Simulating inter-organizational collaboration network: A multi-relational and event-based approach

Kang Zhao, John Yen, Louis Marie Ngamassi, Carleen Maitland, Andrea H. Tapia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In this research, we study inter-organizational collaboration from the perspective of multi-relational networks. We develop an agent-based model to simulate how a collaboration network among organizations emerges from organizations’ interactions through another network: the inter-organizational communication network. Our model adds links (or edges) into the collaboration network on the basis of events, which correspond to organizations’ formation of collaborative teams for joint projects. The proposed approach also models the competitive yet non-exclusive dissemination of information among organizations, organizations’ dynamic prioritization of candidate projects, and network-based influence. Applying the model to a case study of the humanitarian sector, we configure and validate the agent-based simulation, and use it to analyze how to promote inter-organizational humanitarian collaboration by encouraging communication. The simulation results suggest that encouraging communication between peripheral organizations can better promote collaboration than other strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-633
Number of pages17
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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