Web Eden is a web-enabled version of the EDEN interpreter, the principal tool to support Empirical Modelling, that was developed by Richard Myers in his final year project in 2007-8. Empirical Modelling involves developing interactive environments to mediate understanding of an external domain. Within such an environment, many kinds of human and machine-like agency can be realised and blended. The environment itself comprises a family of observables (ranging from a few dozen to a few thousand) which are subject to spreadsheet-like dependency relations. A typical agent action modifies the value or dependency definition of a particular observable, and - as in one and the same action - changes the values and dependency relations associated with others. Agent actions can be performed manually and automated. Constructing the interactive environment is an open-ended empirical process guided by framing observables, dependencies and agency in the environment so that they correspond closely to external observables, dependencies and agency in the subject domain.
This screenshot depicts an interactive environment developed to explore activities involved in the manual and automated solution of Sudoku puzzles:
The characteristics of Web Eden as a vehicle for Empirical Modelling are illustrated in the following guided interactions with the model of semi-automated Sudoku solving pictured in the screenshot above.
» How the script of the Sudoku model was developed
» Observables and dependencies defined in the Sudoku solving model
» Introducing the notations used in defining the Sudoku model
» Developing and exploring the use of colour in supporting Sudoku solving
For more details of Web Eden and its applications in Empirical Modelling research, please read a short paper on Web Eden as a technology to support learning.