[FRIAM] Simulation and policy-making

Douglas Roberts doug at parrot-farm.net
Thu Aug 10 00:00:12 EDT 2006


Phil,

Not quite, unfortunately.  EpiSims, and other similar ABMs can all too
easily be used to identify weaknesses and potential exploits of social
infrastructures.  We did studies for the US DHS that demonstrated exactly
this a couple of years ago when I still worked at LANL.  One example was
when we simulated the release of a weaponized aerosol pneumonic plague
disease agent in a certain busy subway station during a simulated rush hour
in a simulated Chicago with a simulated population of 6.2 million people...

--Doug

On 8/9/06, Phil Henshaw <sy at synapse9.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> Those who want to use the tools of systems inquiry for secretly generating
> new kinds of weapons for central authorities to interfere with what
> interests them, won't actually learn much and will cause great harm.
>
>
>
> Phil Henshaw                       ¸¸¸¸.·´ ¯ `·.¸¸¸¸
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> 680 Ft. Washington Ave
> NY NY 10040
> tel: 212-795-4844
> e-mail: pfh at synapse9.com
> explorations: www.synapse9.com
>
>  -----Original Message-----
> *From:* friam-bounces at redfish.com [mailto:friam-bounces at redfish.com] *On
> Behalf Of *Douglas Roberts
> *Sent:* Tuesday, August 08, 2006 9:40 PM
> *To:* The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
> *Subject:* Re: [FRIAM] Simulation and policy-making
>
> Re: simulation and policy-making, a project that my group is working on at
> the request of the current Washington administration is helping to do just
> that.  At the request of a consortium of representatives from the White
> House, Dept of Treasury, DHS, Dept. of State, and a few other cabinet-level
> political types, we have run numerous simulation experimental designs to
> establish the bounds of the effectiveness of various intervention strategies
> for containing an H5N1 pandemic, should it occur in the US.  We are using
> three simulation codes: EpiSims, Epicast, and one from the Imperial College
> in the UK. The name of the project is "Models of Infectious Disease Agent
> Study" (MIDAS), and it is funded by NIH.  See
>
> http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/press/releases/press02202006.html and
> http://usinfo.state.gov/gi/Archive/2005/Aug/08-339612.html
>
> or do a google search on "MIDAS bird flu policy" for more info.
>
> --Doug
>
> On 8/8/06, Robert Holmes <robert at holmesacosta.com> wrote:
> >
> > Oh I thank RAND are probably plenty ambitious in what they simulate for
> > the US govt. Just check out their research areas:
> > http://www.rand.org/research_areas/
> >
> > Robert
> >
> >
> > On 8/8/06, mgd at santafe.edu < mgd at santafe.edu> wrote:
> > >
> > > Quoting Robert Holmes <robert at holmesacosta.com>:
> > >
> > > > So if 'valid' simulations are being used to give the 'wrong'
> > > answers, what
> > > > does that tell us about simulation? Is there ever any hope of
> > > objectivity
> > > > (I'll give away the answer to that: no) or do all social simulations
> > > -
> > > > political or economic - inevitably reflect the prejudices of their
> > > author or
> > > > funder?
> > >
> > > Validated simulations, by definition, reproduce something that the
> > > authors (or
> > > funders) deem relevant as a performance metric.  But that's not a
> > > problem with
> > > models or simulations, assuming the metrics are documented.  If the
> > > authors or
> > > funders are prone to choosing easy, low dimensional things to fit,
> > > they just
> > > need to be more ambitious.
> > >
> > > ============================================================
> > > FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
> > > Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
> > > lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
> > >
> >
> >
> > ============================================================
> > FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
> > Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
> > lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
> >
> >
>
>
> --
> Doug Roberts, RTI International
> droberts at rti.org
> doug at parrot-farm.net
> 505-455-7333 - Office
> 505-670-8195 - Cell
>
> ============================================================
> FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
> Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College
> lectures, archives, unsubscribe, maps at http://www.friam.org
>
>


-- 
Doug Roberts, RTI International
droberts at rti.org
doug at parrot-farm.net
505-455-7333 - Office
505-670-8195 - Cell
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