Panel on ethical constraints on validation, verification, and application of simulation

Andreas Tolk, Justin E. Lane, F. LeRon Shults, Wesley J. Wildman

WSC ’21: Proceedings of the Winter Simulation Conference

Abstract: Today’s challenges must be addressed as socio-technical systems, including insights from the social sciences and humanities to adequately represent the human components. As results of simulations are increasingly driving and justifying political and social decisions, it is important to validate and verify (V&V) simulation and data. However, the understanding of what establishes truth and how these views impact validation differ between the social and technical partners. Therefore, we must expand our view of V&V. The panel provides various use cases and derives ethical questions related to supporting universities during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating multi-disciplinary teams with diverse viewpoints, challenges of using validated insights without critical evaluation, and lack of broadly accepted scientific measures to connect social models and empirical data. We conclude that the role of V&V must be reemphasized, that its social-theoretical implications must be better understood, and that it should be driven by an overarching metaethical framework.

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