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e-Infrastructure for Large-Scale Social Simulation. Mark Birkin Andy Turner. Simulation Infrastructure. Background Features Capabilities Current developments, plans and priorities. Background. Aim :

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E infrastructure for large scale social simulation l.jpg

e-Infrastructure for Large-Scale Social Simulation

Mark Birkin

Andy Turner

Simulation infrastructure l.jpg
Simulation Infrastructure

  • Background

  • Features

  • Capabilities

  • Current developments, plans and priorities

Background l.jpg

  • Aim:

  • Exploring the extent to which it is possible to develop robust representations (models) of cities and regions:

  • - as they are

  • - as they will be

  • - as they could be

Background4 l.jpg

  • Objectives

  • Realistic representations of cities

  • Medium-term projections

  • Changing behaviours and activity patterns

    Service utilisation

    Resource planning

    Scenario-based forecasting

  • Technology interfaces

Background5 l.jpg

  • The Population Reconstruction Model (PRM)

Deprivation in Leeds, 2001

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  • The Dynamic Model: Elderly Population



Background7 l.jpg

  • The Scenario Model: Air Quality



Traffic Intensity *


* Traffic Intensity=Traffic load/Road capacity

Background8 l.jpg

Population and average speed changes in Leeds from 2001 to 2031

Features 1 l.jpg
Features (1)

  • A formidable requirement for processing and storage:

  • PRM takes anything from several minutes to several days depending on the choice of algorithm and spatial extent

  • a typical set of forecasts

  • 800,000 individuals

  • 30 characteristics

  • 30 time periods

  • 20 scenarios

  • now duplicate for the ‘other’ 58 million!

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Features (2)

  • An array of data sources which are potentially distributed:

  • Small Area Statistics

  • Sample of Anonymised Records

  • Special Migration Statistics

  • ONS Vital Statistics

  • BHPS

  • General Household Survey

  • Health Survey for England

  • Map boundaries and other spatial datasets

  • and so on...

Features 3 l.jpg
Features (3)

  • Requires a capability for interrogation of data/ models/ scenarios and visualisation of the resulting outputs:





Features l.jpg

  • Architecture

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  • Service-Oriented Architecture

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Plans and Prospects

  • National e-Infrastructure for Spatial Simulation (NeISS)

  • 1/4/09-31/3/12, 18 man years, £2 million budget

  • JISC Information Environment Programme:

  • “Developing e-Infrastructure to support research disciplines”

  • - production-level simulation tools and services

  • - social simulation exemplars

  • - integration of tools and respositories

  • - establish standards and frameworks

  • - work with stakeholders: raise awareness, build capacity, provide new services

Plug and play architecture l.jpg
Plug-and-play architecture?





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NeISS: Letters of Support

  • Partners: Leeds, Manchester, Southampton, UCL, Glasgow, STFC, Stirling

  • E-Infrastructure service providers and stakeholders: NGS; NeSC; CCSR; Mimas; ESRC; UKRDS; Census Programme; UKOLN; EGI

  • User community: NCRM; Autodesk; Demographic Decisions; COMPASS; CGS; Newcastle School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences; Agriculture and Agri-food Canada; Liverpool School of Geography; Reading School of Systems Engineering; Royal Town Planning Institute; Macaulay Institute; AGI; EUAsiaGrid

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NeISS Community

  • Three tiers:

  • end-users (naïve)

  • research users (sophisticated)

  • contributors (“power users”)

  • Lifecycle model?

Questions l.jpg

  • What other simulations can we add to the portfolio?

  • Is it possible to build a community of both users and developers for social simulation?

  • What additional functions and services can be provided to support a social services infrastructure?

  • What are key datasets for the simulation community?

  • How important is computational grunt as a constraint? Are there other bottlenecks to simulation modelling which might be overcome through an e-infrastructure?

Conclusions l.jpg

  • NCeSS programme has introduced a platform and elements for the establishment of a research infrastructure for social simulation

  • NeISS project will provide the resources to implement a ‘production level’ version of these technologies

  • The project will stand or fall by its ability to engage with the social simulation research community

  • - your support is crucially important!!

References l.jpg

  • Birkin M, Townend P, Turner A, Wu B, Xu J (2007) An Architecture for Social Simulation Models to Support Spatial Planning

  • http://www.ncess.ac.uk/events/conference/2007/papers/paper214.pdf

  • (Social Science Computing Review, in press).

  • Townend P, Xu J, Birkin M, Turner A, Wu B (2008) Modelling and Simulation for e-Social Science Through the Use of Service-Orientation and Web 2.0 Technologies

  • http://www.ncess.ac.uk/events/conference/programme/workshop1/?ref=/programme/fri/4ctownend.htm

  • (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, in press)