Policy modelling is the application of agent based social simulation to the analysis of social policies. While agent based modelling has been seen as a promising technique for policy analysis in a number of applications such as water demand and land use management, it has not become an important tool of business and public policy analysis more widely. The purpose of this paper is systematically to set policy modelling in a wider scientific context than has been attempted previously and to use that context to explore the general conditions in which policy modelling is appropriate and the problems to be faced in convincing working policy analysts why and when it is the most appropriate tool of analysis available to them.
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