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Agent-Based Modeling

Agent-Based Modeling
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Copyright: 2017
Pages: 16
Source title: Agent-Based Modeling in Humanitarian Interventions: Emerging Research and Opportunities
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): John McCaskill (University of Texas at Dallas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1782-5.ch003


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Agent based modeling is one of many tools, from the complexity sciences, available to investigate complex policy problems. Complexity science investigates the non-linear behavior of complex adaptive systems. Complex adaptive systems can be found across a broad spectrum of the natural and human created world. Examples of complex adaptive systems include various ecosystems, economic markets, immune response, and most importantly for this research, human social organization and competition / cooperation. The common thread among these types of systems is that they do not behave in a mechanistic way which has led to problems in utilizing traditional methods for studying them. Complex adaptive systems do not follow the Newtonian paradigm of systems that behave like a clock works whereby understanding the workings of each of the parts provides an understanding of the whole. By understanding the workings of the parts and a few external rules, predictions can be made about the behavior of the system as a whole under varying circumstances. Such systems are labeled deterministic (Zimmerman, Lindberg, & Plsek, 1998).

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