Abstract for: Notes from the Field: Practical Considerations for Agent-Based and Continuous Representations of System Dynamics

The increasing power and flexibility of tools available for dynamic modeling have rendered a wider range of model structures to be implemented in the study of complex systems. However, attendant with this computational capacity is the challenge of choosing between alternative model structures. To assist dynamic modelers in designing a model appropriate for the problem at hand, this paper poses a set of practical considerations for implementing agent-based and continuous representations that encode differential equations using stock-flow structures. Drawing from our collective experiences implementing system dynamics models with different structural forms, we offer recommendations for maintaining a systemic perspective while being open to a multi-method modeling process. More broadly, we take up the question of how best to leverage differential equations, agents, and potentially hybrid forms of implementation to achieve simulation insight.