Social simulation is nothing but the application and technology of computers based on the purpose to replicate the human social behavior in different situations and environments. This technology is used for various research purposes throughout psychology, social sciences, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history. Social simulation is found its way to be useful and efficient in commerce as well. Simulations are availed and used for research purposes in the HR or Human Resource department, reputation management and SMM or Social Media Marketing.
A simulation to be exact is a computer program that portrays and represents a social situation or scenario. In a conventional implementation, researchers design the program to replicate a social situation or process and then observe how different individuals portray different behaviors to tackle or deal with such a situation. Generally, simulations are held and practiced to yield predictive data about what might take place in a real-world scenario. Social simulations also play a significant role in the world of research studies. These simulations are held to understand and develop test theories of human behavior implications.
Through the use of social simulation, various topics have been studied and researched. Few of the issues investigated through social simulation include:-
- Development of social conventions and norms
- Foundations of morality
- Dissemination of knowledge
- Development of socially desirable behaviors and attitudes
- Effects of reputation in a competitive environment
There are mainly four different types of social simulations:-
- SLS or System-level simulations help researchers explore any given situation as a whole and how groups or individuals react to the existence of individual variables.
- SLM or System level modeling simulations help create and form a more complex and sophisticated environment which aims to yield prediction data about the behavior of any particular individual or thing present in the situation.
- ABSS or Agent-based social simulation helps exhibit and model societies on intelligent agents and explores their behavior within the simulated situation for real-world situations.
- ABM or Agent-based modeling consists of individual agents along with individual specific behaviors interacting in a network.
The existence of computer simulations offers halfway between understanding in detail about the descriptive approach which includes document observations about human behavior with social practices and experimental approach which helps establish research data for a real-world representation of certain situations.