What should we do before running a social simulation? The importance of model analysis

Hsu Chih Wu*, Chuen-Tsai Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Before running a model simulation, it is important to accumulate as much information about the model as possible. Although an analysis of relations among model components is considered a promising means of accomplishing this task, the social simulation literature offers very little guidance in performing such analyses. We use an analytical framework to demonstrate how model analysis can facilitate the simulation process, with the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma serving as a primary example. Our results show that the analysis was helpful in identifying important strategies and simulation phenomena, thus reducing the amount of work required for the simulation. We suggest that this framework is applicable to other types of two-person matrix games, and that the methods we use are also suitable for other macro- or agent-based simulation models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2005


  • Model analysis
  • Prisoner's Dilemma
  • Social simulation

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