Affordance-Based Interaction Design for Agent-Based Simulation Models
When designing and implementing an Agent-Based Simulation model a major challenge is to formulate the interactions between agents and between agents and their environment. In this contribution we present an approach for capturing agent-environment interactions based on the “affordance” concept. Originated in ecological psychology, affordances represent relations between environmental objects and potential actions that an agent may perform with those objects and thus offer a higher abstraction level for dealing with potential interaction. Our approach has two elements: a methodology for using the affordance concept to identify interactions and secondly, a suggestion for integrating affordances into agents’ decision making. We illustrate our approach indicating an agent-based model of after-earthquake behavior.
The author wants to thank Sabine Timpf for introducing her to the affordance idea, as well as Per-Olof Persson and Sepideh Pashami for valuable discussions of the topics addressed in the paper. The work was funded by KKS (the Knowledge Foundation) in the RM4RS (Rapid Mapping for Realistic Simulation) project.
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