From cognitive maps to agent-based models


  • A methodology for eliciting, representing, and analysing stakeholder knowledge for decision making on complex socio-ecological systems: From cognitive maps to agent-based models
  • Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 151, 15 March 2015, Pages 500-516
  • Sondoss Elsawah, Joseph H.A.Guillaume, Tatiana Filatova, Josefine Rook, Anthony J.Jakeman

This paper aims to contribute to developing better ways for incorporating essential human elements in decision making processes for modelling of complex socio-ecological systems. It presents a step-wise methodology for integrating perceptions of stakeholders (qualitative) into formal simulation models (quantitative) with the ultimate goal of improving the understanding and communication about decision making in complex socio-ecological systems. 

Our methodology integrates cognitive mapping and agent based modelling. Results show that the methodology leverages the use of cognitive mapping to capture the richness of decision making and mental models, and provides a combination of divergent and convergent analysis methods leading to the construction of an Agent Based Model.