On Agent-Based Modelling and Computational Social Science

We’re glad to announce a new paper from LABSS as a contribution to the debate on the approach to computational social science: On Agent-Based Modelling and Computational Social Science.

In the first part of the paper, the field of Agent-Based Modelling is discussed focusing on the role of generative theories, aiming at explaining phenomena by growing them. After a brief analysis of the major strengths of the field some crucial weaknesses are analysed. In particular, the generative power of ABM is found to have been underexploited, as the pressure for simple recipes has prevailed and shadowed the application of rich cognitive models. In the second part of the paper, the renewal of interest for Computational Social Science is focused upon, and several of its variants, such as deductive, generative, and complex CSS, are identified and described. In the concluding remarks, an interdisciplinary variant, which takes after ABM, reconciling it with the quantitative one, is proposed as a fundamental requirement for a new program of the CSS.

doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00668

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