Documenting social simulation models: The ODD protocol as a standard

Volker Grimm*, Gary Polhill, Julia Touza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The clear documentation of simulations is important for their communication, replication, and comprehension. It is thus helpful for such documentation to follow minimum standards. The ‘overview, design concepts, and details’ document protocol (ODD) is specifically designed to guide the description of individual- and agent-based simulation models (ABMs) in journal articles. Popular among ecologists, it is also increasingly used in the social simulation community. Here, we describe the protocol and give an annotated example of its use, with a view in facilitating its wider adoption and encouraging higher standards in simulation description.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSimulating Social Complexity
Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook
EditorsBruce Edmonds, Ruth Meyer
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-93813-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-93812-5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameUnderstanding Complex Systems
ISSN (Print)18600832
ISSN (Electronic)18600840


  • Documentation protocol
  • Individual- and agent-based modelling
  • Overview, design concepts and details
  • Replication

Cite this