SIMULATION SI: Whole of Society Modeling: Human, Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Modeling Challenges

Call For Papers

SIMULATION: Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International

Special Issue: Whole of Society Modeling: Human, Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Modeling Challenges


The discipline of Modeling and Simulation (M&S) is ubiquitous in many application domains, such as training and education, support of decision-making, or analysis of potential developments. More and more decision makers in policy, industry, and security apply M&S extensively and enable pioneering new applications of M&S. In parallel, world-wide collaboration of very different organizations is required to face new challenges of relief operations after disasters, reconstruction, crisis prevention, providing police tasks, and many others. Such challenges of these tasks require a new view on M&S support as well, as a "whole of society" approach is needed, including and focusing on human, social, cultural, and behavioral modeling. Human and social sciences are playing an increasing role. In order to provide decision makers and analysts with the appropriate M&S support, several hurdles need to be taken.

We need to broaden the community of interest and integrate experts from the human and social sciences in order to capture more aspects relevant to whole of society modeling approaches. This requires several cultural changes, as currently the M&S community and human and social sciences are separated by different approaches and views on how to solve problems. The recent RAND publication edited by Paul K. Davis and Kim Cragin (2009) "Social Science for Counterterrorism - Putting the Pieces Together" highlights such problems.

Another challenge is of technical a nature. While the military applications pioneered the use of world-wide distributed simulation and drove the standards enabling such endeavors, such as IEEE1278 Distributed Interactive Simulation and IEEE 1516 High Level Architecture, the idea to develop a simulation system for the integration into a bigger synthetic environment is not yet common in non-military application domains. Although M&S has increasing importance in transportation, health science, and other areas, many applications are still developed as a stand-alone tool to deal with a specific viewpoint to understand a problem better or to evaluate a possible solution. To compose the M&S applications with other applications is often not considered at all, or as an afterthought even when the system has been successfully applied. How to provide a common integration framework and provide migration support for the relevant M&S application of contributing discipline is a special challenge, as the worldview used for the conceptualization will vary much more than the community faced so far.

This Special Issue of the SIMULATION Journal aims to establish and contribute to a research agenda for Whole of Society Modeling: Human, Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Modeling Challenges. Authors of high quality, unpublished contributions to this field of Modeling and Simulation are invited to submit papers to this Special Issue.

This special issue is aimed to solicit papers on the following topics of interest, but not limited to:
  • Applications in support of Whole of Society Modeling
      - Human, social, cultural, and behavior modeling
      • Perspectives from diverse human sciences including political science, sociology, psychology, neurosciences, economics, etc.
      • Models of decision making and the impact of cultural differences
      - Applications of human behavior modeling in applications outside defense including political sciences, human sciences, and social sciences, business and marketing
  • Integrative concepts including
      - Stability operations
      - Relief operations
      - Incorporation of multiple scales of models (individual, group, society)
      - Incorporation of widely diverse time scales
  • Theoretic contributions in support of Whole of Society Modeling
      - Review of cultural difference among the relevant research communities
      • Different ways of framing the foundational concepts
      • Different conceptual models, taxonomies
      • Different notions of data, creating digital data from plain text information
      - New M&S approaches from human and social sciences
      - Evaluation of necessary human and social aspects for whole of society approaches - mission-driven needs assessment
      - Conceptual modeling challenges supporting the mediation between different viewpoints represented by models
      • Assumptions and theoretical foundations
      • Inherent limitations
      - Support of different viewpoints contributing to a common solution
      • Creating a whole cloth out of diverse theoretical approaches
      • Novel means for expressing and executing models that expose different perspectives of the "Whole of Society"
  • Technical support of Whole of Society Modeling
      - When can/should models be combined - possibilities and limitations
      • Ecological modeling
      - Creation of communities of interest to foster cross-disciplinary development of modeling concepts and capabilities
      - Impact of sparse, noisy and missing data on model execution and sharing
      - Using agent-based approaches as enablers for Whole of Society modeling
      - Methods and tools for a common integration platform (should include invitations to the current integration frameworks in the field including COMPOEX, SEAS, etc.
      - Methods and tools enabling migration of applicable solutions towards common integration platforms or standardized solutions
      - Requirements for new M&S standards supporting whole of society modeling
      - Roadmaps to common methods and tools, such as evolution of Enterprise Lexicon Services, Taxonomies and Thesauri, and other ontological means (invitation to NAS if they are finished with their assessment in this area - I believe they are funded to do some of this).

Instructions for Manuscript Preparation

For manuscript formatting and other guidelines, please visit the Author Guidelines for SIMULATION.

Submissions for Full Paper Review

All manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the paper submission system to the SIMULATION Manuscript Submission System. In your cover letter author(s) must specifically mark that the paper is intended for this special issue as follows: "Submission for the Special Issue of Simulation: Whole of Society Modeling: Human, Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Modeling Challenges. "

Note: Manuscripts must not have been previously published or be submitted for publication elsewhere. Each submitted manuscript must include title, names, authors' affiliations, postal and e-mail addresses, an extended paper, and a list of keywords. For multiple author submission, please identify the corresponding author.

Due Dates

Full Papers Due January 10, 2010
Notification of Acceptance March 1, 2010
Minor Revisions Due May 15, 2010
Major Revisions Due June 15, 2010
Publication Expected Fall 2012

Final paper submissions

Each final submission must be prepared based on the Simulation journal requirements (see Author Guidelines for SIMULATION page).

Guest Editors: