THURSDAY, 16 March

Day 2 – Thursday, 16 March

09:30 - 11:00

ESSA in focus

By Melania Borit (UiT The Arctic University of Norway)



ESSA is the European Social Simulation Association. Founded more than 20 years ago, ESSA is the world’s largest society for Social Simulation. During this session, the ESSA Management Committee would like to engage the participants (both ESSA and non-ESSA members) in discussions about several topics that the social simulation community finds relevant, among others:

  • how to organise common methodological learning;
  • how to work more effectively with other associations around the world;
  • how to become a more inclusive society;
  • how to collaborate through grant proposal writing;
  • how to better support social simulation education and training;
  • how to provide better support to early career researchers;
  • how to better facilitate access to specialized knowledge;
  • how to promote social simulation in research and decision making;
  • how to facilitate engagement in the community.

Depending on the number of participants, the session will be organised as plenary discussion, break-out rooms, and/or fishbowl discussion.

11:00 – 11:15



11:15 - 12:45


By Natalie Davis (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and Silvia Leoni (Maastricht University, The Netherlands)

ESSA@work is a concept born out of the desire to give and receive feedback on work-in-progress agent-based models. Participants present a model they are working on to gather feedback and suggestions to improve, adapt and/or extend their model. The model can be at any stage of development, from a design to a completed model, however, it should have been at least partially explored by the author, and they should prepare questions/problems that they are struggling with in relation to the model. Feedback to participants comes from two different sources: two expert modellers and the audience. In the feedback process, emphasis is placed on constructive exploration of possible solutions to the problems raised by the participants, who are not asked to “defend” their modelling choices. Rather, they are provided with an opportunity to listen to two experts constructively discuss their work with complete involvement.

In the SocSimFesT 2023 edition there will be two participants to present and receive feedback on their work.


  • To be finalized

12:45 – 13:30

Lunch break


13.30 - 15:00

Credibility – Advancing ABSS as a Tool for Decision-Support

By Michael Belfrage, Emil Johansson, Fabian Lorig, and Paul Davidsson (Malmö University, Sweden)

When applying ABSS to support policy making, it is not only important to ensure the validity of these models but also their credibility. If a model is not perceived as being convincing and believable, it is unlikely to be used by decision-makers. Credibility, however, is subjective and difficult to measure, and there is a lack of common understanding of how credibility is perceived in ABSS and how it can be achieved.
The aim of this workshop is to initiate methodological discussions on improving the
credibility of ABSS models used for supporting policy making. We will use a mock model to
frame discussions around credibility and to discuss contributing factors. This will be done
using mural (an online whiteboard tool), where the participants will discuss and identify
factors which they believe serve to increase the credibility of models as well as rank-order
these factors. If feasible, concerning engagement and content, our ambition is to invite the
participants to write a joint statement considering the different factors of model credibility.
At this workshop, we want to invite modelers to continue the discussion about model
credibility where previous discussions left off (e.g., Onggo et al. 2019). Posing questions as:
What is the credibility of ABSS models? What is important for ABSS models to be credible?
And how should credibility be evaluated or measured? Continuing these discussions, we will frame the discussion around a practical example, something we hope can make the problem more approachable. We believe that answering these questions is crucial for the future use of ABSS as a decision-support tool and an important step towards realizing its potential.
Our aim is to initiate methodological discussions and activities aimed at furthering our
understanding of what constitutes a credible ABSS model. We would also like to invite
participants who would want, to make a statement on credibility issues of ABSS models. This along with other material created from the workshop is intended to serve as a basis for a joint paper.

10 minutes / Welcome and framing of the workshop
10 minutes / Introduction of the mock model
45 minutes / Break-out room discussions (with mural):
1) What factors contribute to the credibility of ABSS models?
2) How about the importance of the identified factors? Is there a rank order?
(10 minutes / break between the two rounds of discussion)
10 minutes / Summarization of the different suggested/discussed aspects
5 minutes Concluding remarks and proceeding plans.

15:00 – 15:15



15:15 - 16:45


By César García Díaz (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia)

Patterns of change in intra- and inter-organizational dynamics

Organizational change is not merely restricted to internal aspects of organizations; it also depends on the interaction among them. My interest in theoretical organizational modeling comes from my earlier curiosity in studying organizational change and dynamics through the combination of systems theory and computational approaches. In this talk I will address diverse issues of intra- and inter-organizational processes of change from an agent-based modeling perspective. Starting with inter-organizational issues, I will introduce key elements in the study of macro-level adaptation through the conceptualization of organizational ecologies. I will further address several instances of intra-organizational change that include individual-level diversity and evolving networks. I will also consider challenges in aggregation, coevolving systems, and in the incorporation of reflexive behavior.