ESSA@Work: ABM Workshop

On November 24th & 25th 2016 a group of 15 researchers with various disciplinary backgrounds, gathered at TU Hamburg at the ESSA@Work Workshop to present and discuss innovative ideas and ongoing research regarding Agent-Based models (ABM). The diversity in academic backgrounds was reflected by differing modeling approaches, ranging from production and logistics management over integrated assessment models in climate economics to a legislative focus on autonomous driving. The common ground of the participants was the conviction that the methodology of ABM is an appropriate tool to cope with complex problems.

Facing some criticism regarding the validity and transparency of ABM assumptions, the ESCP Europe research team around Professor Dr. Sylvie Geisendorf applied a “Design Of Experiments” (DOE) framework method to the well-known Sugarscape model by Epstein/Axtell (1996). The methodology has been developed to verify and test ABMs. The test application pointed out significant relationships and feedback effects within the model.

The platform provided by the workshop was a welcome opportunity to engage and discuss with other experienced simulation researchers about ways to improve the communication of model results and increasing validity. For us the workshop was a true success and the newly generated insights will support our future research.