Syntactic modeling and simulation

David G. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Formal languages are powerful modeling tools in their own right. Applications to biological processes such as growth and behavior emphasize the ability of syntactic models to capture organization clearly, concisely and accurately. This ability can be exploited by designing generic systems (“em bodiments”) that simulate whole families of processes. Within an embodiment, specific models are defined by formal languages whose semantics relate to the real-world systems being modelled, rather than computational details. The most powerful embodiment systems are object-oriented hierarchies based on key theoretical concepts, such as directed graphs, cellular automata, and neural nets. Benefits of the embodiment approach include simplifying the development of simulation models; permitting the use of formal languages as modeling tools; and stimulating the develop ment of theory in particular areas of application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-286
Number of pages6
JournalBuilding Simulation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • embodiment
  • expert systems
  • formal languages
  • generic simulation
  • parsing
  • syntactic models

Cite this