Agent-Based Modelling in Research

I was asked to make a presentation at a recent Ph.D seminar at the University of Kwazulu Natal Leadership Centre. My presentation was entitled 'Agent-Based Modelling in Research'. I explained how Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) can be used to simulate emergent behaviour. I intend to use ABM to model different economic scenarios and see what emergent behaviours contribute to sustainability

Presentation in PDF format

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3 Comments on “Agent-Based Modelling in Research”

  1. Hi Andrew

    Herewith some of the comments:

    Consider the different ways of conceptualising agents: apart from org, group, individual, could also be org micro-states (McKelvey), knowledge structures, memes (Dawkins), narrative themes (Stacey) etc.

    Worthwhile to consider how you could model artifacts as agents as well – the notion that agents co-evolve with other agents as well as with artifacts; similar to Gidden’s structuration theory in some ways.

    Agent cannot stand outside the system, or understand the environment or the system – radical implications for leadership and mgt etc. So as a manager you can’t choose the attractor – you are merely an agent like everyone else. You night have more decision-making, able to allocate resources, info diffusion and so on, but you cannnot control outcomes, so can’t choose the attractor either – merely shape the context and may be boundaries..but so can other agents

    In one sense complexity theory implies that the system itself emerges,,higher emphasis on emergence as opposed to systems thinking which refers to emergent properties of the system

    The slide on strategy towards the end.. I think this is taking you backwards…or could do so.

    Strategy, business idea etc. while not questioning their value… are merely artifacts.

    I don’t buy the resilience theory bit yet… but don’t know enough about it.

    Strategic conversationis useful, but in my view Vd heijden gives us the starting point only … need to develop it more (see my earlier email.) He is stuck on overly rational, analytical approaches to strategy which I believe is inconsistent with complexity perspectives.

    Will check out the OODA cycle some time and we can talk further.


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