CoMSES Net Discourse Forums

Improving ABM Bibliography


Dear Comsees (and apologies to those who are also on the simsoc list),

A while back I was asked to contribute to the Oxford Bibliographies about ABM. For various “domestic” reasons I was not able to get as much “community input” as I wanted. However, I have now been asked to revise the contribution and this seemed like a good moment. I hope the existing version can be accessed here:

Let me know if there are any problems with access.

Apart from general criticisms and comments, I would be very glad to receive evidenced suggestions regarding why things should be added/deleted or differently evaluated (bearing in mind that there will be an overall word limit). Ungrounded suggestions for self-citation (or other merely personal opinions) will obviously be treated with caution!

All the best,

Edmund Chattoe-Brown (School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester, UK)

PS Does anybody know of any other reasonable active ABM distribution lists (US? Japan? ROW?) to which I could post this request?

Compare ABM with other models
pinned #2

I believe this bibliography will be an extremely valuable resource for Agent-Based Modeling. I enjoyed it very much - and I hope this feedback is not arriving too late to be useful. I do have some comments.

My disciplinary home is in a psychology department and, in approaching ABM, I have looked to many other disciplines to inform my work. I found there was a great deal of methodological and theoretical development occurring in the ecology literature - in addition to sociology. You mentioned Grimm and Railsback’s textbook - but I think there are two important contributions from their work (particularly their 2015 book) worth highlighting:

  • The ODD protocol, which is the most coherent framework I’ve yet found for describing models
  • Pattern Oriented Modeling and its effort to address the question of Strong Inference

A theoretical contrast I’ve frequently encountered comes from the economics literature, with its emphasis on simultaneous functions and equilibria. I see ABM as a very powerful alternative that nevertheless addresses a similar body of questioning. In my own work, I use economic models, built from formal mathematical functions, as a sort of straw man to catapult away from - but I think this establishes a context for ABMs that invites participation from a different discipline.

In several places, you highlight the sociological perspective but, as I mentioned, I am applying ABMs in the domain of psychology. And, as I mentioned, I have found a great deal of theoretical development coming from ecology. The bibliography certainly does not suffer from the emphasis on sociology - but I am dwelling on this point simply in pursuit of a larger disciplinary “tent” that covers the work.

I look forward to the publication of this bibliography. I will absolutely reference it when offering tutorials, in the future.

Best regards,