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EB-DEVS: A Formal Framework for Modeling and Simulation of Emergent Behavior in Dynamic Complex Systems

by   Daniel J. Foguelman, et al.

Emergent behavior is a key feature defining a system under study as a complex system. Simulation has been recognized as the only way to deal with the study of the emergency of properties (at a macroscopic level) among groups of system components (at a microscopic level), for the manifestations of emergent structures cannot be deduced from analysing components in isolation. A systems-oriented generalisation must consider the presence of feedback loops (micro components react to macro properties), interaction among components of different classes (modular composition) and layered interaction of subsystems operating at different spatio-temporal scales (hierarchical organisation). In this work we introduce Emergent Behavior-DEVS (EB-DEVS) a Modeling and Simulation (M S) formalism that permits reasoning about complex systems where emergent behavior is placed at the forefront of the analysis activity. EB-DEVS builds on the DEVS formalism, adding upward/downward communication channels to well-established capabilities for modular and hierarchical M S of heterogeneous multi-formalism systems. EB-DEVS takes a minimalist stance on expressiveness, introducing a small set of extensions on Classic DEVS that can cope with emergent behavior, and making both formalisms interoperable (the modeler decides which subsystems deserve to be expressed via micro-macro dynamics). We present three case studies: flocks of birds with learning, population epidemics with vaccination and sub-cellular dynamics with homeostasis, through which we showcase how EB-DEVS performs by placing emergent properties at the center of the M S process.


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