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.