Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 278–289 | Cite as

Designing an Agent-Based Model Using Group Model Building: Application to Food Insecurity Patterns in a U.S. Midwestern Metropolitan City

  • Keumseok Koh
  • Rebecca Reno
  • Ayaz Hyder


Recent advances in computing resources have increased interest in systems modeling and population health. While group model building (GMB) has been effectively applied in developing system dynamics models (SD), few studies have used GMB for developing an agent-based model (ABM). This article explores the use of a GMB approach to develop an ABM focused on food insecurity. In our GMB workshops, we modified a set of the standard GMB scripts to develop and validate an ABM in collaboration with local experts and stakeholders. Based on this experience, we learned that GMB is a useful collaborative modeling platform for modelers and community experts to address local population health issues. We also provide suggestions for increasing the use of the GMB approach to develop rigorous, useful, and validated ABMs.


Agent-based modeling Group model building Food insecurity Systems science System dynamics 



This study was supported by an internal seed grant, Initiative for The Ohio State University’s Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFact) 2015-2016 Linkage and Leverage Grant, to Ayaz Hyder.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public HealthThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Maternal and Child Health Department, School of Public HealthUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public HealthThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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