Institutional modelling

Adding social backbone to agent-based models

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Institutional modelling is a branch of agent-based modelling and simulation (ABMS) that pays special attention to the social structure by incorporating institutions into these models. Institutions, in this regard, are the rules of the system that shape individual behaviour and interaction. Institutional modelling can make use of the Institutional Grammar (IG), which has 6 pre-specified components to conceptualize institutions. The IG can be used for collecting institutional data for modelling purposes, for coding institutions, and for integrating them into different parts of an agent-based model. This modelling approach helps capture the structural complexities of social systems in agent-based models. It also supports the explanation of the emergence and dynamics of institutions, not only for better understanding institutions but also for studying social systems, especially for policy analysis. • Institutional modelling is a branch of agent-based modelling that focuses on and explicitly models the social aspects of socio-ecological-technical systems. • Institutional modelling supports theory development by enabling modellers to study institutions, and institutional change within, the systems they are embedded in. • While agent-based modelling is a bottom-up (individual-based) simulation approach, institutional modelling also incorporates top-down institutional structures and aims at studying interactions between bottom-up processes and top-down structural patterns.