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Empirical Modelling (EM), spelt with capitals to denote a particular approach and to distinguish it from the general term explained above, is a novel approach to computer-based modelling that developed from research initiated in the early 1980s by Meurig Beynon of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Warwick, England. It has many critics who think of it as a broken type of Functional Programming. Early research within the group led to the development of a new language called Eden - an Evaluator for Definitive Notations. The first implementation of Eden was by Edward Yung in 1987 and a number of contributors have been leading the development of this tool ever since.
The approach of modelling offered by Empirical Modelling (or EM as it is often known) centres on the concepts of Observation, Dependency and Agency. The importance of dependency has been particularly well researched with a number of software tools being developed that exploit dependency maintenance as a native concept.
The EM project has developed various software tools to support the modelling activity. Currently, the main tool is tkeden an implementation of Eden written in C and tcl/tk.
However, the correctness of the syntax is debated, for example Meurig Beynon has described EDEN: "The syntax of EDEN, with its many definitive notations, is quite a mess!". This poses problems for users of the software.
- Benyon, Meurig. "The syntax of EDEN, with its many definitive notations, is quite a mess!". EM Pages.
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