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What is Reference World?

The Reference World Information Synthetic Environment (RWISE) platform is a decision-making tool providing reliable, actionable information and data-driven insights that allow leaders to test policies, identify shortfalls, examine multiple, parallel simulations and compare key metrics of proposed courses of action before committing resources.

Reference World uses vast quantities of real-world data to design a “World in a Box” particular to your organization with an up-to-date, validated and unbiased synthetic representation of individuals, groups, cities, counties, states, nations and regions of the world in terms of multiple systems:

Individualscontinuously working to achieve their desired level of well-being

Organizationsprovide communication, employment, goods and services

Institutionsprovide policy and laws to promote the common good

Infrastructuresprovide the means to generate and consume resources

Geographieslocations of individuals, organizations, institutions and infrastructures

Reference World is a mature, scalable, highly-sophisticated agent-based modeling platform wherein tens of millions of simulated individuals or agents make up a representative world mirroring your real world.

Open source data from the U.S. Census Bureau, World Bank, World Health Organization and scores of other organizations are used to construct a wholistic model of society, because, in truth, all factors in a society, no matter how disparate are integral. Each individual has static traits—gender, nationalism, ethnicity, income, education, religion, plus dynamic traits including political, societal and well-being. Reference World’s agents are heuristic—they make decisions and take actions based on current and incoming data and follow coded rules and logic. Our agents “live” in a replicated world, a virtual community scalable from neighborhoods to international systems including not only individuals, but entire organizations, government institutions, infrastructures and geographies.

Reference World incorporates information about your state, county, industry, business, university or organization into the simulation and provides analysis and visualization tools relevant to the decisions you need to make. It provides these tools every time and as quickly as you request them. The dynamic interactions of millions of people living, working, going to school, doing the things they normally do every day—this complexity—is a key, dynamic component of Reference World’s agent-based model.

Equally as unique and valuable is Reference World’s emergence capability which is the formation of new, often unexpected and more complex systems that form due to collective behaviors that are different than the behaviors of individuals alone. Simple behaviors of individuals within a system can result in complex behaviors that may not be expected, yet are essential to a complete model. Our emergence component captures these new, unexpected behaviors and presents a more complex extant system.

The third invaluable asset from Reference World is our industry-unmatched forecasting component—a data-rich synthetic world that permits, even encourages, numerous questions and scenarios to be run simultaneously—dramatically eliminating egregious mis-allocated time, effort and money. One of the creators of this system, Purdue University professor Alok Chaturvedi, Ph.D., described this capability as “…putting the world at the fingertip of everyone, not just information, but knowledge.”


If you would like to read a more in-depth technical description, click here.

If you would like to see our our selection of academic publications and white papers, click here.

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