Integrating sensor-streams into agent-based models (ABM) is like trying to fit circles into a triangular hole. However, it is becoming ever more relevant in today’s technical realities of data streams that are embedded virtually everywhere. Some of the wicked problems that Francis had to tackle were: How to utilise the inceasing wealth of data in an inherently theory-based method? How to validate a dynamically changing model? How to use data to gain understanding beyond correlations?

Especially enjoyable was the discussion that was led by Prof. Nick Malleson (Univ. of Leeds) and Prof. Andreas Koch (Univ. of Salzburg) under the chair of Prof. Josef Strobl (Univ. of Salzburg). The two discussants prepared excellent, though challenging questions that were digging deep into some of the methodological as well as conceptual pitfalls that are connected with data-driven ABMs. This provided the opportunity for Francis to share the deep understanding of the field that he acquired during his PhD research. The discussion further sharpened the essence of the contribution that he made to the field.

The Spatial Simulation research group is proud of our new Doctor and we wish Dr. Francis all the best for his future career!

The Defense board with the successful PhD candidate. From left to right: 1st Supervisor Prof. Josef Strobl, Discussant Prof. Andreas Koch, Francis Oloo, Discussant Prof. Nick Malleson.