Abstract for: The social role of simulation models

This paper suggests a classification of the social roles simulation models can play. Two dimensions are distinguished according to the context and use of models: models can be boundary objects or representative objects and they can be epistemic or technical objects. These two dimensions allow a classification of four types of model roles. Models can be ascribed different roles over time and different roles by different stakeholders involved in their development and use potentially leading to misunderstanding and conflicts. The suggested classification framework can be applied to a variety of problems around the use models including the discussion of the differences between System Dynamics models and Discrete Event Simulation models and the comparative analysis of model use.