Agent-based modeling (ABM) refers to the computer simulation of agents in a dynamic system. The underlying problem of ABM was first theorized by John von Neumann in 1940. However, research did not address this problem until the concept of ABM emerged in this decade. This study highlights emerging trends in international literature related to ABM for articles in the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) database published since 1995. Because of the lack of a state-of-the-art method to identify emerging technologies, we employed the bibliometric technique and a growing hierarchical self-organizing map (GHSOM) to explore the emerging trend of ABM.Firstly, this paper reviews ABM methodology and state-of-the-art research methods, namely the bibliometric technique and GHSOMs. Secondly, we explain the research data and method. The dataset used in this study was derived from the SSCI database of the Web of Science. An empirical search command was used to retrieve data related to ABM and then a bibliometric analysis was performed on the ingested data. The results revealed that ABM does emerge and development related to ABM continued to expand. We then deployed the application of the GHSOM to topic analysis in three phases: a data-preprocessing phase, -clustering phase, and -interpreting phase. The results indicated that the common topics related to ABM are complexity theory, the prisoner’s dilemma, altruism, land-use change, cellular automata and innovation diffusion etc. This paper illustrates the potential of using GHSOM to explore the applications of emerging technologies. The study is the first of its kind thus far.
Journal of Engineering Technology, Volume 6, Special Issue, pp.50-70