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Bridging narrative scenario texts and formal policy modeling through conceptual policy modeling


Engaging stakeholders in policy making and supporting policy development with advanced information and communication technologies including policy simulation is currently high on the agenda of research. In order to involve stakeholders in providing their input to policy modeling via online means, simple techniques need to be employed such as scenario technique. Scenarios enable stakeholders to express their views in narrative text. At the other end of policy development, a frequently used approach to policy modeling is agent-based simulation. So far, effective support to transform narrative text input to formal simulation statements is not widely available. In this paper, we present a novel approach to support the transformation of narrative texts via conceptual modeling into formal simulation models. The approach also stores provenance information which is conveyed via annotations of texts to the conceptual model and further on to the simulation model. This way, traceability of information is provided, which contributes to better understanding and transparency, and therewith enables stakeholders and policy modelers to return to the sources that informed the conceptual and simulation model. In this paper, we present the consistent conceptual description (CCD) as conceptual modeling approach to bridge the gap between narrative texts and formal policy models. The CCD meta-model with the underlying vocabulary for describing policy contexts is detailed. A case study introduces the application of the approach in the Open Collaboration for Policy Modeling project.

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OCOPOMO is co-funded by the European Commission within FP 7, contract No. 248128. The authors acknowledge the contributions of and express their gratitude to the OCOPOMO project partners for the numerous discussions on the CCD meta model and CCD software, especially Scott Moss, Klaus Troitzsch and Ulf Lotzmann. The authors express also their gratitude to Björn Lilge who analyzed and implemented the transformation process in his bachelor thesis under the supervision of the authors. The authors are grateful to reviewers for their helpful suggestions. The content of this paper represents the view of the authors, respectively. The European Commission cannot be made liable for any content.

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Correspondence to Sabrina Scherer.

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Scherer, S., Wimmer, M.A. & Markisic, S. Bridging narrative scenario texts and formal policy modeling through conceptual policy modeling. Artif Intell Law 21, 455–484 (2013).

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  • Conceptual modeling
  • Meta model
  • Policy modeling
  • Policy simulation