[Humanist] 27.558 model, modelling, simulation

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Nov 26 08:18:55 CET 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 558.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Peter van Kranenburg                                      (20)
                <peter.van.kranenburg at meertens.knaw.nl>
        Subject: Re:  27.554 model, modelling, simulation

  [2]   From:    Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>                       (75)
        Subject: Re:  27.554 model, modelling, simulation


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:16:25 +0100
        From: Peter van Kranenburg <peter.van.kranenburg at meertens.knaw.nl>
        Subject: Re:  27.554 model, modelling, simulation
        In-Reply-To: <20131125092021.4F19E7725 at digitalhumanities.org>

On 11/25/13 10:20 AM, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
> Modelling moves in time. So does simulating. But it's curious that
> whereas "model" refers to an object only, "simulation" refers both to an
> object and a process. So I am beginning to think that the two basic
> kinds can be distinguished by the fact that once we build the
> simulation, we either stand back and observe or play the game. We don't
> tinker with the rules of the game.

... during the 'game', but afterwards we do. That would make a 
simulation a specific kind of model, namely one that represents a process.

best,
Peter van Kranenburg

-- 
Peter van Kranenburg, PhD, MSc, MA.

http://goo.gl/N8LX9p
http://www.lodebar.nl/pvk

Visiting Address:
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Joan Muyskenweg 25; 1096 CJ Amsterdam; Netherlands

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Tel: +31 (0)20 4628533



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 10:00:02 -0600
        From: Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  27.554 model, modelling, simulation
        In-Reply-To: <20131125092021.4F19E7725 at digitalhumanities.org>


Willard

 Anyone in the Humanities Computing/Digital Humanities community
who is using computing tools as identified here (as a sample reference):

 http://nlp.stanford.edu/fsnlp/

 is already doing modelling and has implicitly or explicitly accepted the
notion of using statistical models as an integral mode of knowledge inquiry.
-p

Paul Fishwick, PhD
Chair, ACM SIGSIM
Distinguished Chair of Arts & Technology 
   and Professor of Computer Science
Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
The University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Technology
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Home: utdallas.edu/atec/fishwick
Blog: creative-automata.com

On Nov 25, 2013, at 3:20 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

> 
>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 554.
>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
> 
> 
> 
>        Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 07:02:51 +0000
>        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>        Subject: model, modelling, simulation
> 
> When I wrote the chapter on the notion of "model" for Humanities 
> Computing (Palgrave, 2005) I read everything I could then get my hands 
> on that made an attempt to define it. I sped quickly and bravely past 
> all the warning signs of dangerous polysemy ahead, surveyed it all and 
> came to my own conclusions. These anyone who is interested may read. But 
> chief among them was that "model" was if not the wrong word for what we 
> do certainly a misleading one, because (as Bob Amsler put it) what we do 
> moves in time. So I recommended "modelling" as the central idea. I more 
> or less ignored "simulation" and "simulating" -- a serious shortcoming 
> of that account but, I hope, forgivable given the complexities 
> involved. But a serious shortcoming nevertheless.
> 
> It's clear that the murk has not cleared itself up. There are surely 
> some models in our work that last long enough to give continuing life to 
> the idea of a settled representation of something. But I like to think 
> that these are the exception in the context of research (as opposed to 
> the context of building of things to fit given specifications). In the 
> context of research (which is a kind of search not a kind of finding, 
> no?) one of the big problems is the assumption, as Brian Rotman puts it 
> in Ad Infinitum: The Ghost in Turing's Machine (Stanford 1993), of an 
> anterior reality to which the model corresponds, or as Jerome McGann 
> says in many places on behalf of literature, that what we work with is not 
> self-identical. The problem (as I understand it, all serious 
> qualifications applying) is that we do not stand apart from the action 
> but are part of it -- we begin immediately to see the object in terms of 
> the modelling we are doing. And I suppose one could argue that prior to 
> all that, given that we are immersed in computational thinking, we have 
> already construed the object computationally in some basic sense.
> 
> Modelling moves in time. So does simulating. But it's curious that 
> whereas "model" refers to an object only, "simulation" refers both to an 
> object and a process. So I am beginning to think that the two basic 
> kinds can be distinguished by the fact that once we build the 
> simulation, we either stand back and observe or play the game. We don't 
> tinker with the rules of the game.
> 
> Does that fly?
> 
> Yours,
> WM
> -- 
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
> Humanities, University of Western Sydney




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