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Specific sessions

Session on Agent-Based Modelling of Adaptive Behaviours in Response to Environmental Shocks. SIG-SEE (ESSA Special Interest Group on Spatial and Ecological-Economic issues) will organize a special session discussing 'adaptive behavior' in spatial and socio-ecological agent-based models, with a special focus on changes due to changing climate and/or behavioral changes in response to abrupt changes and shocks in the environment. The session aims to consolidate the best presented papers and outcomes of the discussion in a special issue of a journal (to be determined based on the scope of the submissions). The event is supported by Global Land Project (GLP, ). Contact:  &

Since 2008 a tradition of panels at the ESSA conferences addressing the topic of Social Conflict and Social Simulation has been established by the Special Interest Group on Social Conflict and Social Simulation (SIG-SCSS) of the ESSA. The notion of social conflict entails a broad range of phenomena, such as latent confrontation as well as manifest war. Its scope ranges from inter-individual to international relations. Viewed in this broad sense, conflicts are an essential and inevitable component of social relationships. A scientific comprehension of these various dimensions of social conflicts includes disciplinary accounts ranging from social psychology to the theory of international relations. To bring together scholars working in these various dimensions of Social Conflict and Social Simulation, we invite authors from all backgrounds to submit papers for a SIG-SCSS panel at the ESSA 2011 conference. Papers aimed at reflecting on all aspects of Social Conflict and Social Simulation are welcome. Contact:

The Social Complexity of Informal Value Exchange. This special session at ESSA 2011 aims to promote inquiry into social phenomena that involve value-exchange. Informal value transfer and credit networks involve people or institutions providing credit or value transfer services based on social trust etc. rather than laws and contracts. Such networks constitute a complex system that have been relatively unstudied yet have a significant impact on people's lives.  This exchange often involves many social processes and mechanisms other than those usually considered by economists, including: social norms, altruism, reputation, trust, group membership, friendship, kinship, identity, status etc. Examples include:  local currencies, local baby-sitting circles up to the international Hawala/Hundi systems of value transfer. A blog of news about this topic is at: Contact:

Social Networks are widely adressed in various disciplines, such as sociology, social simulation, communication, economics and organizational theories. In these fields, Social Networks can be the prime object to analyze, e.g. by focusing on its formation, its dynamics, its properties and how it impacts on social phenomena. Moreover, Social Networks can also be used to provide a sound, plausible environment for social simulation and/or agent based models experiments, which mediates the interactions of their components, and whose influence on the resulting phenomena deserves investigation. The Session on Social Network Analysis and Multi-Agent Systems aims at gathering scholars whose works integrate the social network component, regarding any of these issues. We invite authors from all backgrounds to submit papers for a Special Interets Group-SNAMAS at the ESSA 2011 conference. Papers aimed at reflecting on all aspects of Social Networks are welcome. Organization: , Samuel Thiriot, Matthias Mailliard, Frédéric Amblard, Clara Smith 


Modelling cultures “Today, we know more about the universe than about our society”. This is how the EU flagship pilot FuturICT announces its relevance. When it comes to “knowing our society”, a crucial element is the differences between our societies, known as cultural differences. Understanding these is vital for our future. For agent-based modellers there is a particular level-of-analysis challenge in modelling them, since they operate between societies but exist in the minds of individuals. They are also quite distinct from in-group / out-group dynamics but impact on such dynamics strongly. Dealing with culture change, much hailed in Western society but often belied by historical continuity, is another challenge. This track will bring together modellers of culture and cross-cultural issues. It will have contributions from current EU projects (; and from other sources (e.g.  Jens Pfau from Melbourne and colleagues from Canberra; dr Virginia Dignum from TuDelft). We invite authors to submit papers to the Modelling Cultures session through the ESSA conference submission system. Contact:


Ontologies in Integrated, Social and Environmental Simulation. Ontologies are defined by Grüber (1993) as “Formal, explicit specifications of a shared conceptualisation,” but the concept of an ontology goes back to the early days of AI, where it was used to denote the formalisms applied to describing the often simplified ‘micro-worlds’ that AI systems operated on (e.g. ‘blocks-world’ (Winograd, 1972). Ontologies have since been applied to representing knowledge in the real world, the Cyc project (Lenat, 1995) being a famous example. Much of the recent work in ontologies in computing science has been applied to issues of semantic heterogeneity when operating on distributed databases across organisations, and in integrating knowledge on the semantic web. There is now a growing community of researchers using and reasoning with ontologies in formalisms such as OWL, F-logic, logic programming, or XML, in social simulation and integrated social and environmental simulation (Villa, Athanasiadis and Rizzoli (2008) review examples in environmental modelling). The purpose of this session is to bring this community together to exchange ideas and explore future directions. Contributions could include, but are not limited to: using ontologies to capture metadata on simulation experiments, using ontologies to describe and categorise the simulations themselves, using ontologies to describe the structure and state of simulations, using ontologies to capture provenance of simulations, or their input data or outputs, using ontologies to describe scenarios and link simulations with other work, using ontologies to assist with data or model integration, technology gaps and barriers to adopting ontologies with simulations, eliciting ontologies for social and integrated social and environmental simulations. Position papers of up to 3 pages to be submitted through ESSA submission
Contact: , ,


See also

Update: 02 May 2011


  •  Keynote speakers

    Alan Kirman 
    Nils Ferrand 
    Dirk Helbing
    Frank Dignum

    Specific sessions

    Student prizes

    Bursaries, awards, Volterra prize 

    Symposium Chairpersons

    Jean-Pierre Muller
    François Bousquet 

    Co-located events:

    International Conference on Reputation (ICORE)
    Training on Agent-Based Models 

    Any question?