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Thursday, March 31 • 09:20 - 09:45
S02-03 Applied Agent-Based Modeling in archaeology: When and why?

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Applied Agent-Based Modeling in Archaeology: When and Why?

Kathryn Harris, Iza Romanowska, Benjamin Davies, Stefani A. Crabtree

Agent-based modeling is useful well beyond academia, but there is a lack of practical methodologies to guide the average archaeologist through the construction of an agent based model (ABM). Furthermore, the successful application of an ABM requires a thorough understanding of when it should be applied and why an ABM can be valuable to many different types of archaeologist. To this end, we developed a series of tutorials on agent-based modeling, walking the archaeologist through an agent-based model building process using a simple agent-based model and its application to an archaeological case study. This paper complements the tutorials by focusing on when and why an archaeologist should use an ABM. First, we discuss when to apply an abstract null model to an archaeological case study and discuss the potential difficulties and pitfalls of the method. Finally, we focus on exploring the epistemology of the agent based model and it’s potential within archaeology. Agent-based models can be helpful for disseminating information to government institutions and supporting a public archaeology. With the basic understanding developed through these tutorials and this paper, Agent-based modeling can aid in championing a better and deeper understanding of the past among the general public.

Thursday March 31, 2016 09:20 - 09:45 CEST
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