Computer-simulated synthetic populations are used by researchers and policy makers to help understand and predict the aggregate behaviour of large numbers of individuals. Research aims include explaining the structural and dynamic characteristics of populations, and the implications of these characteristics for dynamic processes such as the spread of disease, opinions and social norms. Policy makers planning for the future economic, healthcare or infrastructure needs of a population want to be able to evaluate the possible effects of their policies. In both cases, it is desirable that the structure and dynamic behaviour of synthetic populations be statistically congruent to that of real populations. Here, we present a parsimonious individual-based model for generating synthetic population dynamics that focuses on the effects that demographic change have on the structure and composition of households.
Synthetic Population Dynamics: A Model of Household Demography
by Nicholas Geard, James M. McCaw, Alan Dorin, Kevin B. Korb and Jodie McVernon