arXiv covers modeling on an epic scale in Europe’s Plan to Simulate the Entire Earth: a billion dollar plan to build a huge infrastructure for global multiagent models. The core is a massive exaflop “Living Earth Simulator” – essentially the socioeconomic version of the Earth Simulator.
I admire the audacity of this proposal, and there are many good ideas captured in one place:
- The goal is to take on emergent phenomena like financial crises (getting away from the paradigm of incremental optimization of stable systems).
- It embraces uncertainty and robustness through scenario analysis and Monte Carlo simulation.
- It mixes modeling with data mining and visualization.
- The general emphasis is on networks and multiagent simulations.
I have no doubt that there might be many interesting spinoffs from such a project. However, I suspect that the core goal of creating a realistic global model will be an epic failure, for three reasons. Continue reading “The model that ate Europe”