Using qualitative data to inform behavioral rules in agent-based models

Many academics consider qualitative evidence (e.g. texts gained from transcribing oral data or observations of people) and quantitative evidence to be incommensurable. However, agent-based simulations are a possible vehicle for bridging this gap. Narrative textual evidence often gives clues as to the in-context behavior of individuals and is thus a natural source for behaviors to inform the specification of corresponding Agent behavior within simulations. The texts will not give a complete picture, but will provide some of “menu” of behaviors people use. During this session we hope to further the understanding of how to improve this.Those interested to present their work in this session have to make sure that their submission explicitly addresses the use of qualitative data in their modelling endeavour. The session is open to all approaches that seek to move from qualitative evidence towards a simulation in a systematic way.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Approaches based in Grounded Theory.
  • Tools for facilitating such a process.
  • Participatory processes that result in a simulation.
  • Frameworks for aiding the analysis of text into rules.
  • Elicitation techniques that would aid the capture of information in an appropriate
  • structure.
  • Models and ideas from psychology to aid in the above process.
  • Insights and tools from Natural Language Processing that may help this
  • process.
  • Agent architectures that will facilitate the programming of agents from
  • such analyses.
  • Philosophical or Sociological critiques of this project, pointing out assumptions and dangers.
  • Examples of where this approach has been tried.



We welcome the submission of extended abstracts (3 - 4 pages; short oral presentation) and full papers (max. 12 pages, long oral presentation). All work must be original, i.e. must not have appeared in conference proceedings, books, or journals and may not be under review for other archival conferences, books, or journals.


Important Dates

Submission of extended abstracts (3-4 pages) or full papers (max. 12 pages): 30 April 2019
Notification of Acceptance: 24 June 2019
Final Version Submission: 11 July 2019



Melania Borit (UiT – The Arctic University of Norway (University of Tromsø), Norway),

Bruce Edmonds (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)