The workshop ‘Recent Developments and Future Directions in Agent-Based Modelling in Population Studies’ took place on September 18-19, 2014, at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). It was organized in the context of the ERC project ‘Implications of the Shifting Gender Balance in Education for Reproductive Behaviour in Europe’ and funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC Grant Agreement no. 312290 for the GENDERBALL project (principal investigator: Jan Van Bavel). It was co-sponsored by the Concerted Research Action ‘New Approaches to the Social Dynamics of Long Term Fertility Change’ (KU Leuven grant) and Scientific Research Group Historical Demography (Research Foundation Flanders).
The workshop was attended by more than 50 scholars interested in applying and advancing agent-based modelling in the area of population studies. The topics covered ranged from relating the method of agent-based modelling to existing paradigms in population studies to infusing agent-based models with empirical data. Invited speakers were Prof. Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz and Prof. Francesco Billari. The full programme and the list of participants can be downloaded here. The slides of Prof. Fürnkranz-Prskawetz’s keynote speech can be downloaded here.
A selection of contributions to the workshop have been published in 2016 in the book ‘Agent-Based Modelling in Population Studies: Concepts, Methods, and Applications‘ (Eds. André Grow and Jan Van Bavel), as part of The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis. The book has a received a favorable review by Thomas Fent in the European Journal of Population (2017), which states in the concluding assessment that “[t]he editors did a good job in compiling and structuring this impressive collection. The volume exhibits a good balance between papers that tackle general aspects of agent-based modelling and very specific papers that exemplify the power of ABMs. I am sure this book will become an important milestone along the road of advancement of ABMs in population studies.”
Impressions of the Workshop
Courtesy of Martin Klesment; additional pictures can be downloaded here (password required)