Sara Mehyrar’s Slides from her talk on “Making Use of Mental models to Capture Human Adaptation Behavior”

Here are the slides from Sara’s talk on the 7th December 2021 as part of the regular Qual2Rule seminars. These were based on her work for her PhD.

More about Sara and her work at More details about her PhD at:

Seminars are at 1pm CET on the first Tuesday of each month – starting again in Feb 2022.

Welcome to the Qual2Rule Seminars!

Our SIG is happy to announce the Qual2Rule Seminars – A Series of Seminars on Experiences of Using Qualitative Data and Methods in Social Simulation! The seminars will take place the first Tuesday of every month, from 13:00 CET. Each session will be divided in three parts. In the first part, the invited speakers will talk about their research in general. In a second part, they will go into the methodological details of using qualitative data and methods in their modelling practices. The third part will focus on stories related to the modelling process; this would be more about the personal experiences of modeling, challenges when interacting with colleagues, managing the participation of informants, publishing the research etc. 

This is the schedule for 2021:

  • October 5th @13.00 via Zoom – LeRon Shults, Agder University, Norway
  • November 2nd @ 13.00 via Zoom – Patrycja Antosz, NORCE, Norway
  • December 7th @ 13.00 via Zoom – Sara Mehryar, London School of Economics, UK

If you want to join any of these seminars, please fill in this registration form:

Special Track at the Social Simulation Conference (SSC), 20-24.09.2021, Cracow, Poland

The following papers are accepted for presentation during the Social Simulation Conference 2021, Cracow (in the order they will be presented on Thursday 23.09, 09:00-11:00 CEST):

Other events at SSC2021 organised by the Qual2Rule SIG:

  • Roundtable “Integrating Evidence Using Agent-Based Modelling”, Tuesday 21.09, 17:30-19:00 CEST
  • Roundtable “Increasing Rigour of ABM”, Thursday 23.09, 19:15-21:15 CEST

If you want to join any of these events, please register for the SSC2021 here.

6th Workshop on Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence using Social Simulation, 15th March

The 6th workshop is being held online as part of the Social Simulation Festival 2021. For information about this, including registration (which is necessary but free) see

The agenda is as follows (all times in CET)

13:30-13:35     Intro
13:35-14:05     Grounded theory vs agent-based modelling, who will win? Debate by Cathy Urquhart & Bruce Edmonds, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
14:05-14:30     Plenary discussion based on Cathy & Bruce’s debate
14:30-15:00     Break-out rooms on pre-defined topics
15:00-15:15     Break
15:15-15:45     Plenary summing up of break-out room discussions
15:45-16:05     Answers to questions collected from the community
16:05-16:30     Fishbowl discussion
16:30-16:45     Next steps to consolidate the field

Online workshop: Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence using Social Simulation, Tues 15th Sept 2020

Update (02.10.2020):

The slides used in the presentations held during this workshops can be downloaded from the links included in the program below.

The entire session has been recorded and is available here.


Workshop: Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence using Social Simulation (Chairs: Melania Borit, UiT The Artic University of Norway & Bruce Edmonds, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom)

Topic: Agent-based simulation can be related to qualitative as well as quantitative data. For example, qualitative input might be used to inform the micro-level specification of agent behaviour in simulations that are then run and compared to aggregate quantitative data. However using qualitative data can seem daunting, partly because there are no established methods for doing this. The goal of this SSW2020 session is to discuss methods for integrating qualitative and quantitative data in agent-based models, with reference to worked examples.


10:00-10:05 Welcome

10:05-10:25 Bruce Edmonds (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) – “An introduction to using qualitative data for informing simulation design

10:25-10:55 Keynote speaker: Juliette Rouchier (Université Paris-Dauphine, France) – “Quali and quanti research walking hand in hand

10:55-11:00 Break

11:00-11:20 Stephanie Dornschneider (University College Dublin, Ireland) “Building bridges: Connecting ethnography to agent-based modelling

11:20-11:40 Martin Neumann (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany) – “Hermeneutic interpretation of simulation results

11:40-11:45 Break

11:45-12:05 Sukaina Bharwani (Oxford Centre, UK) – “Adding value to social simulation models using qualitative evidence

12:05-12:25 Patrycja Antosz (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) – “Juggling quant, qual and simulation: lessons learned in the SMARTEES project” [Co-author: Wander Jager]

12:25-12:45 Fishbowl discussion, moderator: Melania Borit (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)

12:45-13:00 Plan future events, moderators: Melania Borit and Bruce Edmonds

Besides registering for the Social Simulation Week 2020, please register for your participation in this workshop by September 10th using this link:

About the keynote:

Juliette Rouchier has been writing simulation models for the last 25 years, first working on individual learning and then on diffusion models. The first point she will make in her talk is general and concerns any scientific research, not just agent-based modelling (ABM): making a difference between qualitative research and quantitative is interesting, but conceptually poor, as they depend on each other all along the development of any theory / new knowledge. Examples can be given on the limitation of the separation. When it comes to ABM, another issue adds to this: in most cases, although one wants to take a qualitative approach, the need to use numbers is central – thus there is a dependence to numeric expression (and then, interpretation of numeric regularities has to be qualitative). Also what is of interest in ABM is to be able to practice numerous repetition with comparison – which is typically dealt with thanks to quantitative approaches. Examples will be used to show diverse processes that can take place there as well.

About the speakers:

Patrycja Antosz is a sociologist and a psychologist specializing in social scientific research methods and data analysis techniques. Since 2010 she has been working in cooperation with policy-makers and public administration at supra-national, national, and local levels to provide evidence for public policies. Her colleague, Wander Jager is a social scientist interested in social complex phenomena. A key theme in his work is studying the dynamics of human behaviour in environmental contexts. His scientific orientation is interdisciplinary, and his work is aimed at contributing to a societal transition towards a sustainable society.

Sukaina Bharwani:An interdisciplinary senior researcher at SEI Oxford, Sukaina has a background in social anthropology and computer science, which allows her to use a range of qualitative and quantitative methods to understand drivers of behaviour and decision-making in the field of climate change adaptation.

Stephanie Dornschneider is Assistant Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin. Previously, she was Junior Research Fellow at Durham University and visiting fellow at Stanford University and the University of Oxford. Her research explores political resistance in the Middle East by combining qualitative and computational methods. She is the author of two monographs published by Oxford University Press and the University of Pennsylvania Press, and various articles, which have occurred in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Cognitive Science, and the International Political Science Review.

Bruce Edmonds is the director of the Centre for Policy Modelling and professor of social simulation at the Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. Bruce’s research focuses on agent-based social simulation, including numerous applications, theory, methodology, and philosophy.

Martin Neumann: After studying social sciences, mathematics, and philosophy Martin obtained a PhD in Philosophy with a thesis on history of probability theory. Subsequently he awarded a postdoc scholarship on the epistemology of social simulation. Since then he worked in various social simulation projects, including projects on the theory of norms, norms in organized crime or on opinion dynamics. Currently Martin is research associate at the institute for sociology at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. 

“Qualitative Data in the Service of Model Building: The Case of Structural Shirking” by Patrycja Antosz and Harko Verhagen


Abstract This chapter shows how qualitative data can inform building compu- tational models. The general issue is illustrated with the example of a model of structural shirking in organisations, i.e. insufficient time and effort stemming from the structure of the performed work. The first attempt to build a model of shirking with the use of assumptions present in social scientific theories displayed many shortcomings. Thus, a mixed-methods approach was chosen to inform the development of a second computational model. Conceptualising the second model began with performing individual IDIs with managers and lower-level employees and augmenting them with analyses of Polish legislation regulating employment relationships. Initial findings were enriched with theoretical assumptions. The complete concept of the mechanism of structural shirking was operationalised as a computational model. Having developed both models, we discuss the phenomenon of shirking informing theories and real-world practices, as well as ways to study these practices in novel forms.

Keywords Shirking · Work performance · Mixed methods · Empirical-based model · Theory-based model

In: H. Verhagen et al. (eds.), Advances in Social Simulation – looking in the mirror, Springer Proceedings in Complexity, pp. 33-45.

Available at:

Cancellation notice: 3rd Workshop Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence using Social Simulation, 28-29 May 2020, Southampton, UK

Due to the measures put in place to handle the COVID-19 situation, we are sorry to announce that we have decided to cancel the 3rd Workshop Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence using Social Simulation, 28-29 May 2020, Southampton, UK (announced below). The event will be rescheduled as soon as the situation allows it. We are sorry for any inconvenience this cancellation might cause.

Qual2Rule: Surveying the Use of Qualitative Data in Agent-based Models

Agent-based models thrive in part due to the consideration of diverse information sources (e.g., theory and data) in the modelling process. However, practices for integrating data in agent-based models are diverse and depend on the disciplinary background that informs the nature of the collected data. A large number of models thus rely on qualitative data, in addition or as an alternative to quantitative input. As part of the ESSA Special Interest Group Qual2Rule, we aim to develop a better understanding of the current approaches for the inclusion of *qualitative data* undertaken within the community. We thus invite the agent-based modelling community (understood here in a loose sense) to offer some insight into their practices as part of an anonymous survey linked below, the results of which we are planning to discuss as part of this year’s Social Simulation Conference (SSC 2020) in Milan (

Note that the used survey tool is GDPR compliant, but may occasionally show some ads above or below the questionnaire items. We apologise for this inconvenience in advance.

Link to the survey:

In case of any questions or comments regarding this survey, please contact, Christopher Frantz (