A Dynamic MSM With Agent Elements for Spatial Demographic Forecasting

Wu, Belinda M.; Birkin, Mark H. and Rees, Philip H. (2011). A Dynamic MSM With Agent Elements for Spatial Demographic Forecasting. Social Science Computer Review, 29(1) pp. 145–160.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439310370113

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0894439310370113


Individual-based models such as microsimulation models (MSMs) provide an alternative to macroscopic models in social simulation and modeling. In contrast to the traditional models where individual characteristics are often blurred or even disregarded, MSM provides the realistic disaggregated information that is often vital for modern policy problems. MSM has been extensively applied and well tested in social modeling. However, it has been criticized for being less strong in modeling interactions between individuals and individual behaviors. MSM also struggles where realistic micro data are not available. Agent-based models (ABMs) can model the demographic process through interactions between the agents and with the environment that they live in. The combination of MSM and ABM provides a new approach to enhance complex social modeling. In our study, we attempt to provide better groundwork to facilitate policy and decision making for the U.K. population through a hybrid model that combines the strength of the two complementary techniques.

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