SMABS 2004 Jena University
SMABS 2004 Home Organization About Jena Sponsors Links Imprint / Contact SMABS Home

European Association of Methodology

Department of methodology and evaluation research

Jena University

Contributions: Abstract

Multivariate simulation of innovations diffusion

Wolfgang Neubarth Bernad Batinic
ZUMAUniversität Erlangen-Nürnberg

As the power of personal computers rapidly increases, computer simulation in behavioural sciences gains more importance. This approach is used to show how innovations diffuse. First a model of the process of adoption was extracted from approved empirical results and theory of diffusion. Then a Multi-Agent-Simulation model was implemented. The generated datasets were validated by the mathematical macro model developed by Bass (1968), which is now the commonly accepted model. Thus the simulation approach applied is a coherent conjunction of psychological research results about the individual process of diffusion with the common economic macro model.

However, simulation even exceeds the mathematical approach. Every step can easily be monitored for every simulated individual and there is no need for every individual to adopt the innovation in the final period. In addition, the simulation approach provides superior data fit compared to the Bass-Model. For computer simulation dealing with multiple variables of adoption simultaneously and separate for each individual even specific curves of diffusion, which could not be applied by the mathematical model, emerge.


Bass, F. M. (1969). A new product growth for model consumer durables. Management Science, 15, 215-227.