Scott Moss' Home Page

Current positions:

I am now a Visiting Professor in the University of Koblenz-Landau though I continue to work in social simulation research and consultancy from my home in the Peak District of England.  I had to retire from the Manchester Metropolitan University in April, 2009 as I had passed my 65th birthday and the EU Age Discrimination Directive had not been given effect in the UK. I had hoped I would be able to continue working with the CPM in retirement, but the retirement procedure appears to have bruised egos in the University administration. I have, nonetheless, been able to continue to work with Ruth Meyer of the CPM.

In addition to my academic work, I am a business partner (with my wife Linda Moss) in Brookcliff Enterprises.   We maintain holiday rental properties in the Peak District and raise rare-breed Soay and Shetland sheep as well as about 20 hybrid, egg-laying hens. .

Interests:

Although I trained as an economist, I was convinced from very early in my association with that discipline that its concentration on equilibrium states (including transient equilibrium states in dynamic models) is unlikely ever to be useful. I also concluded that the representation of agents by constrained optimization algorithms implied that agents always have sufficient computational and information processing capacity to calculate their optimal behaviour on the basis of available information. I was much more taken with bounded rationality as a condition in which agents' computational and information processing capacities are limited in relation to available information. This led me to adopt techniques from artificial intelligence as an appropriate (or, as my colleague Bruce Edmonds has it, credible) basis for representations of agents. Of course, economists are not interested in credible representations of agents and, so, I have had to conclude that my work is not what the economics profession would call economics.

My current views on economics and what should be done with it, especially in relation to business and public policy analysis, is set out in my inaugural lecture as Professor of Social Simulation.

One of my attempts to demonstrate to economists that it is both possible and fruitful to apply rigorous reasoning to historical (or as economists would have it, anecdotal) evidence was my 1981 book, An Economic Theory of Business Strategy.  The book achieved some success with business historians but was almost entirely ignored by economists.  The reason?  I think it was that I applied an economics style of reasoning to questions of how markets actually work and why different markets function differently.  In particular, inspired by business historians such as Alfred Chandler and the book Merchants and Manufacturers written by his former students, Glenn Porter and Harold Livesay, I argued for the importance of technology in exchange and how technology determines market forms.  You might have thought that the question would be of interest in a discipline that presumes the superiority of markets and argues that how they work determines whether there can be full employment without inflation.  You would have been wrong.  I have scanned some of the key chapters from the book and made them available as html and pdf files from here.

Work-in-progress

An issue which has cropped up repeatedly during the course of the OCOPOMO Project is the importance of simplicity in modelling. My view has been that evidence-based models should be as complicated as domain experts and stakegholders find useful. A partial and early note on this issue distinguishes between simplicity and parsimony where parsimony preserves what is essential whilst simplicity need not.

Selected recent publications:

Scott Moss with Bruce Edmonds (2005) “Towards Good Social Science”, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation vol. 8, no. 4 <http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/8/4/13.html>

Scott Moss with Bruce Edmonds (2005). Sociology and Simulation: Statistical and Qualitative Cross-Validation. Manchester, American Journal of Sociology 110(4): 1095-1131.

Moss, S. (2002). "Policy Analysis from First Principles." Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences 99(Suppl. 3): 7267-7274.



Some older papers that I or others cite from to time in ongoing work:

Scott Moss and Olga Kuznetsova (1996) “Modelling the Process of Market Emergence” in Owsinski, J. W. and Nahorski, Z. (eds.), (1996): Modelling and Analysing Economies in Transition, MODEST, Warsaw. 125-138. HTML version available here

The gap in my publications record is due in large measure to having suffered a heart attack in February 2002. However, I have given a number of invited papers including to the 2005 Multi Agent Based Simulation workshop at AAMAS2005 and to a workshop in Koblenz, Germany on Epistemological Perspectives on Simulation.

Activities



My leisure time was taken up largely by sailing the 10m steel cutter-rigged ocean-going boat Conachair which I shared with my wife Linda.  We have taken her as far north as the Outer Hebrides and as far south as the Atlantic coast of Spain near the Portuguese border.  I am a past Commodore of the Manchester Cruising Association. We recently sold the Conachair and hope soon to buy a replacement requiring less maintenance and perhaps requiring less brute strength as I move through my 60s.


Current Project:


Some Completed Projects:

Journal articles

Moss, Scott (1998), "Critical Incident Management: An Empirically Derived Computational Model" Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 1, (4), <http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/JASSS/1/4/1.html>

Moss, Scott ,  Helen Gaylard, Steve Wallis and Bruce Edmonds (1998), SDML: A Multi-Agent Language for Organizational Modelling, Computational and MathematicalOrganization Theory 4, (1), 43-70.

Moss, Scott and Bruce Edmonds (1998), Modelling Economic Learning as Modelling, Cybernetics and Systems  29, (3), 215-247.

Moss, Scott and Bruce Edmonds, A Formal Preference-State Model with Qualitative Market Judgements, Omega - the international journal of management science, 25, (2), 1997.

Moss, Scott, Huw Dixon and Steven Wallis, Evaluating Competitive Strategies, International Journal of Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Fianance and Management, 4, (4), 1995, pp. 361-392..

Moss, Scott, Control Metaphors in the Modelling of Learning and Decision-Making Behaviour, Computational Economics 8, (4) 283-301, 1995.

Moss, Scott, Artis, M. and Ormerod, P., A Smart Macroeconomic Forecasting System, The Journal of Forecasting 13, (3) 299-312, 1994.

Moss, Scott, Winter's Fundamental Selection Theorem: A Disproof, The Quarterly Journal of Economics pp.1071-4, 1990.

Moss, Scott, Equilibrium, Evolution and Learning, The Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation, 1990.

Moss, Scott, Investment and Innovation over the Long Wave, Research Policy, pp. 211-8, 1986.

Moss, Scott, The Theory of the Firm from Marshall to Robinson and Chamberlin, Economica, 1984.

Books

Moss, Scott, and Rae, J., eds. Artificial Intelligence and Economic Analysis: Prospects and Problems Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 1993.

Moss, Scott, Markets and Macroeconomics Oxford: Basil Blackwell ,1984.

Moss, Scott, An Economic Theory of Business Strategy Oxford: Basil Blackwell,1980.

Contact Information

E-mail: scott_at_scott_dot_moss_dot_name