26 April 2010

Simplicity Cycle Down Under

The other day I came across a scientific paper titled "Using the Simplicity Cycle in Model Building." It was presented at the 18th World IMACS / MODSIM Congress in Australia this past July. The conference has something to do with "modeling and simulation with mathematical and computer sciences," which frankly is all a bit beyond the scope of my education.

But back to the paper's title. Huh, I thought. Someone else is using the phrase "Simplicity Cycle." I wonder what theirs is like. So I checked it out.

Nope. Turns out, the title of the paper was referring to MY Simplicity Cycle. How cool is that?

All I could get access to was the abstract, which is probably just as well. But from what I can tell, Prof Ted Lefroy from the University of Tasmania and his co-authors C.A. Pollino and A.J. Jakeman from the Australian National University in Canberra are using the Simplicity Cycle concept to "arrive at a state of low complexity and high utility" in their agricultural models, by "progressively discarding drivers, nodes and links to which the system is least sensitive." Which is exactly what the Cycle diagram is for.

I completely love the idea that Australian agricultural scientists are using some ideas from my crazy little book to shape their own model designs. I hope others will do the same - which is why I made it a free download at Lulu and why I released it under a Creative Commons License.

Incidentally, it's now been downloaded over 2,100 times. You've got your free copy, right?


Phil said...

Dan--two questions: 1) how cool is it to see your book and Rogue Press referenced?! and more importantly 2) why weren't you invited to the conference?!!!

The Dan Ward said...

Yeah, it's pretty cool... and wow, that conference looked like it was a bit over my head. :)