Thank you to all participants!

We thank all participants of the first symposium for a great first meeting, and for creating such an inspiring, open, and constructive atmosphere.  We look forward to continue working with you on the topic. Please find here all materials and downloads of the first symposium.

We will keep you posted on the next steps!

Curious About the Group Discussions?

We aim to generate concrete outcomes of the symposium. For this, the group discussions are a crucial element.

We organized three group work slots. Each consists of two phases: the discussion phase and the documentation phase.  

We formulated questions as orientation for the group discussion phases. Answers, thoughts, and further ideas should then be documented. We organized time for taking notes right after the discussions. Afterwards, we all come together to report and talk about the results across the groups.

Further details on group discussions, group works, and aimed outputs are described on this page.


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Have a safe trip.

We got Funded by the VW Foundation!

We are happy to announce that our proposal at the Volkswagen Foundation was successful! The foundation will support three symposia on the topic:

“From cases to general principles – Theory development through agent-based modeling”

The symposia will take place in the years 2018-2020 at Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Germany. We will announce more details regarding the dates and content.

Here is an overview of the events:

SYMPOSIUM I (2018): State of the art and epistemological perspectives on agent-based modeling and theory development

The first symposium is about bringing together perspectives and experiences with theory development using ABM. Short presentations and group discussions will provide information about existing ABM studies that contributed to theory in the disciplines, their value, and their limitations. Researchers from Philosophy of Science add to this by transferring knowledge about models and theory development from an epistemological perspective. The outcome of this first meeting will be a joint journal publication about the state of the art in theory development through ABM, and the learnings from Philosophy of Science for ABM.

SYMPOSIUM II (2019) – Best practice in agent-based model design and analysis for theory development

The second symposium is a forum for discussing the best practices and methods in the scientific disciplines to overcome methodological challenges and obstacles that might hamper theory development using ABM. This meeting includes presentations with critical reflections on current practices by discussants. In the end, a catalog of challenges, methods, and limitations will provides an overview of state of the art in model design and analysis. This is also the basis to identify research gaps and potentially unsolved problems.

SYMPOSIUM III (2020) – Synthesis of expertise and practices for improving theory development by agent-based modeling

The third and final meeting brings the results from the first two symposia together in a synthesis of expertise and practices. The resulting special issue of a journal, being the outcome of this meeting, will summarize the learnings and present new ways on how to make use of the potential of ABM for theory development, and discuss its limits and boundaries. The selected case studies, which were initiated in Symposium I and discussed in Symposium II, and which were carried out between the symposia will result in recommendations on how agent-based modeling can lead to identifying general principles and theories. These studies aim for high-profile publication, as they strive to transform the general perception of theory development in our highly interconnected, agent-based world.