So I sit on seat 5F flying back from London to Berlin and I am really tired. I close my eyes trying to fall asleep but suddenly, a kick of adrenaline opens my eyes again. I cannot stop thinking about all the things I experienced that day and how they could benefit from simulation. In fact, you yourself experienced quite a few already today!

 In my case, I took the bus (route network choices), the underground (pedestrian escape sufficient?), went through airport security (how many staff?), boarded my plane (which boarding sequence?) and now enjoy a coke at 38,000 feet (supply chain).

I believe that every aspect of life can benefit tremendously from modelling. So why not apply it to everyday life? In fact, my boss manages Christmas dinner cooking for 18 people using a spreadsheet. Why not have some fun and apply what we like doing to our own life? I propose a new trend this summer: steampunk modelling.

Doc Brown's approach to a fridge.

Remember Doc Brown in Back to the Future 3: he is stuck in 1885 and builds a machine the size of a room to create ice cubes. This is steampunk at its best: build a totally over-engineered solution to an everyday problem for the fun of it. Why do we not do that more often with simulation?

Back in seat 5F, I remove my ear plugs and turn on my laptop. What could I model from everyday life? Turns out, it is much harder than I thought to come up with something. However, why model *something* from everyday life? Why not model *just* everyday life?

The Sims: a virtual simulation of everyday life :-)

The Sims: a virtual simulation of everyday life :-)

When I was a kid, I played the Sims. It is one of the most successful computer games of all times, and unique in that it lets you play everyday life. You create a character, build him a house and then send him to bed, let him go to work, even make him wee if he needs to go. Coming to think of it, I realized that it was nothing but a *simulation*.

So I made a start and build a Sims simulation in AnyLogic using its pedestrian library. Play it below:

Steampunk model of everyday life

Simulation model Steampunk model of everyday life created with AnyLogic - simulation software /
Run the modelDeveloped with
simulation software AnyLogic

Your "Sim" will need to eat and go to the toilet from time to time so you can send him to do that :-)

Now I am wondering how we could extend that model? Send your suggestions and I will pick the best one and implement it. I will write about the technical steps next time.

Also, what is the best personal "steampunk" model you ever created?

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