Conference paper

A service oriented architecture enabling policy simulation in virtual spaces

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In order to be able to measure the impact of future government proposals and policies on a large scale, policy makers need artificial environments that enable mass participation and user interaction in contexts that simulate real life societies. These environments will be used as "sandboxes" where potential policies will be put to force and users' reactions will be captured and analyzed in order to make estimations about the effectiveness of the policy in real societies. Virtual spaces including 3D virtual worlds and social networks are ideal for this purpose as, due to their popularity as well as their similarity to the real world, they can be seen as a simulation of society, a micro-society. The +Spaces project aims to provide the technology enabling governments to use Virtual Spaces as testing environments where prospective policies can be applied, as well as the necessary tools for capturing, processing and analyzing public reactions to them. The current paper presents a SOA based architecture that resides on top of Virtual Spaces and allows users to deploy applications that enable policy simulation, monitor and evaluate users' reactions to the new policy and present the results to the policy maker in a meaningful way. © 2011 IEEE.