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


Variables, Decisions, and Scripting in Construct

Brian R. Hirshman, Kathleen M. Carley

September 2009


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

Keywords: Construct, multi-agent simulation, dynamic network analysis, agent modelling, scripting

Simulation designers benefit from a flexible system for creating scenarios that are easy to modify, expressive, and allow for more complex interventions to be assessed. This technical report introduces a C-like scripting language that can be used with Construct in order to support numeric variables as well as user-specified decisions. This scripting language can be used to specify outputs in a targeted manner, allowing the user to modify the type of output created without modifying the underlying code. The scripting language also allows the simulation to be self-modifying, allowing the knowledge, beliefs, or decisions of an agent to influence the evolution of the overall simulation. Such abilities greatly increase the power of Construct and extend the scope of the simulation.

68 pages

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