The Population Health Agent-based Simulation nEtwork (PHASE)

Many public health challenges, such as obesity, tobacco and alcohol use and physical activity, are underpinned by complex systems involving individual, social and environmental factors. In order to develop effective policies and interventions to tackle these issues, we need to understand the theory and mechanisms underlying these systems.

Agent-based models are a computer simulation methodology that can help us understand complex public health challenges by exploring how the behaviour of individual people or organisations and their interactions with each other and their environment result in population-level outcomes and patterns of health-related behaviour. Agent-based models can also be used to design and evaluate new interventions or policies virtually, before implementing these in the real-world.

The Population Health Agent-based Simulation nEtwork (PHASE) is a research network that supports the use of agent-based models in addressing public health challenges. PHASE will bring together researchers, computer software developers, policy-makers, and voluntary organisations who are interested in understanding the complexities underlying public health issues. By supporting different groups to work together, the UK can become a world leader in simulation methods for health and develop ambitious agent-based modelling projects to tackle key public health issues.

PHASE is funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership.

Visit the PHASE website.


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