Agent-based modeling

Since 2011 the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program has been developing an agent-based model (ABM) “Dream Valley” which is able to simulate the economic, social, and environmental interactions and dynamics of a region.

Dream Valley Project (Globe) © iStock

Dream Valley Project (Globe)

Individuals and companies are main agents of economic and social decisions; a local government is an upper agent who can impose different constraints on the other agents.

In 2013 in the framework ASA project “Structural change of the Finnish Economy – a Systems Approach” (2012-2013) supported by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy the Dream Valley tool was customized to three regions in Finland – Oulu, Joensuu, and Pori.

The project tests the vulnerability of these three regions to a number of shock scenarios where economic shocks are exogenous to the regions. The 2014 policy report to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy by Leena Ilmola-Sheppard summarizes policy recommendations; a paper presenting the ABM and simulation results is being prepared.


The project “Structural change of the Finnish Economy – a Systems Approach” is of relevance to the Finnish NMO.
ASA’s main collaborators in the field of regional economic development include B. Park, Director, Center for Strategic Foresight, Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI), Korea; M. Tykkylainen, Professor, University of Eastern Finland; S. Vahasantanen, Researcher, Turku University.

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Last edited: 21 May 2014


Leena Ilmola-Sheppard

Senior Research Scholar

Advanced Systems Analysis

T +43(0) 2236 807 614

Further information



International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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