In this editorial, we aim to provide an overview of the different modeling approaches in current use. Our discussion unfolds in two parts: we first classify different aspects of the model-building process and identify a number of characteristics shared by most agent-based models in the humanities and social sciences; then we map relevant differences between the various modeling approaches. We classify these into different dimensions including the type of target systems addressed, the intended modeling goals, and the models’ degree of abstraction. Along the way, we provide reference to related debates in contemporary philosophy of science.

Here you can download the editorial to our special issue on agent-based modeling in social science, history and philosophy edited by Dominik Klein, Johannes Marx and Kai Fischbach. (pdf-file)