Professor Nigel Gilbert

Research Interests

Computational social science, sociology of science and science policy, innovation, sociology of the environment, energy policy, the use of models in the policy process.

Current projects include:

Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN)

The Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus, a £3m research centre hosted by the University of Surrey, brings together a unique coalition of experts to address some of the greatest issues in policy making and evaluation. Nexus issues are complex, with many diverse, interconnected factors involved. This presents a major challenge to policy making because changing one factor can often have unexpected knock-on effects in seemingly unrelated areas. We need new ways to evaluate policy in these situations. CECAN will pioneer, test and promote innovative evaluation approaches and methods across nexus problem domains, such as biofuel production or climate change, where food, energy, water and environmental issues intersect. The Centre will promote ‘evidence based policymaking’ by finding ways for the results of evaluation to both inform policy, and reflect back onto future policy design. Embracing an 'open research' culture of knowledge exchange, CECAN benefits from a growing network of policymakers, practitioners and researchers and a core group of academic and non-academic experts.

Whole Systems Energy Modelling Consortium (WholeSEM)
Energy models provide essential quantitative insights into the 21st Century challenges of decarbonisation, energy security and cost-effectiveness. Models provide the integrating language that assists energy policy makers to make improved decisions under conditions of pervasive uncertainty. Whole systems energy modelling also has a central role in helping industrial and wider stakeholders assess future energy technologies and infrastructures, and the potential role of societal and behavioural change. Our contribution to this major four-year EPSRC funded project is to develop models of household energy demand.

Evolution and Resilience of Industrial Ecosystems (ERIE)
ERIE addresses a series of questions relating to the application of complexity science to social and economic systems. The programme aims to embed complexity science methods and techniques within prototype computational tools that will provide policymakers with realistic and reliable platforms for strategy-testing in real-world socio-economic systems. The programme is supported by EPSRC and will be completed by May 2016.

Collective Reasoning as a Moral Point of View
Everybody knows a free rider: the flatmate that does not do the dishes, the friend who never invites back for dinner, the work colleague who pushes work your way. If honest, everyone can probably point to a situation where they did something like this. The same person might be a free-rider in one situation and a collective contributor in the next. What are the triggers of making one choice or the other? How do these triggers depend on social factors such as observations of behaviours in ones network or the overall population? What are the population outcomes of different social and personal dynamics? And what kinds of social structures strengthen or weaken cooperative behaviour? This AHRC funded project (July 2014 – July 2016) investigates the triggers and social settings of collective or individual choices and the resulting dynamics of cooperation using agent-based modelling.

Techno-social platform for sustainable models and value generation in commons-based peer production in the Future Internet (P2PValue)
Commons-based peer production (CBPP) is a new and increasingly significant model of social innovation based on collaborative production by citizens through the Internet. This project, partially funded by the European Commission’s Framework 7 Programme, will foster the CBPP phenomenon by providing a techno-social software platform specifically designed to facilitate the creation of resilient and sustainable CBPP communities. The design of the P2Pvalue platform will be empirically and experimentally grounded. Through a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods, we will elaborate guidelines for the institutional and technical features that favour value creation in CBPP.

HomeSense: digital sensors in social research
HomeSense will develop and demonstrate how digital sensors can be used to advantage in social research. The project is a collaboration between the Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS) and the 5G Innovation Centre. Drawing on recent developments in the use of fixed and mobile sensors to measure location, movement, noise levels, air quality, temperature, energy use and a range of physical states, the project team will trial the use of such sensors in a sample of UK households. Households come in all sorts of configurations and they vary in their ways of organising the use of rooms, household devices and energy sources, as well as in the extent of communications amongst household members and the purposes for which members spend their time at home. Observations of households to-date have relied on self-reporting and on-site observations. With HomeSense we will demonstrate how to collect data from fixed and mobile sensors, and how to manage, technologically and responsibly, the intensive measuring of state, location, activity and interaction. We will show how this method affects respondent burden, consent, privacy and data security, and how the data can be converted into meaningful descriptions of socially relevant activities in conjunction with time-use diaries, questionnaires and walking interviews/observations.

PhD supervision
Nigel Gilbert is interested in supervising doctoral students wishing to study innovative ways of using computational models in the social sciences, and interdisciplinary topics bridging engineering (especially computer science) and the social sciences. For more more details about PhDs in CRESS, please go to:


Research methods, computational social science

Professional Activities

Chair, Management Board, Sociological Research Online
Editor, Social Research Update
Director, Centre for Research in Social Simulation
Director, University of Surrey Institute of Advanced Studies

Contact Me

Phone: 01483 68 9173

Find me on campus
Room: 20 AD 03


Journal articles

  • Casnici N, Grimaldo F, Dondio P, Gilbert GN, Squazzoni F. (2017) 'Assessing peer review by gauging the fate of rejected manuscripts. The case of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation'. Springer Verlag Scientometrics: an international journal for all quantitative aspects of the science of science, communication in science and science policy,


    This paper investigates the fate of manuscripts that were rejected from JASSS-The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, the flagship journal of social simulation. We tracked 456 manuscripts that were rejected from 1997 to 2011 and traced their subsequent publication as journal articles, conference papers or working papers. We compared the impact factor of the publishing journal and the citations of those manuscripts that were eventually published against the yearly impact factor of JASSS and the number of citations achieved by the JASSS mean and top cited articles. Only 10% of the rejected manuscripts were eventually published in a journal that was indexed in the Web of Science (WoS), although most of the rejected manuscripts were published elsewhere. Being exposed to more than one round of reviews before rejection, having received a more detailed reviewer report and being subjected to higher inter-reviewer disagreement were all associated with the number of citations received when the manuscript was eventually published. This indicates that peer review could contribute to increasing the quality even of rejected manuscripts.

  • Barbrook-Johnson P, Badham J, Gilbert GN. (2016) 'Uses of agent-based modeling for health communication: The TELL ME case study'. Taylor & Francis Health Communication,


    Government communication is an important management tool during a public health crisis, but understanding its impact is difficult. Strategies may be adjusted in reaction to developments on the ground and it is challenging to evaluate the impact of communication separately from other crisis management activities. Agent-based modeling is a well-established research tool in social science to respond to similar challenges. However, there have been few such models in public health. We use the example of the TELL ME agent-based model to consider ways in which a non-predictive policy model can assist policy makers. This model concerns individuals’ protective behaviors in response to an epidemic, and the communication that influences such behavior. Drawing on findings from stakeholder workshops and the results of the model itself, we suggest such a model can be useful: (i) as a teaching tool, (ii) to test theory, and (iii) to inform data collection. We also plot a path for development of similar models that could assist with communication planning for epidemics.

  • Kolkman DA, Campo P, Balke-Visser T, Gilbert GN. (2016) 'How to build models for government: criteria driving model acceptance in policymaking'. Springer Policy Sciences,
  • Casnici N, Grimaldo F, Gilbert GN, Squazzoni F. (2016) 'Attitudes of referees in a multidisciplinary journal: An empirical analysis'. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology,


    This paper looks at 10 years of reviews in a multidisciplinary journal, The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS), which is the flagship journal of social simulation. We measured referee behavior and referees' agreement. We found that the disciplinary background and the academic status of the referee have an influence on the report time, the type of recommendation and the acceptance of the reviewing task. Referees from the humanities tend to be more generous in their recommendations than other referees, especially economists and environmental scientists. Second, we found that senior researchers are harsher in their judgments than junior researchers, and the latter accept requests to review more often and are faster in reporting. Finally, we found that articles that had been refereed and recommended for publication by a multidisciplinary set of referees were subsequently more likely to receive citations than those that had been reviewed by referees from the same discipline. Our results show that common standards of evaluation can be established even in multidisciplinary communities.

  • Ahrweiler P, Schilperoord M, Pyka A, Gilbert GN. (2015) 'Modelling Research Policy: Ex-Ante Evaluation of Complex Policy Instruments'. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 18 (4), pp. 5-5.
  • Rowden J, Lloyd DJB, Gilbert N. (2014) 'A model of political voting behaviours across different countries'. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 413, pp. 609-625.
  • Balke T, Gilbert N. (2014) 'How do agents make decisions? A survey'. University of Surrey Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 17 (4), pp. 1-1.
  • Salgado M, Marchione E, Gilbert N. (2014) 'Analysing differential school effectiveness through multilevel and agent-based modelling'. University of Surrey Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 17 (4) Article number 3
  • Gilbert N, Bullock S. (2014) 'Complexity at the social science interface'. Complexity, 19 (6), pp. 1-4.
  • Ahrweiler P, Schilperoord M, Pyka A, Gilbert N. (2014) 'Testing policy options for Horizon 2020 with SKIN'. Springer Understanding Complex Systems, , pp. 155-183.
  • Watts C, Gilbert N. (2014) 'Simulating innovation: Comparing models of collective knowledge, technological evolution and emergent innovation networks'. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 229 AISC, pp. 189-200.


    Computer simulation models have been proposed as a tool for understanding innovation, including models of organisational learning, technological evolution, knowledge dynamics and the emergence of innovation networks. By representing micro-level interactions they provide insight into the mechanisms by which are generated various stylised facts about innovation phenomena. This paper summarises work carried out as part of the SIMIAN project and to be covered in more detail in a forthcoming book. A critical review of existing innovation- related models is performed. Models compared include a model of collective learning in networks [1], a model of technological evolution based around percolation on a grid [2, 3], a model of technological evolution that uses Boolean logic gate designs [4], the SKIN model [5], a model of emergent innovation networks [6], and the hypercycles model of economic production [7]. The models are compared for the ways they represent knowledge and/or technologies, how novelty enters the system, the degree to which they represent open-ended systems, their use of networks, landscapes and other pre-defined structures, and the patterns that emerge from their operations, including networks and scale-free frequency distributions. Suggestions are then made as to what features future innovation models might contain. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014.

  • Salgado M, Gilbert N. (2013) 'Emergence and Communication in Computational Sociology'. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 43 (1), pp. 87-110.
  • Deffuant G, Alvarez I, Barreteau O, Jabot F, Rougé C, de Vries B, Edmonds B, Gilbert N, Gotts N, Janssen S, Hilden M, Kolditz O, Murray-Rust D, Smits P. (2012) 'Data and models for exploring sustainability of human well-being in global environmental change'. Springer Verlag European Physical Journal: Special Topics, 214 (1), pp. 519-545.
  • Paolucci M, Conte R, Bonelli G, Kossman D, Gross M, Koumoutsakos P, Krause A, Sorkine O, Helbing D, Lukowicz P, Slusallek P, Argyrakis P, Blandford A, Anderson S, de Freitas S, Edmonds B, Gilbert N, Kohlhammer J, Linnér B-O, Sumner RW. (2012) 'Towards a living earth simulator'. European Physical Journal: Special Topics, 214 (1), pp. 77-108.
  • Conte R, Bonelli G, Gilbert N, Cioffi-Revilla C, Deffuant G, Kertesz J, Loreto V, Moat S, Nadal J-P, Sanchez A, Nowak A, Flache A, San Miguel M, Helbing D. (2012) 'Manifesto of computational social science'. Springer Verlag European Physical Journal: Special Topics, 214 (1), pp. 325-346.
  • Sanfilippo A, Gilbert GN, Greaves M. (2012) 'Technosocial predictive analytics for security informatics'. Springer Security Informatics, 1 (1) Article number 8
  • Watts C, Gilbert N. (2011) 'Does cumulative advantage affect collective learning in science? An agent-based simulation'. Springer Scientometrics, 89 (1), pp. 437-463.


    Agent-based simulation can model simple micro-level mechanisms capable of generating macro-level patterns, such as frequency distributions and network structures found in bibliometric data. Agent-based simulations of organisational learning have provided analogies for collective problem solving by boundedly rational agents employing heuristics. This paper brings these two areas together in one model of knowledge seeking through scientific publication. It describes a computer simulation in which academic papers are generated with authors, references, contents, and an extrinsic value, and must pass through peer review to become published. We demonstrate that the model can fit bibliometric data for a token journal, Research Policy. Different practices for generating authors and references produce different distributions of papers per author and citations per paper, including the scale-free distributions typical of cumulative advantage processes. We also demonstrate the model’s ability to simulate collective learning or problem solving, for which we use Kauffman’s NK fitness landscape. The model provides evidence that those practices leading to cumulative advantage in citations, that is, papers with many citations becoming even more cited, do not improve scientists’ ability to find good solutions to scientific problems, compared to those practices that ignore past citations. By contrast, what does make a difference is referring only to publications that have successfully passed peer review. Citation practice is one of many issues that a simulation model of science can address when the data-rich literature on scientometrics is connected to the analogy-rich literature on organisations and heuristic search.

  • Roth C, Taraborelli D, Gilbert N. (2011) 'Symposium on "Collective representations of quality"'. Springer Verlag Mind and Society, 10 (2), pp. 165-168.


    Collective representations of the quality of artifacts are produced by human societies in a variety of contexts. These representations of quality emerge from a broad range of social interactions, from the uncoordinated behaviour of large collectives of individuals, to the interaction between individuals and organizations, to complex socio-technical processes such as those enabled by online peer production systems. This special issue brings together contributions from sociology, social psychology and social simulation to shed light on the nature of these representations and the social processes that produce them.

  • Ahrweiler P, Gilbert N, Pyka A. (2011) 'Agency and structure: a social simulation of knowledge-intensive industries'. SPRINGER Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 17 (1), pp. 59-76.


    Modern knowledge-intensive economies are complex social systems where intertwining factors are responsible for the shaping of emerging industries: the self-organising interaction patterns and strategies of the individual actors (an agency-oriented pattern) and the institutional frameworks of different innovation systems (a structure-oriented pattern). In this paper, we examine the relative primacy of the two patterns in the development of innovation networks, and find that both are important. In order to investigate the relative significance of strategic decision making by innovation network actors and the roles played by national institutional settings, we use an agent-based model of knowledge-intensive innovation networks, SKIN. We experiment with the simulation of different actor strategies and different access conditions to capital in order to study the resulting effects on innovation performance and size of the industry. Our analysis suggests that actors are able to compensate for structural limitations through strategic collaborations. The implications for public policy are outlined.

  • Ahrweiler P, Pyka A, Gilbert N. (2011) 'A new model for university-industry links in knowledge-based economies'. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28 (2), pp. 218-235.
  • Gill AJ, Xenitidou M, Gilbert N. (2011) 'Understanding quality in science: A proposal and exploration'. Proceedings - 2010 4th IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems Workshop, SASOW 2010, , pp. 116-121.
  • Marchione E, Salgado M, Gilbert N. (2010) ''What did you say?' Emergent communication in a multi-agent spatial configuration'. WORLD SCIENTIFIC PUBL CO PTE LTD ADVANCES IN COMPLEX SYSTEMS, 13 (4), pp. 469-482.


    This paper reports the results of a multi-agent simulation designed to study the emergence and evolution of symbolic communication. The novelty of this model is that it considers some interactional and spatial constraints to this process that have been disregarded by previous research. The model is used to give an account of the implications of differences in the agents' behavior, which are embodied in a spatial environment. Two communicational dimensions are identified: the frequency with which agents refer to different topics over time and the spatial limitations on reaching recipients. We use the model to point out some interesting emergent communicational properties when the agents' behavior is altered by considering those two dimensions. We show the group of agents able to reach more recipients and less prone to changing the topic have the highest likelihood of driving the emergence and evolution of symbolic communication.

  • Hamill L, Gilbert N. (2010) 'Simulating large social networks in agent-based models: A social circle model'. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 12 (4), pp. 78-94.
  • Hassan S, Antunes L, Gilbert N. (2010) 'Going back home Social simulation and artificial intelligence'. SPRINGER COMPUTATIONAL AND MATHEMATICAL ORGANIZATION THEORY, 16 (4), pp. 325-328.
  • Abdou M, Gilbert GN. (2009) 'Modelling the emergence and dynamics of social and workplace segregation'. Mind and Society, 8 (2), pp. 173-191.


    The relationship between social segregation and workplace segregation has been traditionally studied as a one-way causal relationship mediated by referral hiring. In this paper we introduce an alternative framework which describes the dynamic relationships between social segregation, workplace segregation, individuals’ homophily levels, and referral hiring. An agent-based simulation model was developed based on this framework. The model describes the process of continuous change in composition of workplaces and social networks of agents, and how this process affects levels of workplace segregation and the segregation of social networks of the agents (people). It is concluded that: (1) social segregation and workplace segregation may co-evolve even when hiring of workers occurs mainly through formal channels and the population is initially integrated (2) majority groups tend to be more homophilous than minority groups, and (3) referral hiring may be beneficial for minority groups when the population is highly segregated.

  • Gilbert GN, Hamill L. (2009) 'Social circles: a simple structure for agent-based social network models'. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 12 (2) Article number 3
  • Scholz R, Nokkala T, Pyka A, Ahrweiler P, Gilbert N. (2009) 'Simulating European Union R&D policy - Knowledge dynamics in EU-funded innovation networks'. Conference Proceedings - 6th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association, ESSA 2009,
  • Yang L, Gilbert N. (2008) 'Getting away from numbers: Using qualitative observation for agent-based modeling'. WORLD SCIENTIFIC PUBL CO PTE LTD ADVANCES IN COMPLEX SYSTEMS, Toulouse, FRANCE: 11 (2), pp. 175-185.
  • Roth C, Taraborelli D, Gilbert GN. (2008) 'Démographie des communautés en ligne: le cas des wikis'. Réseaux, 26 (152), pp. 205-240.


    Les communautés eén ligne collaboratives ont connu un succés massif avec l’émergence des services et des plates-formes Web 2.0. Les wikis, et notamment la Wikipedia sont un des exemples les plus saillants de ce type de communautés de construction collective de contenus. La Wikipedia a á cet égard jusqu’ici concentré l’essentiel des efforts de recherche au sujet de ces communautés, même si l’ensemble des wikis constitue un écosystème possédant une très grande diversité de contenus, de populations, d’usages, de systèmes de gouvernance. Au contraire de la Wikipedia qui a probablement atteint la masse critique lui permettant d’être viable, la plupart des wikis luttent pour survivre et sont en compétition afin d’attirer contributeurs et articles de qualit é, connaissant ainsi des destinées variées, vertueuses – croissance en population et en contenu – ou fatales – inactivité et vandalisme.

  • Roth C, Taraborelli D, Gilbert N. (2008) 'Measuring Wiki viability: An empirical assessment of the social dynamics of a large sample of Wikis'. WikiSym 2008 - The 4th International Symposium on Wikis, Proceedings,


    This paper assesses the content- and population-dynamics of a large sample of wikis, over a timespan of several months, in order to identify basic features that may predict or induce different types of fate. We analyze and discuss, in particular, the correlation of various macroscopic indicators, structural features and governance policies with wiki growth patterns. While recent analyses of wiki dynamics have mostly focused on popular projects such as Wikipe-dia, we suggest research directions towards a more general theory of the dynamics of such communities. © 2008 ACM.

  • Gilbert N, Jager W, Deffuant G, Adjali I. (2007) 'Complexities in markets: Introduction to the special issue'. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC JOURNAL OF BUSINESS RESEARCH, 60 (8), pp. 813-815.
  • Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P, Pyka A. (2007) 'Learning in innovation networks: Some simulation experiments'. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV PHYSICA A-STATISTICAL MECHANICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS, Budapest, HUNGARY: 378 (1), pp. 100-109.
  • Lorincz A, Gilbert GN, Goolsby R. (2007) 'Social network analysis: Measuring tools, structures and dynamics'. Physica a-Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 378 (1), pp. XI-XIII.
  • Gilbert N. (2007) 'Dilemmas of privacy and surveillance: challenges of technological change'. Criminal Justice Matters, (68), pp. 41-42.
  • Gilbert N. (2007) 'A generic model of collectivities'. TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC CYBERNETICS AND SYSTEMS, Vienna, AUSTRIA: 38 (7), pp. 695-706.
  • Gilbert N. (2007) 'A generic model of collectivities'. Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal, 38 (7), pp. 695-706.
  • Pyka A, Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P. (2007) 'Simulating knowledge-generation and distribution processes in innovation collaborations and networks'. TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC CYBERNETICS AND SYSTEMS, Vienna, AUSTRIA: 38 (7), pp. 667-693.
  • Gilbert N, Jager W, Deffuant G, Adjali I. (2007) 'Complexities in markets: introduction to the special issue'. Journal of Business Research, 60, pp. 813-815.
  • Gilbert N. (2007) 'Who wants to know?'. Engineer, 293 (7721)
  • Matthews RB, Gilbert NG, Roach A, Polhill JG, Gotts NM. (2007) 'Agent-based land-use models: A review of applications'. Landscape Ecology, 22 (10), pp. 1447-1459.


    Agent-based modelling is an approach that has been receiving attention by the land use modelling community in recent years, mainly because it offers a way of incorporating the influence of human decision-making on land use in a mechanistic, formal, and spatially explicit way, taking into account social interaction, adaptation, and decision-making at different levels. Specific advantages of agent-based models include their ability to model individual decision-making entities and their interactions, to incorporate social processes and non-monetary influences on decision-making, and to dynamically link social and environmental processes. A number of such models are now beginning to appear-it is timely, therefore, to review the uses to which agent-based land use models have been put so far, and to discuss some of the relevant lessons learnt, also drawing on those from other areas of simulation modelling, in relation to future applications. In this paper, we review applications of agent-based land use models under the headings of (a) policy analysis and planning, (b) participatory modelling, (c) explaining spatial patterns of land use or settlement, (d) testing social science concepts and (e) explaining land use functions. The greatest use of such models so far has been by the research community as tools for organising knowledge from empirical studies, and for exploring theoretical aspects of particular systems. However, there is a need to demonstrate that such models are able to solve problems in the real world better than traditional modelling approaches. It is concluded that in terms of decision support, agent-based land-use models are probably more useful as research tools to develop an underlying knowledge base which can then be developed together with end-users into simple rules-of-thumb, rather than as operational decision support tools. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  • Dresner S, Jackson T, Gilbert N. (2006) 'History and social responses to environmental tax reform in the United Kingdom'. ELSEVIER SCI LTD ENERGY POLICY, 34 (8), pp. 930-939.
  • Gilbert N, den Besten M, Bontovics A, Craenen BGW, Divina F, Eiben AE, Griffioen R, Hévízi G, Lõrincz A, Paechter B, Schuster S, Schut MC, Tzolov C, Vogt P, Yang L. (2006) 'Emerging Artificial Societies Through Learning'. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 9 (2), pp. http-//


    The NewTies project is implementing a simulation in which societies of agents are expected to de-velop autonomously as a result of individual, population and social learning. These societies are expected to be able to solve environmental challenges by acting collectively. The challenges are in-tended to be analogous to those faced by early, simple, small-scale human societies. This report on work in progress outlines the major features of the system as it is currently conceived within the project, including the design of the agents, the environment, the mechanism for the evolution of language and the peer-to-peer infrastructure on which the simulation runs.

  • Ahrweiler P, Gilbert N, Pyka A. (2006) 'Institutions matter but... Organisational alignment in knowledge-based industries'. Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, 1 (2), pp. 39-58.
  • Matthews RB, Polhill JG, Gilbert N, Roach A. (2005) 'Integrating agent-based social models and biophysical models'. MODSIM05 - International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Advances and Applications for Management and Decision Making, Proceedings, , pp. 1617-1623.
  • Ahrweiler P, Gilbert N. (2005) 'Caffè Nero: the Evaluation of Social Simulation'. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 8 (4), pp. http-//
  • Gilbert N, Abbott A. (2005) 'Introduction'. UNIV CHICAGO PRESS AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, 110 (4), pp. 859-863.
  • López-Sánchez M, Noria X, Rodríguez JA, Gilbert N. (2005) 'Multi-Agent Based Simulation of News Digital Markets'. International Journal of Computer Science & Applications, 2 (1), pp. 7-14.
  • Gilbert N. (2004) 'Open problems in using agent-based models in industrial and labor dynamics'. Advances in complex systems, 7 (2), pp. 285-288.
  • Ramanath AM, Gilbert N. (2004) 'Techniques for the construction and evaluation of participatory simulations'. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 7 (4), pp. http-//
  • Asakawa T, Gilbert N. (2003) 'Synthesizing experiences: lessons to be learned from internet-mediated simulation games'. Simulation and gaming, 34 (1), pp. 10-22.
  • Gilbert N, Bankes S. (2002) 'Platforms and Methods for Agent-based Modeling'. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 99 (supll.3), pp. 7197-7198.
  • Chattoe E, Gilbert N. (2001) 'Understanding consumption: What interviews with retired households can reveal about budgetary decisions'. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ONLINE, 6 (3), pp. U81-U97.
  • Gilbert GN, Pyka A, Ahrweiler P. (2001) 'Innovation Networks - A Simulation Approach'. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 4 (3)
  • Gilbert GN. (2000) 'Book Review of The computational beauty of nature: Computer explorations of fractals, chaos, complex systems and adaptation. Gary William Flake'. J A S S S JASSS-THE JOURNAL OF ARTIFICIAL SOCIETIES AND SOCIAL SIMULATION, 3 (1), pp. 119-120.
  • Gilbert N, Terna P. (2000) 'How to build and use agent-based models in social science'. Mind and Society, 1 (1), pp. 57-72.
  • Gilbert N. (1999) 'Simulation: a new way of doing social science'. American Behavioral Scientist, 40 (10), pp. 1485-1487.
  • Chattoe E, Gilbert N. (1999) 'Talking about budgets: Time and uncertainty in household decision-making'. Sociology, 33 (1), pp. 85-103.
  • Dresner S, Gilbert N. (1999) 'Decision-making processes for projects requiring EIA: case studies in six European countries'. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 1 (1), pp. 105-130.
  • Gilbert N. (1997) 'Centre for Research on Simulation in the Social Sciences'. SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ONLINE, 2 (2), pp. U125-U126.
  • Gilbert N. (1997) 'A simulation of the structure of academic science'. Sociological Research Online, 2 (2), pp. http-//
  • Peters S, Gilbert N. (1997) 'The electronic alternative: Sociological Research Online'. ASSOC LEARNED PROFESSIONAL SOC PUBL LEARNED PUBLISHING, 10 (4), pp. 339-343.
  • Gilbert GN, Troitzsch KG. (1997) 'Social science microsimulation'. Bulletin Methodologie Sociologique, (56), pp. 71-83.
  • Gilbert N. (1996) 'European Union Social Science Research: Chinks in the wall'. European Sociologist, (4), pp. 6-7.
  • Gilbert GN. (1995) 'Policy Instruments for Environmental Regulation'. The Globe, (26), pp. 8-10.
  • Fordham A, Gilbert N. (1995) 'On the nature of rules and conversation'. AI and Society, 9 (4), pp. 356-372.
  • Gilbert GN. (1995) 'Using computer simulation to study social phenomena'. Bulletin de Methodologie Sociologique, (47), pp. 99-111.
  • Jirotka M, Gilbert GN, Luff P. (1992) 'On the social organisation of organisations'. International Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 1 (1), pp. 95-118.
  • Fraser N, Gilbert GN. (1991) 'Simulating speech systems'. Computer Speech and Language, 5, pp. 81-99.
  • Gilbert GN, Jirotka M. (1990) 'Planning procedural advice'. Interacting with Computers, 2 (3), pp. 313-329.
  • GILBERT GN. (1989) 'Book Review of Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. Charles Bazerman'. American Journal of Sociology, 95 (3), pp. 811-812.
  • Gilbert GN. (1989) 'Explanation and dialogue'. Knowledge Engineering Review, 4, pp. 235-247.
  • Gilbert GN. (1988) 'Using computers in teaching sociology'. ESRC Data Archive Bulletin, (40), pp. S2-S3.
  • Bamford C, Dale A, Arber S, Gilbert GN. (1987) 'Time series analysis of the General Household Survey'. GHS Newsletter, (3), pp. 15-17.
  • Cordingley E, Gilbert GN. (1987) 'Alvey DHSS Demonstrator: advanced information technology for legislation based organisations and the public they serve'. BURISA Newsletter, (81), pp. 2-5.
  • Gilbert GN, Heath C. (1986) 'Text, competence and logic: An exercise'. Qualitative Sociology, 9 (3), pp. 215-236.
  • Gilbert GN. (1986) 'Computer help with welfare benefits'. Computer Bulletin, 1 (3), pp. 2-4.
  • Dale A, Gilbert GN, Arber S. (1985) 'Integrating women into class theory'. Sociology, 19, pp. 384-409.
  • Gilbert GN. (1985) 'Decision support in large organisations'. Data processing, 27, pp. 28-30.
  • Dale A, Gilbert GN. (1985) 'Scientific Information Retrieval'. ESRC Software Bulletin, (13), pp. 1-2.
  • Gilbert GN. (1984) 'Statistical Packages on microcomputers'. ESRC Data Archive Bulletin, (27), pp. 51-52.
  • Gilbert GN, Arber S, Dale A, O’Byrne J. (1984) 'Surrey GHS data sets'. ESRC Data Archive Bulletin, (27), pp. 5-6.
  • Gilbert GN, Arber S, Dale A. (1983) 'Access to social science data in schools'. Computers and Education, 7, pp. 135-139.
  • Mulkay MJ, Gilbert GN. (1983) 'Opening Pandora’s Box'. Sociology of the Arts and Sciences, 4, pp. 113-139.
  • Mulkay MJ, Gilbert GN. (1982) 'What is the Ultimate Question? Some Remarks in Defence of the Analysis of Scientific Discourse'. Social Studies of Science, 12 (2), pp. 309-319.
  • Mulkay MJ, Gilbert GN. (1982) 'Accounting for Error: How Scientists Construct their Social World when they Account for Correct and Incorrect Belief'. Sociology, 16 (2), pp. 165-183.
  • Gilbert GN, Arber S, Dale A. (1982) 'The Crosslinker: a computer program for the analysis of hierarchical data sets using non-hierarchical analysis packages'. SSRC Data Archive Bulletin, (22), pp. 7-10.
  • Mulkay MJ, Gilbert GN. (1981) 'Putting Philosophy to Work: Karl Popper's Influence on Scientific Practice'. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 11 (3), pp. 389-407.
  • Gilbert GN, Arber S, Dale A. (1981) 'Conversion of GHS into SPSS compatible files, 1973-1976'. SSRC Survey Archive Bulletin, (20), pp. 1-2.
  • Gilbert GN. (1980) 'Being interviewed: a rôle analysis'. Social Science Information, 19, pp. 227-236..
  • Gilbert GN, Arber S, Dale A. (1980) 'SPSS and the General Household Survey'. SSRC Survey Archive Bulletin, May
  • Gilbert GN. (1978) 'Measuring the growth of science - A review of indicators of scientific growth'. Scientometrics: an international journal for all quantitative aspects of the science of science, communication in science and science policy, 1 (1), pp. 9-34.
  • Gilbert GN. (1977) 'Growth and decline of a scientific specialty: The case of radar meteor research'. EOS, Transactions Amercian Geophysical Union, 58 (5), pp. 273-277.
  • Mulkay MJ, Gilbert GN, Woolgar S. (1975) 'Problem areas and research networks in science'. Sociology, 9, pp. 187-204.
  • Gilbert GN, Woolgar S. (1974) 'The quantitative study of science'. Science Studies, 4, pp. 279-294.

Conference papers

  • Gilbert GN, Hassan S, Antunes L, Pavon J. 'Stepping on earth. A roadmap for data-driven agent-based modelling'. Proceedings of European Social Simulation Association Annual Conference, Brescia, Italy: European Social Simulation Association Annual Conference
  • Badham JM, Gilbert . (2014) 'Personal Protective Behaviour During an Epidemic'. Barcelona, Spain: Social Simulation Conference - SSC 2014
  • Schiller F, Skeldon A, Balke T, Grant M, Penn AS, Basson L, Jensen P, Gilbert N, Kalkan OD, Woodward A. (2014) 'Defining Relevance and Finding Rules: An Agent-Based Model of Biomass Use in the Humber Area'. SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN ADVANCES IN SOCIAL SIMULATION, Warsaw Sch Econ, Warsaw, POLAND: 9th Conference of the European-Social-Simulation-Association (ESSA) 229, pp. 373-384.
  • Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P. (2009) 'The Epistemologies of Social Simulation Research'. SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN EPISTEMOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF COMPUTER SIMULATION IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, Univ Brescia, Brescia, ITALY: 2nd International Workshop on Epistemological Perspectives on Simulation 5466, pp. 12-28.
  • Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P. (2009) 'The epistemologies of social simulation research'. Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Revised Selected and Invited Papers), Brescia, Italy: Second International Workshop, EPOS 2006 5466, pp. 12-28.
  • Hassan S, Antunes L, Pavon J, Gilbert GN. (2008) 'Stepping on Earth: A Roadmap for Data-driven Agent-Based Modelling.'. Proceedings of the 5th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association (ESSA08)., Brescia, Italy: The European Social Simulation Association Annual Conference
  • Gilbert GN, Hassan S, Pavon J. (2008) 'Injecting data into simulation. Can agent-based modelling learn from microsimulation'. Fairfax, US: World Congress on Social Simulation
    [ Status: Unpublished ]
  • Yang L, Gilbert N. (2007) 'Getting away from numbers: Using qualitative observation for agent-based modeling'. Toulouse, FRANCE : World Scientific Publ Co Pte Ltd Sociology: 4th Conference of the European-Social-Simulation-Association, pp. 175-185.
  • Pyka A, Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P. (2007) 'Simulating knowledge-generation and distribution processes in innovation collaborations and networks'. Vienna, AUSTRIA : Taylor & Francis Inc Sociology: Symposium on Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation, pp. 667-693.
  • Yang L, Gilbert N. (2007) 'Case-based model of emotional expression influence on work group socialization and performance'. SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN ADVANCING SOCIAL SIMULATION: THE FIRST WORLD CONGRESS, Kyoto Univ, Kyoto, JAPAN: 1st World Congress on Social Simulation, pp. 343-354.
  • Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P. (2006) 'The Epistemologies of Social Simulation Research'. Brescia, ITALY : Springer-Verlag Berlin Sociology: 2nd International Workshop on Epistemological Perspectives on Simulation, pp. 12-28.
  • Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P, Pyka A. (2006) 'Learning in innovation networks: Some simulation experiments'. Budapest, HUNGARY : Elsevier Science Bv Sociology: Conference on Social Network Analysis and Complexity, pp. 100-109.


    According to the organizational learning literature, the greatest competitive advantage a firm has is its ability to learn. In this paper, a framework for modeling learning competence in firms is presented to improve the understanding of managing innovation. Firms with different knowledge stocks attempt to improve their economic performance by engaging in radical or incremental innovation activities and through partnerships and networking with other firms. In trying to vary and/or to stabilize their knowledge stocks by organizational learning, they attempt to adapt to environmental requirements while the market strongly selects on the results. The simulation experiments show the impact of different learning activities, underlining the importance of innovation and learning. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • Schuster S, Gilbert N. (2005) 'Agent Based Simulation for Modelling the Distribution of Online Music'. Florence, Italy : Sociology: First International Conference on Automated Production of Cross Media Content for Multi-Channel Distribution (AXMEDIS'05), pp. 171-178.
  • Gilbert N, Schuster S, Besten MD, Yang L. (2005) 'Environment design for emerging artificial societies'. Hatfield, UK : Sociology: Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour 2005 Conference: Social Intelligence and Interaction in Animals, Robots and Agents
  • Schuster S, Gilbert N. (2005) 'Agent based simulation for modelling the distribution of online music'. IEEE COMPUTER SOC First International Conference on Automated Production of Cross Media Content for Multi-channel Distribution, Proceedings, Florence, ITALY: 1st International Conference on Automated Production of Cross Media Content for Multi-Channel Distribution, pp. 171-178.
  • López-Sánchez M, Noria X, Rodríquez JA, Gilbert N, Shuster S. (2004) 'Multi Agent Simulation Applied to On-line Music Distribution Market'. Barcelona : IEEE Computer Society Sociology: 4th International Conference on Web Delivering of Music, WEDELMUSIC 2004, pp. 151-154.
  • López-Sánchez M, Noria X, Rodríguez JA, Gilbert N. (2004) 'Multi Agent Simulation Applied to Electronic News Distribution'. Valencia : 16th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence Sociology: ECAI 2004 Workshop on Applications of Software Agents in Engineering, pp. 7-11.
  • Gilbert N. (2002) 'Varieties of emergence'. Chicago : University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory Sociology: Agent 2002 Conference: Social agents: ecology, exchange, and evolution, pp. 41-56.
  • Hare M, Gilbert N, Maltby S, Pahl-Wostl C. (2002) 'An internet-based role playing game for developing stakeholders' strategies for sustainable water management: experiences and comparisons with face-to-face gaming'. Sousee, Tunisia : Sociology: ISEE 2002
  • Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P, Pyka A. (2001) 'Understanding innovation networks through simulation'. Delft : Delft Technical university Sociology: Shaping Future with Simulation CD-ROM
  • McGlashan S, Bilange E, Fraser N, Heisterkamp P, Gilbert GN. (1992) 'Dialogue Management for Telephone Information Systems'. Trento, Italy : Sociology: Proceedings of the conference on Applied Natural Language Processing
  • Fraser N, Gilbert GN, MacDermid C. (1992) 'The value of simulation data'. Trento, Italy : Sociology: Workshop on empirical models and methodology for natural language processing
  • Jirotka M, Luff P, Gilbert GN. (1991) 'Participation frameworks for computer mediated communication'. Amsterdam : Sociology: Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
  • Gilbert GN, Fraser N. (1991) 'Effects of system voice quality on user utterances in speech dialogue systems'. Genoa : Sociology: Proceedings of Eurospeech 91, pp. 57-60.
  • Gilbert GN, Buckland S, Frohlich D, Jirotka M, Luff P. (1990) 'Providing advice through dialogue'. Stockholm : Sociology: Proceedings of the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, pp. 301-307.
  • Gilbert GN. (1988) 'Forms of explanation'. Minneapolis : Sociology: American Association for Artificial Intelligence Workshop on Explanation, pp. 72-75.
  • Gilbert GN, Luff P. (1987) 'Interaction discourse and text generation in expert system interfaces'. City University, London : Institute of Electrical Engineers Sociology: 2nd Alvey Intelligent Interfaces Workshop, pp. 34-39.
  • Gilbert GN, Luff P, Crossfield L, Frohlich DM. (1987) 'A mixed initiative interface for expert systems: the Forms Helper'. Sociology: International Journal of Man-machine Studies
  • Gilbert GN. (1986) 'User models: can they be good enough?'. Abingdon : Institute of Electical Engineers Sociology: 1st Alvey IKBS Intelligent Interfaces Workshop


  • Elsenbroich C, Anzola D, Gilbert GN. (2016) Social Dimensions of Organised Crime: Modelling the Dynamics of Extortion Rackets. Springer International Publishing AG


    This book presents a multi-disciplinary investigation into extortion rackets with a particular focus on the structures of criminal organisations and their collapse, societal processes in which extortion rackets strive and fail and the impacts of bottom-up and top-down ways of fighting extortion racketeering. Through integrating a range of disciplines and methods the book provides an extensive case study of empirically based computational social science. It is based on a wealth of qualitative data regarding multiple extortion rackets, such as the Sicilian Mafia, an international money laundering organisation and a predatory extortion case in Germany. Computational methods are used for data analysis, to help in operationalising data for use in agent-based models and to explore structures and dynamics of extortion racketeering through simulations. In addition to textual data sources, stakeholders and experts are extensively involved, providing narratives for analysis and qualitative validation of models. The book presents a systematic application of computational social science methods to the substantive area of extortion racketeering. The reader will gain a deep understanding of extortion rackets, in particular their entrenchment in society and processes supporting and undermining extortion rackets. Also covered are computational social science methods, in particular computationally assisted text analysis and agent-based modelling, and the integration of empirical, theoretical and computational social science.

  • Gilbert , Stoneman . (2015) Researching Social Life: 4th Edition. 4th Edition. SAGE
  • Hamill L, Gilbert N. (2015) Agent-Based Modelling in Economics. John Wiley & Sons


    New methods of economic modelling have been sought as a result of the global economic downturn in 2008. This unique book highlights the benefits of an agent-based modelling (ABM) approach. It demonstrates how ABM can easily handle complexity: heterogeneous people, households and firms interacting dynamically. Unlike traditional methods, ABM does not require people or firms to optimise or economic systems to reach equilibrium. ABM offers a way to link micro foundations directly to the macro situation. Key features: • Introduces the concept of agent-based modelling and shows how it differs from existing approaches. • Provides a theoretical and methodological rationale for using ABM in economics, along with practical advice on how to design and create the models. • Starts each chapter with a short summary of the relevant economic theory and then shows how to apply ABM. • Explores both topics covered in basic economics textbooks and current important policy themes; unemployment, exchange rates, banking and environmental issues. • Describes the models in pseudocode, enabling the reader to develop programs in their chosen language. • Is supported by a website featuring the NetLogo models described in the book. Agent-based Modelling in Economics provides students and researchers with the skills to design, implement, and analyze agent-based models. Third year undergraduate, master and doctoral students, faculty and professional economists will find this book an invaluable resource.

  • Elsenbroich C, Gilbert N. (2013) Modelling Norms. Springer


    The book focusses on questions of individual and collective action, the emergence and dynamics of social norms and the feedback between individual behaviour and social phenomena. It discusses traditional modelling approaches to social norms and shows the usefulness of agent-based modelling for the study of these micro-macro interactions. Existing agent-based models of social norms are discussed and it is shown that so far too much priority has been given to parsimonious models and questions of the emergence of norms, with many aspects of social norms, such as norm-change, not being modelled. Juvenile delinquency, group radicalisation and moral decision making are used as case studies for agent-based models of collective action extending existing models by providing an embedding into social networks, social influence via argumentation and a causal action theory of moral decision making. The major contribution of the book is to highlight the multifaceted nature of the dynamics of social norms, consisting not only of emergence, and the importance of embedding of agent-based models into existing theory.

  • Gilbert N. (2007) Special Issue: Complexities in Markets. 60 Edition. New York : Elsevier
  • Gilbert N. (2007) Agent-based models. Sage Publications Inc.
  • Fielding JL, Gilbert GN. (2006) Understanding social statistics. Sage Publications Ltd
  • Gilbert N. (2006) From postgraduate to social scientist: a guide to key skills. London : SAGE
  • Gilbert N, Troitzsch KG. (2005) Simulation for the social scientist. Second Edition. Milton Keynes : Open University Press
  • Gilbert N, Abbott A. (2005) Special issue: Social science computation. 110 (4) Edition. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press , pp. 859-1241.
  • Fielding J, Gilbert N. (2005) Understanding Social Statistics. Second Edition. London : Sage
  • Gilbert N, Dresner S. (2001) The dynamics of European science and technology policies. Aldershot : Ashgate
  • Suleiman R, Troitzsch KG, Gilbert N. (2000) Tools and Techniques for Social Science Simulation. Heidelberg : Physica-Verlag
  • Fielding J, Gilbert N. (2000) Understanding Social Statistics. London : Sage
  • Gilbert N. (1999) Computer Simulation in the Social Sciences. 42 Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage
  • Gilbert N, Troitzsch KG. (1999) Simulation for the social scientist. Milton Keynes : Open University Press
  • Ahrweiler P, Gilbert N. (1998) Computer Simulations in Science and Technology Studies. Berlin : Springer
  • Sichman JS, Conte R, Gilbert N. (1998) Multi-agent systems and agent-based simulation. 1534 Edition. Berlin : Springer
  • Wooffitt RC, Fraser N, Gilbert N, McGlashan S. (1997) Humans, computers and wizards: Studying human (simulated) computer interaction. London : Routledge
  • Troitzsch KG, Mueller U, Gilbert GN, Doran JE. (1996) Social science microsimulation. Berlin : Springer
  • Gilbert GN, Conte R. (1995) Artificial Societies: the computer simulation of social life. London : UCL Press
  • Monk AF, Gilbert N. (1995) Perspectives on HCI: Diverse Approaches. London : Academic Press
  • Gilbert GN, Doran J. (1994) Simulating Societies: the computer simulation of social phenomena. London : UCL Press
  • Gilbert GN. (1993) Analyzing Tabular Data: loglinear and logistic models for social researchers. London : UCL Press
  • Gilbert GN. (1992) Researching Social Life. London : Sage
  • Burrows R, Gilbert GN, Pollert A. (1991) Fordism and flexibility: divisions and change. London : Macmillan
  • Arber S, Gilbert GN. (1991) Women and working lives: divisions and change. London : Macmillan
  • Luff P, Frohlich D, Gilbert GN. (1990) Computers and conversation. 1st Edition. London and New York : Academic Press


    In the past few years a branch of sociology, conversation analysis, has begun to have a significant impact on the design of human*b1computer interaction (HCI). The investigation of human*b1human dialogue has emerged as a fruitful foundation for interactive system design.****This book includes eleven original chapters by leading researchers who are applying conversation analysis to HCI. The fundamentals of conversation analysis are outlined, a number of systems are described, and a critical view of their value for HCI is offered.****Computers and Conversation will be of interest to all concerned with HCI issues--from the advanced student to the professional computer scientist involved in the design and specification of interactive systems.

  • Gilbert GN, Heath C. (1985) Social action and artificial intelligence. Aldershot : Gower
  • Gilbert GN, Mulkay M. (1984) Opening Pandora’s Box: a sociological analysis of scientists' discourse. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press
  • Gilbert GN, Abell P. (1983) Accounts and action. Aldershot : Gower
  • Gilbert GN. (1981) Modelling society: an introduction to loglinear analysis for social researchers. London : Allen and Unwin

Book chapters

  • Anzola D, Barbrook-Johnson P, Salgado M, Gilbert GN. (2017) 'Sociology and Non-Equilibrium Social Science'. in Johnson J, Nowak A, Ormerod P, Rosewell B, Zhang Y-C (eds.) Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy: Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking Springer International Publishing Article number 4 , pp. 59-69.


    Abstract This chapter addresses the relationship between sociology and Non- Equilibrium Social Science (NESS). Sociology is a multiparadigmatic discipline with significant disagreement regarding its goals and status as a scientific discipline. Different theories and methods coexist temporally and geographically. However, it has always aimed at identifying the main factors that explain the temporal stability of norms, institutions and individuals’ practices; and the dynamics of institutional change and the conflicts brought about by power relations, economic and cultural inequality and class struggle. Sociologists considered equilibrium could not sufficiently explain the constitutive, maintaining and dissolving dynamics of society as a whole. As a move from the formal apparatus for the study of equilibrium, NESS does not imply a major shift from traditional sociological theory. Complex features have long been articulated in sociological theorization, and sociology embraces the complexity principles of NESS through its growing attention to complex adaptive systems and non-equilibrium sciences, with human societies seen as highly complex, path-dependent, far-from equilibrium, and selforganising systems. In particular, Agent-BasedModelling provides a more coherent inclusion of NESS and complexity principles into sociology. Agent-based sociology uses data and statistics to gauge the ‘generative sufficiency’ of a given microspecification by testing the agreement between ‘real-world’ and computer generated macrostructures.When the model cannot generate the outcome to be explained, the microspecification is not a viable candidate explanation. The separation between the explanatory and pragmatic aspects of social science has led sociologists to be highly critical about the implementation of social science in policy. However, ABM allows systematic exploration of the consequences of modelling assumptions and makes it possible to model much more complex phenomena than previously. ABM has proved particularly useful in representing socio-technical and socio-ecological systems, with the potential to be of use in policy. ABM offers formalized knowledge that can appear familiar to policymakers versed in the methods and language of economics, with the prospect of sociology becoming more influential in policy.

  • Gilbert , Ahrweiler P. (2015) 'The Quality of Social Simulation: an Example from Research Policy Modelling'. in Janssen M, Wimmer M, Deljoo A (eds.) Policy Practice and Digital Science – Integrating Complex Systems, Social Simulation and Public Administration in Policy Research , pp. 35-55.
  • Ahrweiler P, Pyka A, Gilbert GN. (2015) 'Policy Modelling of Large-Scale Social Systems: Lessons from the SKIN model of Innovation'. in Johnston E (ed.) Governance in the Information Era: Theory and Practice of Policy Informatics Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group Article number 13 , pp. 229-246.
  • Gilbert N, Anzola D, Johnson P, Elsenbroich C, Balke T, Dilaver Kalkan O. (2015) 'Self-organizing dynamical systems'. in (ed.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences 2nd Edition. Oxford : Elsevier 21, pp. 529-534.


    The concept of self-organization in social science is reviewed. In the first two sections, some basic features of self-organizing dynamical systems in general science are presented and the origin of the concept is reconstructed, paying special attention to social science accounts of self-organization. Then, theoretical and methodological considerations regarding the current application of the concept and prospective challenges are examined.

  • Ahrweiler P, Schilperoord M, Gilbert N, Pyka A. (2012) 'Simulating the Role of MNCs for Knowledge and Capital Dynamics in Networks of Innovation'. in Heidenreich M, von Ossietzky C (eds.) Innovation and Institutional Embeddedness of Multinational Companies Cheltenham UK : Edward Elgar Publishing Article number 6 , pp. 141-168.
  • Deffuant G, Gilbert N. (2011) 'Preface'. in Deffuant G, Gilbert N (eds.) Viability and Resilience of Complex Systems 1st Edition. Springer 2011, pp. v-vii.
  • Hassan S, Pavon J, Antunes L, Gilbert GN. (2010) 'Injecting Data into Agent-Based Simulation.'. in Takadama K, Cioffi-Revilla C, Deffuant G (eds.) Simulating Interacting Agents and Social Phenomena 7 Edition. Springer-Verlag New York Inc , pp. 173-185.


    Agent-based modeling and social simulation have emerged as both developments of and challenges to the social sciences.

  • Sholz R, Nokkala T, Ahrweiler P, Pyka A, Gilbert GN. (2010) 'The agent-based NEMO model (SKEIN): simulating European Framework Programmes.'. in Ahrweiler P (ed.) Innovation in Complex Social Systems London : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group , pp. 300-314.
  • Gilbert GN, Ahrweiler P, Pyka A. (2010) 'Learning in innovation networks: Some simulation experiments'. in Ahrweiler P (ed.) Innovation in Complex Social Systems London : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Article number 16 , pp. 235-249.
  • Gilbert GN, Pyka A, Ahrweiler P. (2009) 'Agent-based modelling of innovation networks: the fairytale of spillover'. in Pyka A, Scharnhorst A (eds.) Innovation networks: new approaches in modelling and analyzing Springer Verlag Article number 5 , pp. 101-126.
  • Gilbert GN, Ahrweiler P. (2009) 'The epistemologies of social simulation research'. in Squazzoni F (ed.) Epistemological aspects of computer simulation in the social sciences , pp. 12-28.
  • Gilbert N. (2008) 'Researching social life'. in (ed.) Researching social life 3rd edn. London : Sage Publications Ltd Article number Abstract
  • Gilbert N. (2007) 'Computational Social Science: Agent-based social simulation'. in Phan D, Amblard F (eds.) Agent-based Modelling and Simulation Oxford : Bardwell , pp. 115-134.
  • Yang L, Gilbert N. (2007) 'Case-Based Model of Emotional Expression Influence on Work Group Socialization and Performance'. in Takahashi S, Sallach D, Rouchier J (eds.) Advancing Social Simulation Tokyo : Springer , pp. 343-353.
  • Gilbert N. (2006) 'Sciences sociales computationnelles: simulation sociale multi-agents'. in Amblard F, Phan D (eds.) Modélisation et simulation multi-agents: applications pour les Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société Paris : Lavoisier , pp. 141-157.
  • Yang L, Gilbert N. (2006) 'Case-based model of emotional expression influence on work group socialization and performance'. Kyoto, JAPAN : Springer-Verlag Berlin , pp. 343-354.


    An agent-based computational model, based on longitudinal ethnographic data about the dynamics of intra-group behaviour and work group performance, has been developed from observing an organizational group in the service sector. The model, in which the agents represent workers and tasks, is used to assess the effect of emotional expressions on the dynamics of interpersonal behaviour in work groups, particularly for groups that have recent newcomers. The model simulates the gradual socialization of newcomers into the work group. Through experimenting with the model, conclusions about the factors that influence the socialization process were studied in order to obtain a better understanding of the effect of emotional expressions. It is shown that although positive emotional display accelerates the socialization process, it can have negative effects on work group performance.

  • Gilbert N. (2006) 'When does social simulation need cognitive models?'. in Sun R (ed.) Cognition and Multi-Agent Interaction: From Cognitive Modeling to Social Simulation Cambridge : Cambridge University Press , pp. 428-432.
  • Gilbert N. (2005) 'La simulazione basata su agenti:come affrontare la complessita' dei sistemi sociali'. in Albino V, Carbonara N, Giannoccaro I (eds.) Organizzazioni e Complessità. Muoversi tra ordine e caos per affrontare il cambiamento Milano : F. Angeli , pp. 119-138.
  • Gilbert N. (2005) 'Quality, Quantity and the Third Way'. in Holland J, Campbell J (eds.) Methods in Development Research: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches London : ITDG Publishing , pp. 141-148.
  • Ahrweiler P, Pyka A, Gilbert N. (2004) 'Simulating Knowledge Dynamics in Innovation Networks'. in Leombruni R, Richiardi M (eds.) Industry and Labor Dynamics: The Agent-based Computational Economics Approach Singapore : World Scientific Press , pp. 284-296.
  • Schuster S, Gilbert N. (2004) 'Simulating Online Business Models'. in Coleho H, Espinasse B, Seidel M (eds.) 5th Workshop on Agent-Based Simulation Lisbon, Portugal : Society for Modeling and Simulation International , pp. 55-61.
  • López-Sánchez M, Noria X, Rodríquez-Aguilar JA, Gilbert N, Shuster S. (2004) 'Simulation of Digital Content Distribution Using a Multi-Agent Simulation Approach'. in J. Vitria , Radeva P, Aguilo I (eds.) Recent Advances in Artificial Intelligence Research and Development IOS Press , pp. 341-348.
  • Gilbert N. (2004) 'Open problems in using agent-based models in industrial and labor dynamics'. in Leombruni R, Richiardi M (eds.) Industry and Labor Dynamics: the agent-based computational approach New Jersey : World Scientific , pp. 401-405.
  • Pyka A, Gilbert N, Ahrweiler P. (2002) 'Simulating Innovation Networks'. in Pyka A, Küppers G (eds.) Innovation Networks: Theory and Practice Cheltenham : Edward Elgar
  • Gilbert N, Maltby S, Asakawa T. (2002) 'Participatory simulations for developing scenarios in environmental resource management'. in Urban C (ed.) 3rd workshop on Agent-based simulation Passau, Germany : SCS-Europe , pp. 67-72.
  • Vaux J, Gilbert N. (2002) 'Innovation networks by design: the case of the Mobile VCE'. in Pyka A, Küppers G (eds.) Innovation networks: Theory and Practice Cheltenham : Edward Elgar
  • Gilbert N, Chattoe E. (2001) 'Hunting the unicorn: an exploration of the simulation of small group leadership'. in Saam NJ, Schmidt B (eds.) Cooperative Agents: applications in the social sciences Dordrecht : Kluwer , pp. 109-124.
  • Gilbert N. (2001) 'Research, Theory and Method'. in (ed.) Researching Social Life 2nd edn. London : Sage Article number Two
  • Hare M, Gilbert N, Medugno D, Asakawa T, Heeb J, Pahl-Wostl C. (2001) 'The development of an internet forum for long-term participatory group learning about problems and solutions to sustainable urban water supply management'. in Hilty LM, Gilgen PW (eds.) Sustainability in the Information society Marburg : Metropolis , pp. 743-750.
  • Gilbert N. (2000) 'Modelling sociality: the view from Europe'. in Kohler T, Gumerman G (eds.) Dynamics in Human and Primate Societies: Agent-Based Modeling of Social and Spatial Processes Oxford : Oxford University Press , pp. 355-372.
  • Gilbert N. (2000) 'Models, processes and algorithms: towards a simulation toolkit'. in Suleiman R, Troitzsch KG, Gilbert N (eds.) Tools and Techniques for Social Science Simulation Heidelberg : Physica-Verlag , pp. 3-17.
  • Gilbert N. (2000) 'The simulation of social processes'. in Coppock T (ed.) Information Technology and Scholarship Oxford : Oxford University Press , pp. 203-216.
  • Gilbert N. (2000) 'The simulation of social processes'. in Ferrand N (ed.) Modèles et Systèmes Multi-Agents pour la Gestion de l'Environment et des Territoires Clermont-Ferrand : Cemagref Éditions , pp. 121-137.
  • Jordan J, Gilbert N. (1999) 'Think local - act global: discourses of environment and local protest'. in Fairweather S (ed.) Environmental Futures Basingstoke : Macmillan , pp. 39-53.
  • Conte R, Gilbert N, Sichman JS. (1998) 'MAS and Social Simulation: A Suitable Commitment'. in Jaime S. Sichman , Rosaria Conte , Gilbert N (eds.) Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1534 Edition. Springer-Verlag , pp. 1-9.
  • Gilbert N. (1998) 'Simulation: an introduction to the idea'. in Ahrweiler P, Gilbert N (eds.) Computer simulations in science and technology studies Berlin : Springer , pp. 1-14.
  • Chattoe E, Gilbert N. (1997) 'A simulation of adaptation mechanisms in budgetary decision-making'. in Conte R, Hegselmann , Terna P (eds.) Simulating social phenomena 456 Edition. Berlin : Springer , pp. 401-418.
  • Gilbert GN. (1996) 'Simulation as a research strategy'. in Troitzsch KG, Mueller U, Gilbert GN, Doran JE (eds.) Social science microsimulation Berlin : Springer , pp. 448-454.
  • Gilbert GN. (1996) 'Holism, individualism and emergent properties: an approach from the perspective of simulation'. in Hegselmann R, Mueller U, Troitzsch KG (eds.) Modelling and simulation in the social sciences from the philosophy of science point of view Dordrecht : Kluwer , pp. 1-12.
  • Gilbert GN. (1996) 'Environments and languages to support social simulation'. in Troitzsch KG, Mueller U, Gilbert GN, Doran JE (eds.) Social science microsimulation Berlin : Springer , pp. 457-459.
  • Conte R, Gilbert N. (1995) 'Computer simulation for social theory'. in Gilbert N, Conte R (eds.) Artificial Societies: the computer simulation of social life London : UCL Press , pp. 1-18.
  • Gilbert N. (1995) 'Emergence in social simulation'. in Gilbert N, Conte R (eds.) Artificial Societies: the computer simulation of social life London : UCL Press , pp. 144-156.
  • Gilbert GN, Wooffitt R. (1994) 'Sociology in machines: applying sociology to software design'. in Woolgar S, Murray F (eds.) Social perspectives on software design MIT Press
  • Gilbert GN. (1994) 'Simulating social dynamics'. in Faulbaum F (ed.) Advances in Statistical Software 4 New York : Gustav Fischer , pp. 153-160.
  • Doran J, Palmer M, Gilbert GN, Mellars P. (1994) 'The EOS Project: modelling Upper Palaeolithic social change'. in Gilbert GN, Doran J (eds.) Simulating Societies: the computer simulation of social phenomena London : UCL Press
  • Doran J, Gilbert GN. (1994) 'Simulating societies: an introduction'. in Gilbert GN, Doran J (eds.) Simulating Societies: the computer simulation of social phenomena London : UCL Press
  • Harding S, Gilbert GN. (1993) 'Negotiating the take up of Formal Methods'. in Quintas P (ed.) Social Dimensions of Systems Engineering: People, Processes, Policies and Software Development Chichester : Ellis Horwood
  • Monk A, Gilbert GN, Nardi B, Mantei M, McCarthy J. (1993) 'Mixing oil and water? Ethnography vs. experimental psychology in the study of computer-mediated communication'. in (ed.) Proceedings of INTERCHI 1993 Amsterdam, The Netherlands : Association for Computing Machinery , pp. 3-6.
  • Gilbert GN. (1993) 'SAMP: a survey sampling program'. in Middleton C (ed.) Sociology Teaching Handbook British Sociological Association
  • Gilbert GN. (1992) 'Research, theory and method'. in Gilbert GN (ed.) Researching social life London : Sage
  • Gilbert GN. (1992) 'Writing Sociology'. in Gilbert GN (ed.) Researching social life London : Sage
  • Gilbert GN. (1992) 'CSCW for real: reflections on experience'. in Diaper D, Sanger C (eds.) CSCW in Practice: an Introduction and Case Studies Springer-Verlag , pp. 39-50.
  • Hewitt B, Gilbert GN. (1992) 'Group interfaces'. in Diaper D, Sanger C (eds.) CSCW in Practice: an Introduction and Case Studies Springer-Verlag , pp. 31-38.
  • Arber S, Gilbert GN. (1991) 'Re-assessing women's working lives: an introductory essay'. in Arber S, Gilbert GN (eds.) Women and working lives: divisions and change London : Macmillan
  • Burrows R, Gilbert GN, Pollert A. (1991) 'Fordism and flexibility'. in Burrows R, Gilbert GN, Pollert A (eds.) Fordism and flexibility: divisions and change London : Macmillan
  • Gilbert GN. (1990) 'Support for members of the public'. in Bench-Capon T (ed.) Knowledge based systems and legal applications London : Academic , pp. 115-128.
  • Seel N, Gilbert GN, Morris ME. (1990) 'A project-orientated view of CSCW'. in (ed.) Proceedings of Interact ’90 Cambridge : Pitman , pp. 903-908.
  • Gilbert GN. (1990) 'Claimant Information Systems'. in Bench-Capon T (ed.) Knowledge based systems and legal applications London : Academic , pp. 183-198.
  • Ankrah A, Frohlich DM, Gilbert GN. (1990) 'Two ways to fill a bath, with and without knowing it'. in (ed.) Proceedings of Interact ’90 Cambridge : Pitman , pp. 73-78.
  • Gilbert GN, Fraser N, Wooffitt R. (1990) 'Organising computer talk'. in Luff P, Gilbert GN, Frohlich D (eds.) Computers and conversation London : Academic , pp. 235-258.
  • Gilbert GN. (1989) 'Explanation as process'. in Filer N (ed.) Proceedings of the fourth workshop of the Alvey Explanation SIG London : Institute of Electrical Engineers
  • Arber S, Gilbert GN. (1989) 'Transitions in caring: Gender, Life Course and the care of the Elderly'. in Bytheway WR (ed.) Becoming and being old London : Sage , pp. 72-93.
  • Gilbert GN, Dale A, S.Arber , Evandrou M, Laczko F. (1989) 'Resources in old age: ageing and the life course'. in Jeffreys M (ed.) Growing old in the 20th Century Routledge , pp. 93-114.
  • Gilbert GN. (1988) 'The Alvey DHSS Demonstrator Project: applying IKBS to social security'. in Buchberger E, Göranzon B, Nygaard K (eds.) Artificial Intelligence: perspectives of AI as a social technology Oslo : Tano
  • Gilbert GN. (1987) 'Question and answer types'. in Moralee S (ed.) Research and development in expert systems IV Cambridge : Cambridge University Press , pp. 162-172.
  • Gilbert GN. (1987) 'Cognitive and social models of the user'. in Bullinger HJ, B.Schakel (eds.) Human-Computer Interaction - Interact ’87 Amsterdam : North-Holland , pp. 165-172.
  • Gilbert GN. (1987) 'Advice, discourse and explanations'. in Gilbert GN (ed.) Proceedings of the third workshop of the Alvey Explanation SIG London : Institute of Electrical Engineers
  • Arber S, Dale A, Gilbert GN. (1986) 'The limitations of existing social class classifications for women'. in Jacoby A (ed.) The measurement of social class London : Social Research Association , pp. 73-93.
  • Gilbert GN, Crossfield L. (1986) 'Introducing expert systems into a large legislation-based organisation'. in T. Bernold (ed.) Expert Systems and Knowledge Engineering Amsterdam : North-Holland , pp. 95-100.
  • Evandrou M, Arber S, Dale A, Gilbert GN. (1986) 'Who cares for the elderly? Family care provision and receipt of statutory service'. in Philipson C, Bernard M, Strang P (eds.) Dependency and interdependency in old age: theoretical perspectives and policy alternatives London : Croom Helm
  • Frohlich DM, Crossfield LP, Gilbert GN. (1985) 'Requirements for an intelligent form-filling interface'. in Johnson P, Cook S (eds.) People and computers: designing the interface Cambridge University Press , pp. 102-117.
  • Gilbert GN, Maude TI, Heaton NO, Wilson PA, Marshall CJ. (1984) 'An experiment in group working on mailbox systems'. in (ed.) Interact ’84 IFIP conference on Human-Computer Interaction London : North-Holland , pp. 396-400.
  • Gilbert GN. (1983) 'In search of the action'. in Gilbert GN, Abell P (eds.) Accounts and Action Aldershot : Gower , pp. 8-34.
  • Gilbert GN. (1983) 'Accounts and those accounts called actions'. in Gilbert GN, Abell P (eds.) Accounts and Action Aldershot : Gower , pp. 183-187.
  • Gilbert GN, Mulkay MJ. (1980) 'Contexts of scientific discourse: social accounting in experimental papers'. in Knorr KD, Krohn R, Whitley R (eds.) The social process of scientific investigation Dordrecht : Reidel , pp. 269-296.
  • Gilbert GN. (1976) 'The development of science and scientific knowledge: the case of radar meteor research'. in Lemaine G, MacLeod R, Mulkay M, P Weingard (eds.) Perspectives on the emergence of Scientific Disciplines Paris : Mouton , pp. 187-206.


  • Gilbert N, Hawksworth JC, Swinney PA. (2009) An agent-based model of the English housing market. in (ed.) AAAI Spring Symposium - Technical Report Article number SS-09-09 , pp. 30-35.
  • Gilbert N. (2003) Societal Aspects of Risk. London : Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Gilbert GN. (1996) Using Environmental Impact Assessments in the planning process. University of Sussex : Global Environmental Change Programme
  • Gilbert GN. (1991) Artificial Societies. University of Surrey
  • Gilbert GN. (1990) Sundial Dialogue Manager Functional Specification. Logica (Cambridge) Ltd
  • Gilbert GN. (1990) Complex systems, ethnomethodology and interaction analysis. American Association for Artificial Intelligence
  • Gilbert GN, S. Buckland , Dawson P, Frohlich D, Luff P, Crossfield L, Cordingley B, Robinson P. (1988) Functional specification for the Advice System. University of Surrey Article number 38
  • Buckland S, Cordingley ES, Frolich DM, Gilbert GN, Luff P. (1987) Initial requirements specification for the Advice System. University of Surrey Article number 19
  • Gilbert GN. (1987) Proceedings of the 2nd Alvey KBS Club Explanation Special Interest Group Workshop. Institute of Electrical Engineers.
  • Gilbert GN. (1987) Proceedings of the 3rd Alvey KBS Club Explanation Special Interest Group Workshop. Institute of Electrical Engineers.
  • Gilbert GN. (1986) Proceedings of the 1st Alvey KBS Club Explanation Special Interest Group Workshop. Institute of Electrical Engineers.
  • Gilbert GN, Rajan L, Arber S, Dale A. (1985) Class and Inequality in Britain. Longmans Educational Publishing
  • Arber S, Rajan L, Gilbert GN, Dale A. (1985) Gender and Inequality in Britain. Longmans Educational Publishing
  • Arber S, Gilbert GN, Dale A, Rajan L. (1985) Poverty and Income in Britain. Longmans Educational Publishing
  • Dale A, Arber S, Gilbert GN. (1983) Alternative measures of social class for women and families. Equal Opportunities Commission

Internet publications

  • Gilbert N. (2005) Agent-based social simulation: dealing with complexity.


  • Gilbert GN. (1977) SAMP: a computer program for teaching survey sampling. Distributed by CONDUIT, University of Iowa.

Theses and dissertations

  • Gilbert GN. (1975) The development of science and scientific knowledge: a case study.

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