Validating Agent Based Social Systems Models

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Validating social systems is not a trivial task. The paper outlines some of our past efforts in validating models of social systems with cognitively detailed agents. It also presents some of the challenges faced by us. A social system built primarily of cognitively detailed agents can provide multiple levels of correspondence, both at observable and abstract aggregated levels. Such a system can also pose several challenges including large feature spaces, issues in information elicitation with database, experts and news feeds, counterfactuals, fragmented theoretical base, and limited funding for validation. Our own approach to validity assessment is to consider the entire life cycle and assess the validity under four broad dimensions of methodological validity, internal validity, external validity and qualitative, causal and narrative validity. In the past, we have employed a triangulation of multiple validation techniques, including face validation as well as formal validation tests including correspondence testing.

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Suggested Citation: G.K. Bharathy and B.G. Silverman. (2010). "Validating Agent Based Social Systems Models." Proceedings of the 2010 Winter Simulation Conference. Baltimore, MD. December 5-8, 2010. ©2010 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
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