Modelling and Simulation for Social Systems

Abstracting the world in the form of models and mimicking its behaviour using simulation allows people to better understand the impacts of policy and decision making within a complex and interconnected world. Simulation models of managed systems can be used for forensic analysis, diagnostics, prediction, and learning and insight generation. 

Modelling and Simulation for Social Systems (M&S3) is a Research Initiative whose members are involved in Simulation and Modelling and Simulation Gaming for policy and decision making.

M&S3 Research Initiative Lead - Dr Jonathan Moizer

Dr Jonathan Moizer is an Associate Professor in Business Operations and Strategy within the Faculty of Business. His research and consulting interests include the use of computerised simulation for both policy analysis, decision making and learning. He has particular interest in the use of system dynamics modelling as a simulation approach. 

To find out more about M&S3 contact Jonathan direct: email jonathan.moizer@plymouth.ac.uk  tel +44 1752 585635.


Initiative aims and objectives 

The aim of M&S3 is understand how management policies are designed and decisions taken.

Our objectives are to:

  • carry out applied and theoretical research in the fields of simulation modelling and gaming
  • increase the levels of awareness of good modelling practice within public, third sector and industry settings
  • influence how current (executives and managers) and future (students) problem owners frame thinking around management policy development and decision making.
Our diverse group prepares students for the world of policy and management decision making, consults and advises business and public bodies, and collaborates with co-researchers both nationally and internationally. We would welcome contact from individuals and organisations seeking consultancy support and advice, or collaboration on research challenges. We would also encourage enquiries from prospective doctoral students. Please contact Dr Jonathan Moizer for more information

M&S3 Comprises two emerging themes:

1) Simulation and Modelling for Policy Evaluation and Decision Analysis, where models are built to test alternative assumptions about the world and their robustness. Applications can include problem domains where the outcomes of different interventions merit explanation.

The modelling approaches include, inter alia, system dynamics, agent based modelling, discrete event simulation, socioeconomic, econometrics, stochastic frontier analysis, and data envelopment analysis. Modelling applications would include, among other things, financial, economic, demographic, social and economic policy evaluation, and supply chain management.

2) Simulation Gaming and Gamification for Learning and Insight, where simulation games or gaming principles are used to help people learn about policy development and/or decision making within social systems. This strand of research is pedagogic (students) and andragogic (executives and managers) and seeks to measure levels of generative learning that immersive simulations can bring about.

The gaming approaches include, inter alia, system dynamics flight simulators, agent based modelling, spreadsheet based models, and massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Modelling applications include, among other things, economics, strategic awareness, entrepreneurship, soft skills development, and auction and latecomer strategy.

Modelling & Simulation for Social Science Inaugural Event

Tuesday 11 July, 2017

M&S3's inaugural event took place at Mast House, Plymouth University in July 2017. The membership - comprising researchers at different stages of their research careers - was in full agreement on the aspiration to engage in, involve others in and disseminate good simulation and modelling practice. Presentations covered a broad range of including the importance of gamification, the impact of gamification on entrepreneurship education, macroeconomic modelling and education policy. 

Click here to find out more about the event and the topics discussed


Academics from Cardiff University Deliver Structural Equation Modelling Training at Plymouth

 Structural equation modelling (SEM) is a popular research methodology & features in many peer reviewed academic journals. A “hands on” two day introductory course on using SEM using AMOS software was organised by Dr Jonathan Moizer (M&S3 Research Initiative Coordinator). This was delivered between 7 to 8 September to 25 Plymouth University Faculty of Business academics and post graduate research students by Cardiff University academics – Professor Bottomley, Dr Rob Angell and Dr Martin Toon (L to R in the photo).  Participants learnt how to (i) specify and test their constructs (i.e. measurement scales) and (ii) integrate latent variables into a (quasi) causal framework to test the hypothesised associative relationships between constructs.


Academics Discuss New Gamification App Developed for Teaching and Research


Professor Mauro Figueiredo showcases new ERASMUS funded MILAGE LEARN+ App at iSPER MS3 Event


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