The NeISS project (National e-Infrastructure for Social Simulation) has been funded by the JISC as part of its Information Environment Programme. It will provide a platform to meet the demand for powerful simulation tools by social scientists, public and private sector policymakers. Social Simulation is an expanding field due to its forecasting applications for scenarios in transport, housing, education, healthcare etc.
The NeISS project will build a generic production quality social simulation e-Infrastructure covering the social simulation lifecycle. It will introduce social scientists to new ways of thinking about social problems, and provide new services, tools and research communities to support them. It will provide an e-Infrastructure framework capable of being deployed for a diverse range of social research domains (i.e., not limited to simulation). The tools will enable researchers to create workflows to run their own simulations, visualise and analyse results, and publish them for future discovery, sharing and re-use. This will facilitate development and sharing of social simulation resources within the social science community, encourage cooperation between model developers and researchers, and help foster adoption of simulation as a research method in the social sciences, and as a decision support tool in the public and private sectors.
Challenges that NeISS will address include:
Sustainability will be addressed through a number of interrelated community and capacity building activities: implementing an architecture conformant with relevant standards, enabling social scientists to contribute data, develop and share models and services; exploring connections to learning and teaching in the social sciences, such as postgraduate courses; a coordinated programme of outreach and training events; developing business models that cater for the growing numbers of public and private sector users of simulation.
NeISS builds on prior work by the ESRC National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS) which has developed social simulation services. By productising these services, developing new services and providing these through a sustainable eInfrastructure, with associated community development, NeISS seeks to establish a world-class capability for the UK.
NeISS is a collaboration between project partners at