The artificial chemistry implemented by SCL v0.04, and described here in detail, was qualitatively inspired by the system described in (Varela et al. 1974). However, that original algorithm was deliberately not used in the development of SCL. This arose partly due to the difficulties of interpretation previously documented in (McMullin 1997); partly because I wanted to significantly expand the parameter space of the original model; and partly because, given the object-oriented nature of the Swarm system, it seemed more appropriate to develop a new, properly object oriented, implementation.
This report has not offered any review of the phenomenology presented in SCL, or of any particular experiments carried out with it; that is deferred to a subsequent report. This report has been limited rather to documenting the implementation of SCL and, in particular, documenting the use of Swarm for this purpose. I hope it may be of some value to other researchers, possibly in quite different fields, but interested in using the Swarm system.
I have found the Swarm system a good platform for this development. It was especially beneficial in making it relatively easy--via the probe mechanism--to provide good user interface functionality. The object oriented, agent-based, architecture proved particularly suitable for SCL, in that the structure of the code is able to closely mimic the structure of the qualitative description. The Swarm release in use was still only at beta stage, and was clearly deficient in certain respects. Notwithstanding that, the general quality and reliability were high. The documentation is also already quite extensive and usable, though still incomplete.
In conclusion, it seems to me there are already good grounds for believing that when the full, stable, release of Swarm becomes available, it will be a very useful and beneficial tool for scientific simulation of agent based systems.
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Timestamp: Tue Dec 31 19:40:38 GMT 1996