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Modeling Populations of Adaptive Individuals$
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Steven F. Railsback and Bret C. Harvey

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691195285

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691195285.001.0001

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Testing and Refining State-and Prediction-Based Theory

Testing and Refining State-and Prediction-Based Theory

(p.123) Chapter 9 Testing and Refining State-and Prediction-Based Theory
Modeling Populations of Adaptive Individuals
Steven F. Railsback, Bret C. Harvey
Princeton University Press

This chapter highlights the importance of testing and refining the behavior theory in individual-based models (IBMs). Establishing a model's credibility is not the only reason to test theory for behavior. Doing so also offers a new and productive approach to theoretical ecology: a way to develop a toolbox of across-level theory useful for modeling populations of adaptive individuals. One can refer to testing and refining behavior sub-models as theory development, and one can do it by following the classic inductive reasoning cycle of posing, testing, and falsifying alternative hypotheses. The chapter provides a brief introduction to the pattern-oriented theory development process and presents several examples.

Keywords:   behavior theory, individual-based models, theoretical ecology, across-level theory, populations, adaptive individuals, theory development, theory development process

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