DEIB Seminar Room, 22 – 23 November 2018

Science has entered what has been called the ‘age of computer simulations’, with their massive use in virtually every domain. The wide applicability of simulations in science and technology has called upon an analysis of their results and it has drawn attention to the need for their epistemological justification. Many efforts have been devoted in the last decades to determining the relationship between computer simulations, experiments and theories as the classical sources of knowledge.

If computer simulations have been traditionally used as tools to build tractable models for solving the equations provided by theories, nowadays their role has expanded: besides dealing with the construction of models of greater and greater complexity, computer simulations can be employed in a variety of different situations and contribute in different ways to the definition of models, as well as the construction of artefacts. In particular in the Artificial Sciences, including Robotics, Network Science, AI, computer simulations seem to have a different role, between explanation and discovery. Accordingly, the appropriate justifications for this massive use of simulations in the Artificial Sciences are both methodologically and technical complex.

Following the successful organization of the First Summer School on Computer Simulation Methods, held in Stuttgart in September 25-29, 2017, the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, Politecnico di Milano, Middlesex University London and the Philosophy Department at the Università degli Studi di Milano organize a Research Workshop on Computer Simulations at Politecnico di Milano in November 22-23, 2018. The workshop is meant as the first of a series on “Philosophy and Technologies of Simulations” to be organized every other year.

This first Workshop will be addressing methodological, conceptual and technical problems in computer simulation specifically for the artificial sciences. The aim is to have a small meeting where advances can be made in the foundations of computer simulations for the artificial sciences and current problems discussed.