Geosimulation in Education: A System for Teaching Police Resource Allocation

In IJAIED 17 (1)

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This article describes the ExpertCop tutorial system. ExpertCop is a geosimulator of criminal dynamics in urban environments that aims to train police officers in the activity of preventive policing allocation. ExpertCop intends to i) help students comprehend the task of resources allocation and identify the variables involved; ii) induce students to reflect about their actions related to resources allocation; and iii) help students understand the relation between preventive policing and crime. In ExpertCop, the students (police officers) configure and allocate an available police force according to a selected geographic region, and then follow the simulation process. The students interpret the results with the aid of an intelligent tutor, the Pedagogical Agent, by observing how crime behaves in the presence of the allocated preventive policing. The interaction between domain agents representing social entities such as criminals and police teams allocated by the students drives the simulation. Assisting the user, the Pedagogical Agent aims to define interaction strategies between the student and the geosimulator in order to make simulated phenomena better understood. The innovative character of the work is in the strategy adopted by the Pedagogical Agent in order to assist the user in understanding the simulated model. It seeks to explain the model at the macro-level (global or emergent behavior) and micro-level (behavior of the agents individually). The evaluation of the system in training held with students of the domain has shown that the system attains its intended pedagogical goals. Keywords. Intelligent tutoring systems, geosimulation, multiagent simulation, explanation, law enforcement