Workshop on Philosophy and Technologies for Simulation

22 – 23 November 2018

Organised by

Dipartmento di Elettronica Informazione e Bioingegneria — Politecnico di Milano
Dipartimento di Filosofia — Universita’ Statale di Milano
Department of Computer Science — Middlesex University London
HLRS – Stuttgart

Supported by

HaPoC – Commission for the History and Philosophy of Computing
META – Unita’ di Studi Umanistici e Sociali su Science e Tecnologia, Politecnico di Milano
DLMPST – Division of Logic Methodology and Philosophy of Science – IUHPST


Science has entered what has been called the ‘age of computer simulations’, with their massive use in virtually every domain. The wide applicability of simulations in science and technology has called upon an analysis of their results and it has drawn attention to the need for their epistemological justification. Many efforts have been devoted in the last decades to determining the relationship between computer simulations, experiments and theories as the classical sources of knowledge.

If computer simulations have been traditionally used as tools to build tractable models for solving the equations provided by theories, nowadays their role has expanded: besides dealing with the construction of models of greater and greater complexity, computer simulations can be employed in a variety of different situations and contribute in different ways to the definition of models, as well as the construction of artefacts. In particular in the Artificial Sciences, including Robotics, Network Science, AI, computer simulations seem to have a different role, between explanation and discovery. Accordingly, the appropriate justifications for this massive use of simulations in the Artificial Sciences are both methodologically and technical complex.

Following the successful organization of the First Summer School on Computer Simulation Methods, held in Stuttgart in September 25-29, 2017, the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, Politecnico di Milano, Middlesex University London and the Philosophy Department at the Università degli Studi di Milano organize a Research Workshop on Computer Simulations at Politecnico di Milano in November 22-23, 2018. The workshop is meant as the first of a series on “Philosophy and Technologies of Simulations” to be organized every other year.

This first Workshop will be addressing methodological, conceptual and technical problems in computer simulation specifically for the artificial sciences. The aim is to have a small, discussion intense meeting where advances can be made in the foundations of computer simulations for the artificial sciences and current problems discussed.


Sabine Ammon (TU Berlin): Simulation, Test bench, and Hardware-in-the-loop: Validation in engineering design processes
Edoardo Datteri (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca): Simulations for the study of living systems
Gabriele Gramelsberger (RWTH Aachen University): Mark-up languages as tools for standardizing modeling in science
Andreas Kaminski (HLRS Stuttgart): Computer simulation as a means, medium and (research) object. A conceptual proposal for understanding the validation problem
Giuseppe Primiero (Università degli Studi di Milano-Middlesex University London): Isomorphisms and Variants of Simulationism for the Artificial Sciences
Michael Resch (HLRS Stuttgart): TBA
Viola Schiaffonati (Politecnico di Milano): Simulations for the study of artificial systems
Franck Varenne (Université de Rouen): From symbols to referents: An extensionalist and referentialist analysis of computer simulations in morphogenetic engineering and swarm robotics


DEIB – Seminar Room (Building 20)
via Ponzio 34/5, 20133 Milano


Participation to the workshop is open to everyone interested.
Please contact