Agent‐Based Modeling

Scott de Marchi and Scott E. Page

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199286546
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577307 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Agent‐Based Modeling

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This article provides a discussion on agent-based modeling. Two examples that show the ability of computational methods to extend game-theoretic results are presented. It then discusses modeling agents, modeling agent interactions, and system behaviour. In addition, it describes how agent-based models differ from and complement mathematical models and concludes with some suggestions for how one might best leverage the strengths of agent-based models to advance political science. Most mathematical analyses of game-theoretic models do not look into the stability and attainability of their equilibria and would be made richer by complementing them with agent-based models that explored those properties. The ability of computational models to test the robustness of formal results would be reason alone to add them to tool kits. As a methodology, agent-based modeling should be considered as in its infancy, its enormous potential limited only by the scientific and creative talents of its practitioners.

Keywords: agent-based modeling; game-theoretic models; computational methods; modeling agents; system behaviour

Article.  11477 words. 

Subjects: Political Methodology ; Comparative Politics

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