Building Better Crime Simulations: Systematic replication and the introduction of incremental complexity
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Computer simulation models have changed the ways in which researchers are able to observe and study social phenomena such as crime. The ability of researchers to replicate the work of others is fundamental to a cumulative science, yet this rarely occurs in computer simulations. In this paper, we argue that, for computer simulations to be seen as a legitimate methodology in social science, and for new knowledge to be generated, serious consideration needs to be given to how simulations could or should be replicated. We develop the concept of systematic replication, a method for developing simulation experiments that move towards a generalisable inference that is directed, explicit, and incorporates complexity incrementally. Finally, we outline how the discrete parts of this process might be carried out in practice, using a simple simulation model.
Journal of Experimental Criminology
© 2008 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Experimental Criminology, Vol. 4(3), pp. 309-333, 2008. Journal of Experimental Criminology is available online at: http://www.springerlink.com/ with the open URL of your article.
Information and Computing Sciences not elsewhere classified
Criminology not elsewhere classified