Laputa is a program for simulating the epistemological aspects of a society. It allows the user to design different society structures, and run various tests on these. It currently implements a Bayesian belief update strategy.
TWO PRIMARY CONCEPTS:
INQUIRERS AND LINKS
Laputa is centered around two primary concepts: Inquirers and Links. A society consists of a set of inquirers, and a set of communicational links between these. Each inquirer determines how she is to update her degree of belief in the face of evidence, and also how she is to find this evidence. The links determine which inquirers can receive information from which, and how this information is handled. Thus, a link to an inquirer can also be seen as an aspect of her investigative behaviour.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
OWN INQUIRY AND OTHER INQUIRERS
Each time step, they randomly decide what to do, based on their parameters. A Simulation is a possible evolution of a society of such inquirers, and a Batch Simulation is a collection of such simulations, with varying starting parameters. When a simulation is run, Laputa calculates the epistemic value of the result in order to facilitate comparison of the effectiveness of different society structures.
DETERMINING SOCIETIES' PROPERTIES
Since batch simulations generate societies randomly, they require specification of Probability Distributions that determine the properties of the societies generated, as well as Metadistributions, which determine whole probability distributions randomly.
RUNNING SEVERAL TESTS AT ONCE
For running several tests at once, Laputa offers the Multibatch simulation interface. This allows the user to run a set of batch simulations with varying parameters, and record the results in a spreadsheet.
Laputa is the creation of Sofie Angere (formerly known as Staffan Angere) and Erik J. Olsson. Angere has a PhD in Theoretical Philosophy from Lund University and is currently Senior Engine Programmer at Paradox Interactive.
Erik J. Olsson is Professor and Chair in Theoretical Philosophy at Lund University, Sweden, and co-creator of Laputa. His areas of research include epistemology, philosophical logic, pragmatism, and, more recently, philosophy of the Internet.