Computational Experiments Meet Large Language Model Based Agents: A Survey and Perspective

Qun Ma, Xiao Xue, Deyu Zhou, Xiangning Yu, Donghua Liu, Xuwen Zhang, Zihan Zhao, Yifan Shen, Peilin Ji, Juanjuan Li, Gang Wang, Wanpeng Ma
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI)
2024-02-01 00:00:00
Computational experiments have emerged as a valuable method for studying complex systems, involving the algorithmization of counterfactuals. However, accurately representing real social systems in Agent-based Modeling (ABM) is challenging due to the diverse and intricate characteristics of humans, including bounded rationality and heterogeneity. To address this limitation, the integration of Large Language Models (LLMs) has been proposed, enabling agents to possess anthropomorphic abilities such as complex reasoning and autonomous learning. These agents, known as LLM-based Agent, offer the potential to enhance the anthropomorphism lacking in ABM. Nonetheless, the absence of explicit explainability in LLMs significantly hinders their application in the social sciences. Conversely, computational experiments excel in providing causal analysis of individual behaviors and complex phenomena. Thus, combining computational experiments with LLM-based Agent holds substantial research potential. This paper aims to present a comprehensive exploration of this fusion. Primarily, it outlines the historical development of agent structures and their evolution into artificial societies, emphasizing their importance in computational experiments. Then it elucidates the advantages that computational experiments and LLM-based Agents offer each other, considering the perspectives of LLM-based Agent for computational experiments and vice versa. Finally, this paper addresses the challenges and future trends in this research domain, offering guidance for subsequent related studies.
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