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A New Typology for Representing Human Decision Making in MultiSector Dynamics (MSD) Models

Presentation Date
Friday, December 11, 2020 at 4:00am - Friday, December 11, 2020 at 4:04am



We present a new typology for classifying how human decision making is represented in the broad suite of coupled human-natural system (CHNS) models that are applied in MultiSector Dynamics (MSD) research. A key focus of the typology is characterizing how those decisions interface with the natural and infrastructure elements of represented systems. The typology distinguishes models based upon both philosophical approach (e.g., positive versus normative analysis) and technical modeling characteristics. For the latter, the typology sets forth 15 “axes” of model characteristics across four general categories: 1) human system representation, 2) physical system representation, 3) spatial and temporal representation, and 4) model structure and integration. The typology is applicable to a wide range of modeling approaches (e.g., systems dynamics, agent-based, bioeconomic, and equilibrium). It is intended to facilitate systematic discussion around the use of CHNS models in MSD. Specifically, we argue the typology can assist in elucidating the unique capability of and complementary insights gained from different modeling approaches and identifying opportunities for enhancing the state of knowledge in MSD through diverse, yet concerted, CHNS model development and application. The typology is the evolving outcome of the MSD Human Systems Modeling working group’s discussions. The long term scope of our working group is to better address how human system dynamics, defined broadly from individual consumer adaptation to large-scale societal transitions, can be effectively represented in MSD models.

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