CoSMoS book draws closer

The CoSMoS project may have concluded, but its research output certainly has not. Members and affiliates of the project met this week to discuss the current state of the CoSMoS book. CoSMoS is the “complex systems modelling and simulation infrastructure” (the “i” is AWOL), and the years of experience in how (and how not) to create representative simulations of complex systems that CoSMoS supported is now culminating in a book. It’s a patterns book – a familiar computer science concept – where each pattern tries to encapsulate and advise on some key concept or technique relating to the messy endeavour that in silico complex systems research can be. Its in good shape, despite the numerous “text to go here” placeholders: the structure and content seems strong to me. Of course the “stuff here” placeholders persist because the many authors, myself included, have yet to venture that far down the proverbial todo lists. Susan Stepney has done a tremendous job getting the book to where it is now, but we are each responsible for providing text for patterns that we either suggested or hold experience in. We’re all willing participants, yet I don’t envy Susan’s job. Studying the organisation and dynamics of complex systems through simulation is highly challenging, and so too is the job of organising the dynamics of academics tasked with writing about it. The current drive is to have the completed draft by end of summer, and the tweaked and polished final book by Christmas.

NB. CoSMoS does have a webpage, but it currently displays a charming “fatal error” communiqué.