Institutions and Behavior

Institutional Grammar Research Initiative (IGRI) affiliates are engaged in research that applies the Institutional Grammar to study the interaction between formal and informal institutions as well as explores how the Institutional Grammar can be used in conjunction with game-theoretic approaches and agent-based modeling to facilitate institutional modeling and analysis in silico.

Below is a list of projects relating to this research theme currently being pursued by IGRI affiliates.

Project Title: Automating Policy Analysis using Agent-Based Modeling

Project Description: This project aims to develop an interface for the automated generation of agent-based models from policy specifications for complex domain models. The objectives of this project are threefold: (1) The implementation of complex domain-specific models to explore the usability of agent-based modeling as validation mechanism for empirical observations; (2) The refinement of the Institutional Grammar to afford computational tractability and facilitate the automated population of agent-based models with policy information; and (3) Analytical comparison of emerging formal and informal institutional configurations. Outcomes of this project include a) the refinement the encoding guidelines for the Institutional Grammar and the b) provision of a generic framework for policy analysis using agent-based modelling based on encoded policy information.

Project Team: Christopher Frantz, Saba Siddiki

Project Title: Explanatory Agent-Based Modeling

Project Description: Agent-based modeling is an approach that facilitates the analysis of complex social systems. It operates based on the interactionist metaphor by simulating individuals’ behaviors and allows for the integration of diverse behavioral motivations, along with a detailed representation of the social and physical environment. A central challenge is the reliable interpretation of the complex emergent outcomes. This project explores in how far we can develop analytical approaches that go beyond a descriptive perspective by complementing those with an explanatory perspective. To this end, this project draws on concepts from the area of institutional analysis, such as a refined variant of the Institutional Grammar (Nested ADICO) to characterize the emergent behavior on multiple levels of simulated systems.

Project Team: Christopher Frantz