I've been working like mad on my PhD while I've been looking for a job, and now I'm writing a chapter about the properties a communication simulation needs to have in order to be analogous to the real world. I don't want to give too many examples -- because I don't want to taint your suggestions -- but I'm thinking that simulations must deal with things like:

- Time. No cause and effect without time, so it's pretty fundamental. Plus, I doubt the human brain can even conceive of a world without time.

- Space. Most useful simulations will have something analogous to physical space, for objects to exist in and move through.

- Tasks. Simulations must have tasks to be completed, or they're useless.

- Objects. Something has to do the acting and moving and learning.

And then there are concepts with more specificity:

- Resources. Types of objects that are required to complete a task. Are they scarce? Are there an infinite number?

- Feedback loops. In real life, success leads to more success.

- Aging, death, birth.

- Types of knowledge. Where things are. The states of other agents. How tasks are completed.

- Indirection. John says that Jane said that Tim said that John is dead.

- Truthfulness. Some people lie, and some are just mistaken, but either way not all signals are correct.

And so forth. I've got a huge list of things to be considered, but I'd like to hear your suggestions. What properties of real life are important for a simulation of Distributed Autonomous Communicators?

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