Negotiating a future that is not like the past

Elsenbroich, C. and Badham, J. (2023) Negotiating a future that is not like the past. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, (doi: 10.1080/13645579.2022.2137935) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Agent-based models combine data and theory during both development and use of the model. As models have become increasingly data driven, it is easy to start thinking of agent-based modelling as an empirical method, akin to statistical modelling, and reduce the role of theory. We argue that both types of information are important where the past is not a reliable blueprint for the future, which occurs when modelling dynamic complex systems or to explore the implications of change. By balancing theory and data, agent-based modelling is a tool to describe plausible futures, that we call ‘justified stories’. We conclude that this balance must be maintained if agent-based models are to serve as a useful decision support tool for policymakers.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Elsenbroich, Dr Corinna
Authors: Elsenbroich, C., and Badham, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:International Journal of Social Research Methodology
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1364-5579
ISSN (Online):1464-5300
Published Online:04 November 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Social Research Methodology 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
313944System-science Informed Public Health and Economic Research for non-communicable Disease Prevention (the SIPHER consortium)Petra MeierMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/S037578/2HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048231Systems science research in public healthPetra MeierMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/5HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048231Systems science research in public healthPetra MeierOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU20HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit