Calibrating agent-based models using a genetic algorithm

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a Genetic Algorithm (GA)-based tool that calibrates Agent-based Models (ABMs). The GA searches through a user-defined set of input parameters of an ABM, delivering values for those parameters so that the output time series of an ABM may match the real system's time series to certain precision. Once that set of possible values has been available, then a domain expert can select among them, the ones that better make sense from a practical point of view and match the explanation of the phenomenon under study. In developing the GA, we have had three main goals in mind. First, the GA should be easily used by non-expert computer users and allow the seamless integration of the GA with different ABMs. Secondly, the GA should achieve a relatively short convergence time, so that it may be practical to apply it to many situations, even if the corresponding ABMs exhibit complex dynamics. Thirdly, the GA should use a few data points of the real system's time series and even so, achieve a sufficiently good match with the ABM's time series to attaining relational equivalence between the real system under study and the ABM that models it. That feature is important since social science longitudinal studies commonly use few data points. The results show that all of those goals have been accomplished.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalStudies in Informatics and Control
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agent-based modelling
  • calibration
  • complex adaptive systems
  • genetic algorithms
  • relational equivalence
  • validation

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