Lessons learned on development and application of agent-based models of complex dynamical systems

Williams, Richard Alun (2018) Lessons learned on development and application of agent-based models of complex dynamical systems. Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, 83. pp. 201-212. ISSN 1569-190X

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The field of agent-based modelling (ABM) has gained a significant following in recent years, and it is often marketed as an excellent introduction to modelling for the novice modeller or non-programmer. The typical objective of developing an agent-based model is to either increase our mechanistic understanding of a real-world system, or to predict how the dynamics of the real-world system are likely to be affected by changes to internal or external factors. Although there are some excellent ABMs that have been used in a predictive capacity across a number of domains, we believe that the promotion of ABM as an ‘accessible to all’ approach, could potentially lead to models being published that are flawed and therefore generate inaccurate predictions of real-world systems. The purpose of this article is to use our experiences in modelling complex dynamical systems, to reinforce the view that agent-based models can be useful for answering questions of the real-world domain through predictive modelling, but also to emphasise that all modellers, expert and novice alike, must make a concerted effort to adopt robust methods and techniques for constructing, validating and analysing their models, if the result is to be meaningful and grounded in the system of interest.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, 83, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.simpat.2017.11.001
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? agent-based modelingmodel developmentsimulation-based experimentationcomplex dynamical systemshardware and architecturesoftwaremodelling and simulation ??
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Deposited On:
06 Nov 2017 15:10
Last Modified:
20 Mar 2024 00:38