SimCo (“Simulation of the governance of complex systems”) is a general-purpose framework that can be used for investigating various infrastructure systems, such as road transportation or the energy system.
ABM and Governance
SimCo aims at advancing our knowledge of the dynamics of those complex socio-technical systems by means of agent based modelling (ABM). ABM is a powerful tool to explore issues of governance, too, e.g. in the cases of risk management or sustainable transitions (see Purpose).
Three strands of research
SimCo is positioned at the intersection of computer simulation, governance theory and research on infrastructure systems:
- As in other cases of ABM, it investigates the governability of complex socio-technical systems experimentally, by means of computer simulation.
- From governance research it takes the idea of different modes of governance (e.g. decentralized self-coordination versus central control).
- Finally, modelling infrastructures as specific “spaces” constraining agents' actions and interactions, is taken from the engineering sciences.
SimCo is rooted in a sociological micro-macro-model, combining agents' choices at the micro-level and system dynamics at the macro-level.