Discussion papers

Rigour for Agent-Based Modellers – an accessible guide for the perplexed

A first attempt to write down some guidelines for Agent-Based Modelling relevant to different stages: (1) for one’s own understanding (2) when presenting for discussion (3) when publishing in a journal (4) where the modelling may affect people’s lives. Level (4) is not discussed here as it requires community agreement. Very much as a starting point for discussion!

Abstract. A guide to doing agent-based modelling in an appropriately rigorous way is presented. This tries to be (a) accessible to non-experts and (b) appropriate to the stage and purpose of the modelling. Thus, what is suggested is aimed at four different levels: (1) for one’s own understanding, (2) when presenting a model to an audience for discussion, (3) when publishing in a journal article and, (4) where the modelling may influence decisions that affect people’s lives. Thus, the highest level of rigour is not demanded at earlier stages. As one moves to the next level, the suggested steps needed for rigour increases, making it possible to incrementally learn increasing rigour as one gets more serious. Level (4) will not be discussed here but left to future versions of this document.

Keywords: rigour, agent-based modelling, modelling purpose, introduction.

Published as:

Edmonds, B. (2023) Rigour for Agent-Based Modellers – an accessible guide for the perplexed. Social Simulation Conference, Warsaw, 2021. http://cfpm.org/rigour