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Structure and Dynamics

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A Framework to Structure Agent-Based Modeling Data for Social-Ecological Systems


Agent-based models (ABMs), perhaps used along with other methods, are increasingly being applied to address problems involving social-ecological systems (SES). However, systematic and standardized techniques for organizing data requirements and collecting information for such models are generally not applied. Defining the types of data that need to be collected is a critical step in instantiating relevant models and detailing behavioral patterns. By organizing data needs into pertinent categories, researchers can focus efforts to make data collection more efficient, provide a clear record of gathered data, conserve project resources, and create models more easily. In this paper, we present a formal method, which we call Delineate, Structure, and Gather (DSG), that has been applied to guide the determination of data requirements, structure data needs, and enable data collection for the development of ABMs addressing SES. The presented framework continues and supplements existing efforts that provide standardization and protocol techniques for constructing ABMs. An active project is presented in order to demonstrate how DSG can be implemented to address SES issues.

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