Requirements and Approaches for Modeling Individuals Within Organizational Simulations

Hudlicka, E. and Zacharias, G.

W. Rouse and K. Boff, eds. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ (2005)

The past decade has witnessed a growth of interest in modeling and simulation of individuals and organizations. From a research perspective, these simulations are important because they enable explorations of both individual and organizational decision-making mechanisms. From an applied perspective, these simulations aid organizational design, improve the realism and effectiveness of training and assessment systems, help in the assessment of enterprise workflow, and aid in behavior prediction. The human behavior modeling community has traditionally been divided into those addressing individual behavior models, and those addressing organizational and team models. And yet it is clear that these extremes do not reflect the complex reality of the mutually-constraining interactions between an individual and his/her organizational environment. In this chapter, we argue that realistic models of organizations may require not only models of individual decision-makers, but also explicit models of a variety of individual differences influencing their decision-making and behavior, such as cognitive styles, personality traits, and affective states. Following a brief overview of relevant research in individual differences, and cognitive architectures, we outline the knowledge, representational, and inferencing requirements for two alternative approaches to modeling the individual within an organizational simulation: one focusing on cognitive architectures and the other centered on profile-based social network models. We illustrate each approach with concrete examples from existing prototypes, and discuss how these two approaches could be integrated within organizational simulations. We conclude with a discussion of some of the critical challenges in modeling individuals within organizational simulations.

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