Agent Based Modelling for Understanding Social Systems

Presented by Dr Rajith Vidanaarachchi

This seminar discusses the application of Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) in comprehending complex social systems. ABM, a computational approach rooted in individual-level interactions, enables us to simulate and analyse emergent behaviours within societies. We will talk about how ABMs serve as a potent tool for uncovering intricate social phenomena, spanning from crowd dynamics and opinion formation to economic patterns and urban development. By assigning autonomous agents with individual attributes and behavioural rules, ABM captures the micro-level intricacies that collectively shape macro-level outcomes. We will highlight the utility of ABM in gaining insights unattainable through traditional methods, facilitating experimentation with diverse scenarios and policies. Through case studies and examples, we will discuss ABM’s capacity to explore “what-if” scenarios, offering a fresh perspective on understanding, predicting, and influencing the dynamics of social systems.

Dr Rajith Vidanaarachchi is a researcher at the Transport, Health, and Urban Design (THUD) Research Lab at the Melbourne School of Design (MSD), University of Melbourne. He works with Agent-Based Models and researches how to make them better. Rajith is also an educator at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne, where he is the head-tutor for AI for Engineering, and Numerical Methods in Engineering subjects. Rajith primarily works with Agent-Based Models to analyse complex scenarios across various domains, including health, transport and social science. His research interests include fair and ethical AI, optimisation and pattern recognition and community analysis and is interested in supervising projects related to above research interests.

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Date & Time

Thu, 7 September, 2023

11:00 am – 12:00 pm (AEST)


Zoom link




Life Course Centre