Validation of an agent based model using a participatory simulation gaming approach: The case of city logistics

Nilesh Anand, David Meijer, Ron van Duin, Lóri Tavasszy, Sebastiaan Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Agent-based modeling is used for simulating the actions and interactions of autonomous entities aiming to assessing their effects on the system as a whole. At an abstract level, an agent-based model (ABM) is a representation of the many simple agents and interactions among them. The decision making of the agents is based on the rules given to them. In an ABM, the model output is the result of internal decision-making and may differ with alteration in the decision path. On the contrary, with the set of rules embedded in agents, their behavior is modeled to take a ‘certain action’ in a ‘certain situation’. It suggests that the internal decision making behavior of agents is truly responsible for the model output and thus it cannot be ignored while validating ABMs. This research article focuses on the validating agents’ behavior by evaluating decision-making processes of agents. For this purpose, we propose a validation framework based on a participatory simulation game. Using this framework we engage a human player (i.e. a domain stakeholder) to allow us to collect information about choices and validate the behavior of an individual agent. A proof-of-concept game is developed for a city logistics ABM to test the framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-499
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research. Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Agent based model
  • Validation
  • Participatory simulation
  • Game


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