Ontology Based Business Simulations

Thomas Farrenkopf, Michael Guckert, Neil Urquhart, Simon Wells
2016 Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation  
Within business games there is a need to provide realistic feedback for decisions made, if such business games are to continue to remain relevant in increasingly complex business environments. We address this problem by using so ware agents to simulate individuals and to model their actions in response to business decisions. In our initial studies we have used so ware agents to simulate consumers who make buying decisions based on their private preferences and those prevalent within their
more » ... network. This approach can be applied to search for behavioural patterns in social structures and to verify predicted values based on a priori theoretical considerations. Individual behaviour can be modelled for each agent and its e ects within the marketplace can be examined by running simulations. Our simulations are founded upon the BDI so ware model (belief-desire-intention) combined with ontologies to make world knowledge available to the agents which can then determine their actions in accordance with this knowledge. We demonstrate how ontologies can be integrated into the BDI concept utilising the Jadex agent framework. Our examples are based upon the simulation of market mechanisms within the context of di erent industries. We use a framework, developed previously, known as AGADE within which each agent evolves its knowledge using an ontology maintained during the simulation. This generic approach allows the simulation of various consumer scenarios which can be modelled by creating appropriate ontologies. the participants to draw conclusions on cause and e ect. The underlying models are based on sets of di erence or di erential equations (see Forrester , in his System Dynamics approach) or other methods that emphasise quantitative aspects (see Gros ). Agents are a far more natural instrument to model complex dynamic systems as they allow to directly model individual behaviour which in consequence leads to system wide effects. A restructuring of the representational infrastructure of complex social systems has occurred as Wilensky & Rand ( ) put forth and this will in consequence have an impact on the quality of business simulations. Idea . The e ectiveness of a business game as an educational tool depends entirely on its feasibility to real world scenarios and on the instant feedback provided by the game which should both appear as realistic as possible (see Kaynak et al. ; Baldissin et al. ). The more realistic the model the more valuable the educational experience. In our scenario we assume that the business game involves specifying, producing and pricing a consumer product which is then released into a marketplace for sale. Products perceived as desirable will outsell those perceived as less attractive. We propose that realistic simulation of a consumer marketplace can be achieved by the use of agents to model consumer behaviour and communication.
doi:10.18564/jasss.3266 fatcat:wap4awgwojedrfi3t7e73zr5oq