1/19/19

Integrating Agent-Based Modeling and Case-Based Methods, specifically QCA

My colleagues, Peter Barbrook-Johnson and Corey Schimpf have a new article out in the International Journal of Social Research Methods. The focus, as the title suggests, is that case-based methods and agent-based modelling can be integrated to leverage their combined strengths.  Below is the abstract.  CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE


ABSTRACT
Two leading camps for studying social complexity are case-based methods (CBM) and agent-based modelling (ABM). Despite the potential epistemological links between ‘cases’ and ‘agents,’ neither camp has leveraged their combined strengths. A bridge can be built, however, by drawing on Abbott’s insight that ‘agents are cases doing things’, Byrne’s suggestion that ‘cases are complex systems with agency’, and by viewing CBM and ABM within the broader trend towards computational modelling of cases. To demonstrate the utility of this bridge, we describe how CBM can utilise ABM to identify case-based trends; explore the interactions and collective behaviour of cases; and study different scenarios. We also describe how ABM can utilise CBM to identify agent types; construct agent behaviour rules; and link these to outcomes to calibrate and validate model results. To further demonstrate the bridge, we review a public health study that made initial steps in combining CBM and ABM.

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