An Agent-Based Model for Emergent Opponent Behavior

  • Koen van der ZwetEmail author
  • Ana Isabel Barros
  • Tom M. van Engers
  • Bob van der Vecht
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11537)


Organized crime, insurgency and terrorist organizations have a large and undermining impact on societies. This highlights the urgency to better understand the complex dynamics of these individuals and organizations in order to timely detect critical social phase transitions that form a risk for society. In this paper we introduce a new multi-level modelling approach that integrates insights from complex systems, criminology, psychology, and organizational studies with agent-based modelling. We use a bottom-up approach to model the active and adaptive reactions by individuals to the society, the economic situation and law enforcement activity. This approach enables analyzing the behavioral transitions of individuals and associated micro processes, and the emergent networks and organizations influenced by events at meso- and macro-level. At a meso-level it provides an experimentation analysis modelling platform of the development of opponent organization subject to the competitive characteristics of the environment and possible interventions by law enforcement. While our model is theoretically founded on findings in literature and empirical validation is still work in progress, our current model already enables a better understanding of the mechanism leading to social transitions at the macro-level. The potential of this approach is illustrated with computational results.


Opponent behavior Opponent networks Multidisciplinary Complex adaptive systems Agent-based modelling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Koen van der Zwet
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Ana Isabel Barros
    • 2
    • 4
  • Tom M. van Engers
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bob van der Vecht
    • 4
  1. 1.Science FacultyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced StudyAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Leibniz CenterUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.TNO Defence, Safety and SecurityThe HagueThe Netherlands

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