Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment / CBIE Working Papers / On code sharing and model documentation of published Individual and agent-based models

On code sharing and model documentation of published Individual and agent-based models

CBIE_WP-2020-003

Abstract

Being able to replicate research results is the hallmark of science. Replication of research findings using computational models should, in principle, be possible. In this manuscript, we assess code sharing and model documentation practices of 7,500 publications about individualbased and agent-based models. The code availability increased over the years, up to 18% in 2018.

Model documentation does not include all the elements that could improve the transparency of the models, such as mathematical equations, flow charts, and pseudocode. We find that articles with equations and flow charts being cited more, probably because the model documentation is more transparent.

The practices of code sharing improve slowly over time, partly due to the emergence of more public repositories and archives, and code availability requirements by journals and sponsors. However, a significant change in norms and habits need to happen before computational modeling becomes a reproducible science.

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Published June 4, 2020

Marco A. Janssen, Arizonan State University

Calvin Pritchard, Arizona State University

Allen Lee, Arizona State University