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From Artificial Life to Artificial Societies——New Methods for Studies of Complex Social Systems

WANG Fei-yue 1, J.S.Lansing 2 (1.The Key Laboratory for Complex Systems and Intelligence Science, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China; 2. Santa Fe Institute, NM, University of Arizona, AZ, USA)  
This paper introduces and summaries the basic issues, concepts, and methods of research in artificial societies and its applications in social sciences. A brief description of historical development, key issues, and major difficulties in studies of social science and effectiveness of applying methods in artificial life and artificial societies is presented. Work by Epstein and Axtell on growing artificial societies for investigating complex social systems by the emergence of behaviors and patterns through individual interaction are discussed in details. Finally, the critique, trend and significance of those new approaches for studies of complex systems are addressed.
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