Is it possible to develop a meaningful measure for the complexity of a simulation model? Algorithmic information theory provides concepts that have been applied in other areas of research for the practical measurement of object complexity. This article offers an overview of the complexity from a variety of perspectives and provides a body of knowledge with respect to the complexity of simulation models. The key terms model detail, resolution, and scope are defined. An important concept from algorithmic information theory, Kolmogorov complexity, and an application of this concept, normalized compression distance, are used to indicate the possibility of measuring changes in model detail. Additional research in this area can advance the modeling and simulation body of knowledge toward the practical application of measuring simulation model complexity. Examples show that KC and NCD measurements of simulation models can detect changes in scope and detail.
Thompson, J. S., Hodson, D. D., Grimaila, M. R., Hanlon, N., & Dill, R. (2023). Toward a simulation model complexity measure. Information, 14(4), 202. https://doi.org/10.3390/info14040202