Author Archives: bruce

CfP – EXTENDED DEADLINE – Special track – Qual2Rule: Using qualitative data in agent-based models @ Social Simulation Conference 2023

If you are working with qualitative data and agent-based modelling, please consider submitting your research (poster, extended abstract, short paper, long paper) to the special track “Using qualitative data to inform behavioural rules in agent-based models”, which is described below the signature and is to be organized during the Social Simulation Conference 2023, 4-8 September, Glasgow, UK. 

Important dates:

* Submission Deadline: 28 April 2023  12 May
* Notification of Acceptance: 16 June 2023
* Final Version Submission: 09 July 2023 
* Conference: 4-8th September 2023, Glasgow

Many academics consider qualitative evidence (e.g. texts gained from transcribing oral data or observations of people) and quantitative evidence to be incommensurable.  However, agent-based simulations are a possible vehicle for bridging this gap. Narrative textual evidence often gives clues as to the in-context behavior of individuals and is thus a natural source for behaviors to inform the specification of corresponding agent behavior within simulations. The texts will not give a complete picture, but will provide some of “menu” of behaviors people use. During this session we hope to further the understanding of how to improve this. We are particularly interested in accounts of the procedures or structures people used to bridge between qualitative and formal realms based in reported modelling experiences. Thus, those interested to present their work in this session have to make sure that their submission explicitly addresses the use of qualitative data in their modelling endeavour. The session is open to all approaches that seek to move from qualitative evidence towards a simulation in a systematic way. These include, but are not limited to: 

* Approaches based in Grounded Theory.
* Tools for facilitating such a process.
* Participatory processes that result in a simulation.
* Frameworks for aiding the analysis of text into rules.
* Elicitation techniques that would aid the capture of information in an appropriate structure.
* Models and ideas from psychology to aid in the above process.
* Insights and tools from Natural Language Processing that may help this process.
* Agent architectures that will facilitate the programming of agents from such analyses.
* Philosophical or Sociological critiques, pointing out assumptions and dangers.
* Examples of where this approach has been tried.  

Qual2Rule Paper published in journal: “Government and Opposition”

Work by Stephanie Dornschneider-Elkink and Bruce Edmonds originating from the Lorentz workshop on Integrating qualitative and quantitative evidence using Social Simulation.

Dornschneider-Elkink, S., & Edmonds, B. (2022). Does Non-violent Repression Have Stronger Dampening Effects than State Violence? Insight from an Emotion-Based Model of Non-violent Dissent. Government and Opposition, 1-23. doi:

See for more details

Participants and papers at the Qual2Rule session @ SSC2022 in Milan

A snapshot of the room and participants (Thanks Harko Verhagen for this)

Papers presented at the Qual2Rule session organised during the Social Simulation Conference 2022:

Trustworthiness of simulation: A qualitative account
Martin Neumann (JGU Mainz, Germany)

The innovation network in the Rhenish Lignite area – A participatory ABM approach to partner selection and knowledge diffusion
Christian Stehr & Miriam Athmer (Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany)

Integrating agent-based modelling and behavioural data analytics: A case study of cli- mate change farmers’ perception in Italy
Sandra Ricart, Paolo Gazzotti, Claudio Gandolfi & Andrea Castelletti (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)

Challenging the establishment: A computational grounded theory of the emergence of sustainable food companies in Colombia
Cesar Garcia-Diaz, Mónica Ramos-Mejía, Sebastian Duenas-Ocampo & Isabella Gomati de la Vega (Universidad Javeriana, Colombia)

Special issue of “Social Research Methodology” on “Using agent-based simulation for integrating qualitative and quantitative evidence” is now officially out

Edited by Patrycja Antosz, Sukaina Bharwani, Melania Borit & Bruce Edmonds


The papers in the special issue are:

An introduction to the themed section on ‘Using agent-based simulation for integrating qualitative and quantitative evidence by Patrycja Antosz, Sukaina Bharwani, Melania Borit & Bruce Edmonds

RAT-RS: a reporting standard for improving the documentation of data use in agent-based modelling by Sebastian Achter, Melania Borit, Edmund Chattoe-Brown & Peer-Olaf Siebers

GAM on! Six ways to explore social complexity by combining games and agent-based models by Timo Szczepanska, Patrycja Antosz, Jan Ole Berndt, Melania Borit, Edmund Chattoe-Brown, Sara Mehryar, Ruth Meyer, Stephan Onggo & Harko Verhagen

Sensemaking of causality in agent-based models by Patrycja Antosz, Timo Szczepanska, Loes Bouman, J. Gareth Polhill & Wander Jager

Combining approaches: Looking behind the scenes of integrating multiple types of evidence from controlled behavioural experiments through agent-based modelling by Nanda Wijermans, Caroline Schill, Therese Lindahl & Maja Schlüter

Special Session on Qual2Rule @ Social Simulation 2022, Milan September 12-16

As usual there will be a special session on “Using qualitative data to inform behavioral rules in agent-based models” at the Social Simulation conference in 2022. The chairs are Melania Borit (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway) and Bruce Edmonds (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK). This track welcomes any submission explicitly addressing the use of qualitative data in modelling and seeking to move from qualitative evidence towards simulation more systematically.

To submit a paper go to: (Deadline 1st June 2022)

For more about the conference see:

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there!

Upcoming Qual2Rule seminars

Upcoming using qualitative evidence for agent based modelling online seminars (all at 1pm CET):

  • February 1st – Jakub Bijak et al, University of Southampton, UK, “Capturing the complexity of human migration: Towards an interdisciplinary model-building process”. Sorry – today’s seminar is cancelled due to the illness of the authors. Hope to get them back later in the year!
  • March 1st – Martin Neumann, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, “Growing artificial cultures.”
  • April 5th – Amineh Ghorbani, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, “Modelling institutions to add social backbone to artificial societies”
  • May 3rd – session in SocSimFesT2022 – Social Simulation Festival 2022
  • June 7th – Sukaina Bharwani, Stockholm Environment Institute Oxford, UK, title to be announced
  • July & August – no seminar because of holiday time

If you want to be sent an invite to this email Melania Borit <>

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.