Abductive Fallacies with Agent-Based Modeling and System Dynamics

  • Tobias Lorenz
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5466)


Increasing usage of computer simulation as a method of pursuing science makes methodological reflection immanently important. After discussing relevant philosophical positions Winsberg’s view of simulation modeling is adapted to conceptualize simulation modeling as an abductive way of doing science. It is proposed that two main presuppositions determine the outcome of a simulation: theory and methodology. The main focus of the paper is on the analysis of the role of simulation methodologies in simulation modeling. The fallacy of applying an inadequate simulation methodology to a given simulation task is dubbed ‘abductive fallacy’. In order to facilitate a superior choice of simulation methodology three respects are proposed to compare System Dynamics and Agent-based Modeling: structure, behavior and emergence. These respects are analyzed on the level of the methodology itself and verified in case studies of the WORLD3-model and the Sugarscape model.


Abduction System Dynamics Agent-based Modeling Methodology Multi-Paradigm Modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tobias Lorenz
    • 1
  1. 1.Stiftung Wertevolle ZukunftHamburgGermany

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