What are the 4 most important social simulation papers a newcomer to the social simulation field should read?

In 2010, Nigel Gilbert surveyed the simsoc community (among others) to compile the four-volume “Computational Social Science” set for Sage reflecting articles that were thought to be important (and sometimes also inaccessible). Things have moved on and I thought it might be interesting (and hopefully helpful) to update his survey to produce a freely available and more adaptive document (initially available via academia.edu and on the cfpm website).

Please could you send me (Bruce Edmonds) the 4 publications of academic record (books, book chapters, articles but not anything that people might not be able to access) that they think it would be most important for someone coming into social simulation to read along with one sentence about the significance/importance/value of each. Importance can be construed very broadly to include methodology, empirical or substantive insight, innovation in approach, policy importance and so on.

Obviously once we produce the first version of this document the nature of the survey will change (from everyone thinking up four publications on their own to perhaps “endorsing” ones that have already been suggested). While the latter process is still useful/interesting, We am keen to try to recruit the largest possible sample “sight unseen” to get some sense of how much the community agrees about its “canon”. Clearly this will not work with only a few responses. All contributors will be credited in the document.

Please include the word “Canon” in the subject line if you email me about this.


Edmonds & Edmund
(Bruce Edmonds & Edmund Chattoe-Brown)


Bruce Edmonds
Centre for Policy Modelling
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School,
All Saints Campus, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH, UK.
Tel. +161 247 6479 Fax. +161 247 6802