My talk at the ESSA summer school in Toulouse (http://www.irit.fr/essa-summer-school-2012), which was very enjoyable, some great up-and-coming researchers and a great location/organisation.
There are two different ways in which social simulation can help a researcher - by honing their intuition about how certain models and mechanisms (roughly what Polanyi meant by "Personal Knowledge") and in demonstrating hypotheses that might be interesting and relevant to other researchers in the field (roughly what Popper meant by "Objective Knowledge"). Both are valid goals and useful, indeed I would argue both are essential to real progress in social simulation. However, too often, these are conflated and confused, to the detriment of social simulation. This talk aims to clearly distinguish between the two modes, including the different ways of obtaining them, their different (and complementary) uses as well as when and how these are appropriate to communicate to others. In short a "model" of simulation usefulness is outlined with implications for the method of social simulation.
Slides at: http://www.slideshare.net/BruceEdmonds/personal-understanding-and-publically-useful-knowledge-in-social-simulation