersigned members of the European social simulation research community wish to encourage these international developments. At the same time, we believe that European research in social simulation has a distinctive character that we wish to preserve and develop. This character is itself diverse and interaction among scholars following these diverse approaches has been constructive and has led to a number of progressive developments. We would distinguish European developments from much, though by no means all American research with its widespread concern to build directly and clearly on conventional social and, in particular, economic theory. While the European, American and other research communities have much in common, we also have our differences and value our respective approaches. For this reason, we would like to see the establishment of independent regional social simulation societies with an overarching federation, the purpose of which will be to sustain a constructive and creative dialogue among adherents to the different approaches as well as to publish journals and to organise supraregional conferences .

We aim to establish the ESSA before the end of 2002. Meanwhile, comments on this proposal, and offers of help (including, for example, assisting with drafting a constitution, collecting a list of forthcoming conferences and meetings, maintaining a membership list and administrating subscriptions, and so on) would be gratefully received.

A web site has been established at http://essa.cfpm.orgpending the release of .eu domain names. An online form for joining ESSA is available from the web page. There will be no initial subscription fee but we are intending to charge €50 a year for full members and €35 a year for student members from 1 January 2003. It is also intended to hold elections for officers and members of the management committee of the Association who will take office on 1 January.

Please send offers and comments to David Hales at d.hales@mmu.ac.uk.


Scott Moss, Acting Chair
Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester, UK
Klaus Troitzsch, Acting Treasurer
University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
David Hales, Acting Secretary
Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester, UK
Nigel Gilbert
Centre for Research in Social Simulation, Surrey, UK
Rosaria Conte
Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology, CNR, Rome, Italy
Rainer Hegselmann
University of Bayreuth, Germany
Charlotte Hemelrijk
University of Zurich, Switzerland
Edmund Chattoe
University of Oxford, UK
Olivier Barrateau
François Bousquet
CIRAD, France
Adolfo Lopez Paredes
University of Valladolid, Spain
Juliette Rouchier
CNRS, France
Wander Jager
University of Groningen
Alexis Drogoul
LIP6, University of Paris VI

ButtonReturn to Contents of this issue

© Copyright Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, [2002]