Simulation Model

A simulation model is a “running model” that produces artificial data about the structures and behaviours of a target (e.g. a social system), where empirical target data and artificial model data are sufficiently similar to serve the purpose of the modeller. The advantage of a simulation model of the target is that it allows experimenting with structural and behavioural change (cf. Gilbert and Doran, 1994). Artificial data compared to empirical data is the output data of the model. If there is a sufficient evidence of isomorphism of artificial and empirical data, we talk about "validation" of the model. Behavioural change on the micro level of a simulated target system may lead to structural change of global phenomena on the system level.


Gilbert, N. and J. Doran (eds.), 1994: Simulating Societies. The computer simulation of social phenomena. London: Routledge.

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