Book at Vrin Editions (Paris) : "From the Model to the Computer Simulation" (in french)
"Du modèle à la simulation informatique", Franck Varenne, Paris, Vrin, collection Mathesis, September 2007, 249 pages, 19 euros.
Webpage of the editor on this book :
Available at :
Presentation of the book :
"With the recent evolution of models in the direction of heterogeneous and mixt multimodels and computer simulations, formalizations in complex sciences are more and more integrative. Although it may seem paradoxical because of their highly formal texture, they tend to be more 'realistic'.
In what precise sense ?
On the contrary to the traditional scientific models, these formalizations are no more simply 'treated' by the computer. They are fundamentally built on some software-based frame-works (object-oriented languages, multi-agent systems) and on their highly integrative power.
What could be the epistemic roles of this rather new kind of formal modeling ?
As a source of knowledge, how is it possible to distinguish this kind of heterogeneous computation from the specific creativity of computation in mathematics ?
Focusing on recent cases of modeling and simulation of plants in computer-assisted botany (AMAP), computer graphics (L-systems), virtual agronomy and forestry, this book offers insights on these new topics of epistemology of formalizations in sciences.
On the one hand, this book tries to show how computer simulations are profoundly renewing the traditional questions on the relations between mathematics, symbolic languages, computation, computer languages and replication.
On the other hand, it sheds new lights on the current questions concerning the new ways of integration ('re-unification') of disparate scientific disciplines around a common formal object, namely a complex multimodel and/or simulation.
Franck Varenne, MS from the Ecole Superieure d’Electricite (Supelec), MA in Philosophy, MA in History, Dr. in History and Philosophy of Sciences, is currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Knowledge at the University of Rouen (France). He is member of the GEMAS-lab (Groupe d’Etude des Méthodes de l’Analyse Sociologique) - UMR 8598 / CNRS / Paris Sorbonne".