Look to existing models for inspiration (policy-relevant simulations in AnyLogic)

There are many runnable models in the AnyLogic online repository, https://www.runthemodel.com. AnyLogic is notable for supporting Systems Dynamics, Agent-based modelling, and Discrete Event simulation in the same modelling platform. They have demonstration models online which include a number of interesting categories:

I extracted a few example models with particular policy relevance. All of these are runnable in your web browser with the appropriate plug-in (Note that in order to use Java 7 you must use Safari or Firefox. Chrome does not currently support Java 7). They are stimulating to play with, and can provide inspiration for models that might work well in a Lab setting.

Need expertise from all sides of an issue? Seek out public broadcasting — Design

The Agenda broadcast an episode on safety, including food safety, relevant to our current interest in food-policy. The kind of well-informed interviews you find on public broadcasting can provide excellent qualitative information on a policy domain.

“Consumed with care: from toys from abroad to food from home, what can the consumer safely expect? What global supply chains and the promise of an ever-safer future mean to our expectations of consumer safety.”



Guidelines for Contributors

Social Innovation Simulation is created using the Visual WordPress theme. Among other things, this allows for the beautiful infinite scrolling, and attractive gridded photographs. A key advantage of this format is that videos can be played right from the main page. The reader can easily sample multiple models without having to drill down.

Pieces published on Social Innovation Simulation come in five categories (Design Principles, Prototypes, Games, Tutorials, Stories), as described on our About page.

Here is a handy checklist to ensure that your piece fits neatly with our style criteria.
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Facilitate information flow

SankeyDiagramScreenshotGood_670Example of many pieces of information organized coherently: a Sankey diagram

This is the second of four reflections by Benjamin Carr on principles which allow simulations and visualizations to help us understand complex systems.

Visualization can enable the user to make sense of a lot of data in a short period of time. Ideally, a well-designed structure is displayed which an individual can use to organize incoming information. Rather than having to take in many separate pieces of information and organize them individually, the information is already arranged coherently. This facilitates the task of remembering and comprehension.
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Engage the User

This is the first of four reflections by Benjamin Carr on principals which allow simulations and visualizations to help us understand complex systems.

Simulations and visualizations are, for a variety of reasons, effective at engaging the user. I find the colors, shapes, and patterns pull my attention in a way that text cannot. Another property which makes these tools engaging is their interactive capacities, as can be seen with this stock and flow diagram. In such cases, the user has the ability to change the values of important variables. The user is positioned as an active component in the production of whatever result the tool generates.

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Simulating Social Innovation webinar: Tues, Aug 27 at noon

We’d love it if you would join us for a live webinar about the simulation project. We’ll be demoing some of our prototypes, taking questions, and talking about where the project is heading next.

WHO: Mark Tovey and Kirsten Robinson
WHAT: Inspiring Action for Social Impact Series
WHEN: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013, from 12PM–1PM EST

Pre-register here. Details below.

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