Negotiation and Cooperation: A Simulation Using Agent-Based Modeling


Many people end up working in fields different from what they had originally intended. I hold a bachelor’s degree in computer and communications engineering but ended up doing my PhD in organizational theory. As a computer and communications engineering student, I was exposed to a lot of programming, and I liked it. When you program, you create things that do not exist, and you see the result of your work when you run the program. Many of my friends, and students, ask me whether studying engineering was a waste of time since I no longer practice it. The answer is no, and the reason is that I have found my programming knowledge to be very useful in the social sciences. As Steve Jobs said, sometimes you have to connect the dots. The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to a specific type of computer programming that can be very useful to social scientists, agent-based modeling. The only way to learn and understand programming is through an example. This is why, in this article, I will develop a simple model of negotiation and cooperation between individuals. The article will then show how the model is implemented using NetLogo, which is the most popular agent-based modeling environment. Finally, the article will show the reader how he or she can visualize the result of the simulation.

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