Dunja Šešelja
Eindhoven University of Technology
The article presents an agent-based model of scientific interaction aimed at examining how different degrees of connectedness of scientists impact their efficiency in knowledge acquisition. The model is built on the basis of Zollman’s ABM by changing some of its idealizing assumptions that concern the representation of the central notions underlying the model: epistemic success of the rivalling scientific theories, scientific interaction and the assessment in view of which scientists choose theories to work on. Our results suggest that whether and to what extent the degree of connectedness of a scientific community impacts its efficiency is a highly context-dependent matter since different conditions deem strikingly different results. More generally, we argue that simplicity of ABMs may come at a price: the requirement to run extensive robustness analysis before we can specify the adequate target phenomenon of the model.1 1Introduction2Zollman's 2010 Model3Static versus Dynamic Epistemic Success 3.1Introducing the notion of dynamic epistemic success3.2Implementation and results for the basic setup4Critical Interaction 4.1Introducing critique4.2Implementation and results5Inertia of Inquiry 5.1Introducing rational inertia5.2Implementation and results6Threshold Below Which Theories Are Equally Promising 6.1An inquiry that is even more difficult6.2Implementation and results7Discussion8Conclusion
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axy039
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