Distributed Agent-based Simulation for the Humanities
Project MWGRID: Medieval Warfare on the Grid
MWGrid was one of the seven strategic research
projects funded by the AHRC-EPSRC-JISC
e-Science Intitiative to pioneer the research agenda of the Arts
and Humanities e-Science programme in the UK. Details
of the project are provided by UKRI here.
The project sought to address the problems
associated with early military logistics through agent-based
modelling and distributed simulations. The need for medieval
states to collect and distribute resources to maintain armies
affected all aspects of political organisation and at critical
times, when armies failed, the results could prove disastrous to
society. Despite this, military studies seldom progress past the
study of existing texts to bear out the pragmatic consequences of
military behaviour, even though military activity in terms of
resource allocation and consumption is decisive in shaping
MWGrid explored the military-logistical context of the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.Manzikert is a key historic event in Byzantine history. The defeat of the Byzantine army by the Seljuk Turks, and the following civil war, resulted in the collapse of Byzantine power in central Anatolia. Given the key position this event takes within the collapse of Byzantine power, the lack of consensus between historians on the numbers of men involved at, or even the route taken by the Byzantine Army to, Manzikert is profound.
The results of the project have had significant
implications for study of pre-industrial societies in
methodological and theoretical terms and will benefit academics
with an interest in comparative military history, the cultural
role of military organisation and the relationship of historical
and modelled data.
The project also explored new infrastructures and
algorithms for constructing and executing very large Multi-Agent
models, including the PDES-MAS
- BBC History Magazine, July 2009
- Digital Classicist
- Volkskrant, the Netherlands
- A Video: Philip Murgatroyd
and Rob Minson talk about the project.
- Posters: Poster
animations: 1, 2,
- John Haldon, Vince Gaffney, Philip Murgatroyd and Georgios Theodoropoulos, "Marching Across Anatolia - Medieval Logistics and Modeling the Mantzikert Campaign", Dumbarton Oaks Papers 65/66, ISBN 9780884023876, February 2013.
- Gaffney, V., P. Murgatroyd, B. Craenen, and G. Theodoropoulos, “Only Individuals”: Moving the Byzantine Army to Manzikert. In Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. Supplement, no. 122, 2013, pp. 25–43. JSTOR,Oxford University Press
- Bart Craenen, Vinoth Suryanarayanan, Georgios Theodoropoulos, Vincent Gaffney, Philip Murgatroyd, John Haldon, , "Modelling Medieval Military Logistics: An Agent-based Simulation of a Byzantine Army on the March", the Journal of Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory (CMOT), Springer Publishing, Special Issue on “Agent Directed Simulation”, DOI Bookmark: 10.1007/s10588-011-9103-9
- Bart Craenen, Vinoth Suryanarayanan, Vincent Gaffney, Philip Murgatroyd, and Georgios Theodoropoulos. 2012. MWGrid: distributed agent-based simulation in the digital humanities. In Proceedings of the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC '12). Winter Simulation Conference, Article 376, 1–2. DOI bookmark: 10.5555/2429759.2430250
- Bart Craenen, Philip Murgatroyd, Georgios Theodoropoulos, Vincent Gaffney, Vinoth Suryanarayanan, “MWGrid: A System for Distributed Agent-based Simulation in the Digital Humanities”, 16th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (DS-RT'12), October 2012, Dublin, Ireland. ISBN: 978-0-7695-4846-3. DOI bookmark: 10.1109/DS-RT.2012.24
- Bart Craenen, Vinoth Suryanarayanan, Georgios Theodoropoulos, Vincent Gaffney, Philip Murgatroyd, John Haldon, "Medieval Military Logistics: A Case for Distributed Agent-based Simulation", Distributed Simulation & Online Gaming (DISIO), in conjunction with SIMUTools 2010, SCS/ICST/CREATE-NET Torremolinos, Malaga, Spain - March 15, 2010. DOI Bookmark: 10.4108/ICST.SIMUTOOLS2010.8737
- The prestigious Annual Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Studies Symposium (Friday, April 30th–Sunday, May 2nd, 2010) dedicated a special session on the MWGrid Project. Here is the group photo.
- Trans-disciplinary Workshop on Agents in Archaeology, Natural History Museum, Vienna, 2-4 March 2011, Vienna, Austria.
- Universitas 21 Digital Heritage “Cultural Heritage and Technology”, Birmingham UK, 15-17 September 2010
- Arts and Humanities e-Science Initiative
workshop, King’s College London 23 July 2010.
- Access to the Grid: Interfacing the Humanities with Grid Technologies, Digital Humanities 2010 Conference, King's College London, 5 July 2010.