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9 articles matched your search for the keywords:
Mixed Methods, Grounded Theory, Context, Rules, Fieldwork, Simulation Experiments

Controlled Simulation of Marriage Systems

Douglas White
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 2 (3) 5

Kyeywords: Population Studies, Marriage Rules, Demographic Constraints on Choice Behavior, Social Class, Social Anthropology
Abstract: This article presents and illustrates a new methodology for testing hypotheses about the departure of marriage choices from baseline models of random mating in an actual kinship and marriage network of a human population. The fact that demographic constraints can drastically affect the raw frequencies of different types of marriage suggests that we must reexamine or even throw out - as methodologically flawed - statistical conclusions regarding marriage "rules" from most of the existing empirical case studies. The development of the present methods, in contrast, enables researchers to decompose those behavioral tendencies that can be taken as agent-based social preferences, institutional "rules" or marriage structure from those behaviors whose divergent frequencies are merely a by-product or epiphenomena of demographic constraints on the availability of potential spouses. The family of random baseline models used here enables a researcher to identify overall global structures of marriage rules such as dual organization as well as more local of egocentric rules such as rules favoring marriage with certain kinds of relatives. Based on random permutations of the actual data in a manner that controls for the effects of demographic factors across different cases, the new methods are illustrated for three case studies: a village in Sri Lanka with a novel form of dual organization detected by this methodology, a cross-class analysis of a village in Indonesia, and an analysis of a farming village in Austria in which a structurally endogamous subset of villages is identified by the method and shown to form the backbone of a class-based landed property system.

Better Be Convincing or Better Be Stylish? a Theory Based Multi-Agent Simulation to Explain Minority Influence in Groups Via Arguments or Via Peripheral Cues

Hans-Joachim Mosler
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 9 (3) 4

Kyeywords: Social Influences, Persuasion Processes, Group Processes, Minority Influence, Computer Simulation, Modelling, Theory Verification, Simulation Experiments
Abstract: Very often in the history of mankind, social changes took place because a minority was successful in persuading the dominant majority of a new idea. Social psychology provides empirically well-founded theories of social influence that can explain the power of minorities at individual level. In this contribution, we present an agent-based computer simulation of one such theory, the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). After introducing the theoretical background and our agent model, we present three simulation experiments that confirm past laboratory research but also go beyond its findings by adopting the method of computer simulation. First, we found that even a minority with low argument quality can be successful as long as it has positive peripheral cues. Second, our results suggest that a higher personal relevance of a topic for the majority led it to be more receptive to minority influence only when the minority showed neutral peripheral cues and very good arguments. Third, we found evidence that a neutral or only slightly biased majority is influenced more easily than a strongly biased one. To sum up, we consider these results to illustrate the notion that a well-presented, comprehensible and valid computer simulation provides a useful tool for theory development and application in an exploratory manner as long as it is well founded in terms of the model and theory.

Simulating Rural Environmentally and Socio-Economically Constrained Multi-Activity and Multi-Decision Societies in a Low-Data Context: A Challenge Through Empirical Agent-Based Modeling

Mehdi Saqalli, Charles L. Bielders, Bruno Gerard and Pierre Defourny
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 13 (2) 1

Kyeywords: Rule-Based Modelling, Rural Sahel, Confidence Building, Low-Data Context, Social Criteria
Abstract: Development issues in developing countries belong to complex situations where society and environment are intricate. However, such sites lack the necessary amount of reliable, checkable data and information, while these very constraining factors determine the populations' evolutions, such as villagers living in Sahelian environments. Beyond a game-theory model that leads to a premature selection of the relevant variables, we build an individual-centered, empirical, KIDS-oriented (Keep It Descriptive & Simple), and multidisciplinary agent-based model focusing on the villagers\' differential accesses to economic and production activities according to social rules and norms, mainly driven by social criteria from which gender and rank within the family are the most important, as they were observed and registered during individual interviews. The purpose of the work is to build a valid and robust model that overcome this lack of data by building a individual specific system of behaviour rules conditioning these differential accesses showing the long-term catalytic effects of small changes of social rules. The model-building methodology is thereby crucial: the interviewing process provided the behaviour rules and criteria while the context, i.e. the economic, demographic and agro-ecological environment is described following published or unpublished literature. Thanks to a sensitivity analysis on several selected parameters, the model appears fairly robust and sensitive enough. The confidence building simulation outputs reasonably reproduces the dynamics of local situations and is consistent with three authors having investigated in our site. Thanks to its empirical approach and its balanced conception between sociology and agro-ecology at the relevant scale, i.e. the individual tied to social relations, limitations and obligations and connected with his/her biophysical and economic environment, the model can be considered as an efficient "trend provider" but not an absolute "figure provider" for simulating rural societies of the Nigrien Sahel and testing scenarios on the same context. Such ABMs can be a useful interface to analyze social stakes in development projects.

Modelling Contextualized Reasoning in Complex Societies with "Endorsements"

Shah Jamal Alam, Armando Geller, Ruth Meyer and Bogdan Werth
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 13 (4) 6

Kyeywords: Cognition, Contextualized Reasoning, Evidence-Driven Agent-Based Social Simulation, Empirical Agent-Based Social Simulation, Rich Cognitive Modelling, Tzintzuntzan
Abstract: In many computational social simulation models only cursory reference to the foundations of the agent cognition used is made and computational expenses let many modellers chose simplistic agent cognition architectures. Both choices run counter to expectations framed by scholars active in the domain of rich cognitive modelling that see agent reasoning as socially inherently contextualized. The Manchester school of social simulation proposed a particular kind of a socially contextualized reasoning mechanism, so called endorsements, to implement the cognitive processes underlying agent action selection that eventually causes agent interaction. Its usefulness lies in its lightweight architecture and in taking into account folk psychological conceptions of how reasoning works. These and other advantages make endorsements an amenable tool in everyday social simulation modelling. A yet outstanding comprehensive introduction to the concept of endorsements is provided and its theoretical basis is extended and extant research is critically reviewed. Improvements to endorsements regarding memory and perception are suggested and tested against a case-study.

Virtual Fieldwork: Modeling Observer Bias in Kinship and Marriage Alliance Networks

Klaus Hamberger and Floriana Gargiulo
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (3) 2

Kyeywords: Kinship, Marriage Alliance, Agent Based Simulation, Observer Bias, Fieldwork, Ebrei
Abstract: The morphological properties of genealogical and marriage alliance networks constitute a key to the understanding of matrimonial behavior and social norms, in particular where these norms have not been explicitly formalized. Their analysis, however, faces a major difficulty: the actual datasets which allow researchers to reconstruct kinship and alliance networks are generally subject to a marked observer bias, if only due to limitations of observer mobility and/or informant memory. This paper presents an agent based simulation method destined to evaluate the impact of this bias on some key indicators of kinship and alliance networks (such as matrimonial circuit frequencies). The method consists in explicitly simulating the exploration of a given network by a virtual observer, the bias being introduced by the observer’s inclination for choosing informants who are more or less closely related to each other. The article presents the model for genealogical and for alliance networks, applies it to a series of artificial networks exhibiting some characteristic morphological patterns, and discusses the divergence of observed from real patterns for different kinds and degrees of observer bias. The methods presented have been implemented in the free software Puck 2.0.

From Participants to Agents: Grounded Simulation as a Mixed-Method Research Design

Ozge Dilaver
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (1) 15

Kyeywords: Mixed Methods, Grounded Theory, Context, Rules, Fieldwork, Simulation Experiments
Abstract: This paper introduces a mixed-method research design for investigating complexity of social reality. The research design integrates grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) and social simulation and is therefore called grounded simulation (GS). GS starts with in-depth investigations of complex social phenomena from perspectives of people who experience them. These investigations follow principles of grounded theory and enquire into contexts that research participants describe and the way they make sense of action in these contexts. Data analysis progresses inductively and outwards, from narratives of people who are at the centre of the phenomena to emerging constructs and theories. While the grounded theory fieldwork would have its own research outputs, its selected findings can be then carried to agent-based models for further investigation of social complexity. By representing social and economic agents, their contexts and actions as closely as possible, GS shortens the distance between research participants, who have real life experiences of the subject being modelled, and the virtual agents. Knowledge production in social simulation progresses generatively and upwards, moving from interactions at the individual level to emergent properties at the macro-level. GS experiments are thus suitable for studying the societal implications of meanings that emerge from the data collected in grounded theory. The paper illustrates how this research design can be used, by referring to a GS study on diffusion of innovations.

A Context- and Scope-Sensitive Analysis of Narrative Data to Aid the Specification of Agent Behaviour

Bruce Edmonds
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (1) 17

Kyeywords: Qualitative Data, Context, Scope, Analysis, Specification, Narrative
Abstract: A structure for analysing narrative data is suggested, one that distinguishes three parts in sequence: context (a heuristic to identify what knowledge is relevant given a kind of situation), scope (what is possible within that situation) and narrative elements (the detailed conditional and sequential structure of actions and events given the context and scope). This structure is first motivated and then illustrated with some simple examples taken from Sukaina Bhawani’s thesis (Bhawani 2004). It is suggested that such a structure might be helpful in preserving more of the natural meaning of such data, as well as being a good match to a context-dependent computational architecture, and thus facilitate the process of using narrative data to inform the specification of behavioural rules in an Agent-Based Simulation. This suggestion only solves part of the “Narrative Data to Agent Behaviour” puzzle – this structure needs to be combined and improved by other methods and appropriate computational architectures designed to suit it.

Grounded Simulation

Martin Neumann
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (1) 9

Kyeywords: Grounded Theory, Evidence Based Modelling, Theoretical Coding, Ontologies, Stylized Facts, Theory Development
Abstract: This paper investigates the contribution of evidence-based modelling to grounded theory (GT). It is argued that evidence-based modelling provides additional sources to truly arrive at a theory through the inductive process of a Grounded Theory approach. This is shown by two examples. One example concerns the development of software ontologies of criminal organisations. The other example is a simulation model of escalation of ethno-nationalist conflicts. The first example concerns early to middle stages of the research process. The development of an ontology provides a tool for the process of theoretical coding in a GT approach. The second example shows stylised facts resulting from a simulation model of the escalation of ethno-nationalist conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. These reveal mechanisms of nationalist radicalisation. This provides additional credibility for the claim that evidence-based modelling assists to inductively generate a theory in a GT approach.

Predicting Self-Initiated Preventive Behavior Against Epidemics with an Agent-Based Relative Agreement Model

Liang Mao
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (4) 6

Kyeywords: Self-Initiated Behavior, Infectious Diseases, Agent-Based Modeling, Relative Agreement Rules, Social Network
Abstract: Human self-initiated behavior against epidemics is recognized to have significant impacts on disease spread. A few epidemic models have incorporated self-initiated behavior, and most of them are based on a classic population-based approach, which assumes a homogeneous population and a perfect mixing pattern, thus failing to capture heterogeneity among individuals, such as their responsive behavior to diseases. This article proposes an agent-based model that combines epidemic simulation with a relative agreement model for individual self-initiated behavior. This model explicitly represents discrete individuals, their contact structure, and most importantly, their progressive decision making processes, thus characterizing individualized responses to disease risks. The model simulation and sensitivity analysis show the existence of critical points (threshold values) in the model parameter space to control influenza epidemic including minimum values for the initially positive population size, the communication rate, and the attitude uncertainty. These threshold effects shed insights on preventive strategy design to deal with the current circumstances that new vaccines are often insufficient to combat emerging communicable diseases.