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