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.



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

Bruce Edmonds (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)


List of presentations

AuthorsTitleType of SubmissionPresentation Time
Stephanie Dornschneider and Bruce EdmondsBuilding a bridge from qualitative analysis to a simulation of the Arab Spring protestsFull paper30 min
Edmund Chattoe-BrownUn Drôle De Type: The Schelling Model, Calibration, Specification, Validation and Using Relevant DataFull paper30 min
Thomas Feliciani, Pablo Lucas, Junwen Luo and Kalpana ShankarBuilding a data-driven model of peer review: the case of Science Foundation IrelandExtended abstract15 min
Nanda Wijermans, Harko Verhagen, Davide Natalini, Stephanie Dornschneider, Mathew Senga and Ananya MukherjeeAnimal farm - species of a different kind flock togetherExtended abstract15 min
Peer-Olaf Siebers, Sebastian Achter, Cristiane Palaretti Bernardo, Melania Borit and Edmund Chattoe-BrownFirst Steps Towards RAT: A Protocol for Documenting Data Use in the Agent-Based Modeling ProcessExtended abstract15 min
Sara Mehryar, Swenja Surminski and Bruce EdmondsParticipatory Agent-Based Modelling for Flood Risk InsuranceExtended abstract15 min