Investigating the Key Parameters of an Agent-Based Model of Mining Community Preferences for Managing Social Risks


Mining companies have started using quantitative tools, including computer models of community interaction, to gain intelligence on social risks surrounding their projects. Models of changes in community preferences regarding mining projects over time are useful for evaluating changes in project risk due to changes in the social license to operate. For example, agent-based models that use information diffusion models and social networks are useful for studying those changes due to information diffusion. However, such agent-based models are sensitive to many input parameters including the parameters of the diffusion model and the average degree of the social network. This work evaluates the sensitivity of such a model to diffusion and network model parameters (probability of imitation, probability of innovation, and average degree) using the first order and total sensitivity indices. The results show that the model is much more sensitive to the probability of imitation than the other two parameters. Thus, to reduce uncertainty surrounding the model's predictions of community acceptance of mining, mines need to obtain accurate estimates of the probability of imitation.

Meeting Name

2018 SME Annual Conference and Expo and 91st Annual Meeting of the SME-MN Section: Vision, Innovation and Identity: Step Change for a Sustainable Future (2018: Feb. 25-28, Minneapolis, MN)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Autonomous agents; Diffusion; Social networking (online); Uncertainty analysis; Agent-based model; Information diffusion; Information diffusion models; License to operate; Mining communities; Network model parameters; Quantitative tool; Sensitivity indices; Computational methods

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2018 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2018