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Visual access to an agent-based simulation model to support political decision making

: Ruppert, Tobias; Bernard, Jürgen; Ulmer, Alex; Lücke-Tieke, Hendrik; Kohlhammer, Jörn


Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-:
I-KNOW 2014, 14th International Conference on Knowledge Technologies and Data-driven Business. Proceedings : Graz, Austria, September 16-19, 2014
New York: ACM, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4503-2769-5
Art. 16, 8 pp.
International Conference on Knowledge Technologies and Data-Driven Business (i-KNOW) <14, 2014, Graz>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IGD ()
information visualization; visual analytic; policy modeling; simulation model; Agent based technology; Business Field: Visual decision support; Research Area: Human computer interaction (HCI)

Decision making in the field of policy making is a complex task. On the one hand conflicting objectives influence the availability of alternative solutions for a given problem. On the other hand economic, social, and environmental impacts of the chosen solution have to be considered. In the political context, these solutions are called policy options. To tackle societal problems a thorough analysis of policy options needs to be executed before a policy can be put into practice. Computational simulation is a method considered for measuring the impacts of policy options. However, due to their complexity, the underlying models and their output may be difficult to access by decision makers. In this work, we present a visual-interactive interface for an agent-based simulation model that enables decision makers to evaluate the impacts of alternative policy options in the field of regional energy planning. The decision maker can specify different subsidy strategies for supporting public photovoltaic installations as input and evaluate their impact on the actual adoption via the simulation output. We show the usability and usefulness of the visual interface in a real-world example evolved from the European research project ePolicy.