Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


300 Cities Virtual Experiment

Jessica McGillen, Michael K. Martin, Dawn Robertson,
Neal Altman, Kathleen M. Carley

September 2009


Center for the Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems
CASOS Technical Report

Keywords: IRS, Tax, Taxpayers, multi-agent modelling, intentional error, inadvertent error, paid preparers, virtual experiment, construct, SmartCard

This report provides an overview of the preparations required for the virtual experiment we will conduct for the IRS as part of the 300 cities subproject. We briefly describe the tax gap and taxpayer issues, our revised approach, the Construct framework and the models developed for the multi-agent simulation. Where appropriate, we provide references to other technical reports that describe in more detail the models for intentional and inadvertent taxpayer errors, and paid preparers. We also briefly describe how we populate Construct with agents representative of the populations of U.S. cities by sampling from U.S. census data, deriving relevant taxpayer issues for each agent, generating empirically reasonable social networks for each agent, and building Construct input decks automatically. The generation of social networks based on the socio-demographic attributes of individuals found in census data is an advance worthy of the more detailed description found yet another technical report. We then briefly describe the design and anticipated analysis of the 300 cities virtual experiment. We conclude with a brief reference to the SmartCard application that will be used to deliver the results of the virtual experiment along with socio-demographic information and taxpayer issues for each of the cities. Details of the implementation of the SmartCard can be found in the referenced report.

27 pages

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