UK SimCity-Style Social Policy Model - A Kingdom In A Box
The Modelling and Simulation for e-Social Science project has been funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council National Centre for e-Social Science. It's purpose? To build a real-life "SimCity" simulation model of the entire UK population. SimCity is a simulation and city-building computer and video game originally designed by Will Wright.
The data comes from the 2001 census; no individual person or individual household will be identifiable. The term "e-Science" refers specifically to science that can be done when researchers have access to resources held on widely-dispersed computers as though they were on their own desktops.
Dr. Mark Birkin and some of his colleagues at the University of Leeds will be demonstrating their model at the UK e-Science supercomputing conference in Florida this week.
"We're building a core model which represents the whole of the UK at the level of (synthetic) individuals and households with many attributes and behaviours," says Dr Birkin.
"Historically, people have assembled data on a single PC or workstation. E-Science provides exciting opportunities to access multiple databases from remote, virtual locations, making it possible to develop highly generic simulation models which are easy to update."
The model can be projected into the future to look at demographic trends; it can also be used to test the consequences of policy decisions. The software will be able to accurately profile populations by area, forecasting attributes like health status and employment ten or twenty years in advance.
(The original SimCity)
Most people are unaware of the science-fictional roots of the real-life SimCity software, which was introduced in 1989. Creator Will Wright acknowleges that Stanislaw Lem's marvelous 1965 story The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age is one of the key inspirations for his software.
In the story, Trurl the constructor robot gives an amazing gift to an exiled dictator - a kingdom in a box:
...all of this ... fit into a box ... just the size to be carried about with ease. This Trurl presented to Excelcius, to rule and have dominion over forever; but first he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars, quell rebellions, exact tribute, collect taxes ... and explained everything so well that the king, an old hand in the running of tyrannies, instantly grasped the directions and, without hesitation, while the constructor watched, issued a few trial proclamations, correctly manipulating the control knobs, which were carved with imperial eagles and regal lions.
(Read more about Stanislaw Lem's kingdom in a box)
Read a bit more in the Modelling and Simulation for e-Social Science press release.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/14/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion (Back On) ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Millimeter-Scale Computing For 'Internet of Things'
'In their megalomania they thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'- Stanislaw Lem, 1965.
Fujitsu Touchscreen Mixes Real And Virtual Worlds
'His hands flashed over the keyboard - it had not been there a moment before, but it was operative...'- Frederik Pohl, 1965.
Nanowire Memristor Networks Form 'Brains'
'He had constructed ... a brain, of metal... whose atomic structure he claimed was analogous to the atomic structure of a living brain.'- Edmond Hamilton, 1926.
US Census Will Be Online In 2020
'Most would be in English, but some would be in Spanish, some in Amerind languages, some in Chinese...'- John Brunner, 1975.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Hungry? Grow Nutritious Insects At Home
'...I balked when my wife served me termites.'
Snowboarding On Mars? Heinlein Was Ready
How long ago did Robert Heinlein write about skiing on dry alien worlds?
Orwell's '1984' Hits Bestseller Lists Thanks To PRISM
'There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.'
Roboroach Control? There's An App For That
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'
Court OK's DNA Collection Like 'Gattaca'
DNA sampling is not the same as fingerprinting.
Squid Vs. Whale Diorama Liked By Humans, Aliens
'Everything was ready, awaiting the Overlords' pleasure...'
Iceberg Harvesting Off Newfoundland's Coast
'Five hundred billion gallons worth of Antarctic iceberg had been towed into Santa Monica Bay.'
Sony's A4-Sized Flexible Digital Paper Notepad
'...he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit and scan the latest reports...'
Contact Lens Video Display Electronics Now Transparent
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it...'
Tesla's Supercharge Station Plan
'To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every town and village...'
Millimeter-Scale Computing For 'Internet of Things'
'In their megalomania they thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'
Your Own Handheld Biosensor
'I'm gonna do a hand-held Boink, real quick,' Littleberry said'
DARPA's Warrior Web
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'
Chris Hadfield, Space Oddity And Space Lawyers
'Had incorporated himself, in fact, under the laws of Vesta.'
Oceanwings For Underwater Human Flight
'He flexed his legs, the massive flukes thrust back jerkily in response...'
CurvACE Artificial Compound Insect Eye
'...transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it ... saw with its minute vision tubes.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories