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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In recent years, the field of social simulation has been dominated by the individual, or agent-based, computational model (ABM). ABMs provide unique means to explore complex social systems by allowing researchers to construct explicit models of the individual actors and interactions that make them up - people, peer groups, companies, nations, trade, reproduction, victimization, and so on, This chapter aims to provide the reader with a primer in the social simulation method and in particular the application of ABM in the field of environmental criminology. It begins by discussing the rationale behind the ABM approach. Subsequently, drawing on two illustrative simulations, it summarizes fundamental processes involved in designing, constructing, verifying, calibrating, validating, and utilizing ABM. It concludes by discussing some of the overarching strengths and limitations of the approach, and by discussing several areas of research that might aid in furthering the use of ABM within the field of environmental criminology.

Keywords: ABM, Social simulation, Computational social science, Agent-based model, Individual-based model, Environmental criminology, Computational criminology, Complex systems

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