GRACeFUL - Global systems Rapid Assessment tools through Constraint FUnctional Languages
The making of policies coping with Global Systems is a process that necessarily involves stakeholders from diverse disciplines, each with their own interests, constraints and objectives. People play a central role in such collective decision making and generally the quest for solutions to a problem intertwines its very specification.
What-if style simulators can assist in this process provided they employ adequate high-level and qualitative modelling to separate the political question from the underlying scientific details. Domain-specific Languages embedded in Functional Programming languages offer a promising way to implement scalable and verifiable simulators. But the use of simulators is essentially a trial-and-error-like process, too tedious for execution in a group session. A paradigm shift is needed towards active problem solving where stakeholders’ objectives can be taken along from the very beginning. Constraint Programming has demonstrated to enable such a shift for e.g. managed physical systems like water and power networks.
Our research pursues laying a base for domain-specific languages aimed at building scalable “rapid assessment tools” for collective policy making in global systems. It involves several different disciplines. At the top policy-modelling level, we adopt and adapt the social discipline of Group Model Building, well-known from business dynamics. This process is backed by visual forms of Constraint Programming and flavoured with gamification aspects. At the host-language level, we work on combining CP and FP. In this context, specific work is being done on domain-specific constraints, constraint composition, and composable solvers and heuristics.
Results are applied and validated for a problem case of Climate-Resilient Urban Design in The Netherlands, but our ambition is a general framework applicable to several other Global Systems.
Contact name: Tom Creemers