Fabian Held

BA Bayreuth MSc Munich PhD Sydney
Research Associate in Computational Modelling


Fabian’s research focuses on the development and self-organisation of social groups, especially the emergence of patterns of behaviour from complex networks of interactions and individuals’ adaptations. He employs techniques from computational social science to better understand how human behaviour and decision making affect and are affected by their social, economic, technological and environmental context. His expertise lies in the use of agent-based models, social network analysis, as well as computer-intensive statistics and data visualisation.

Research interests

  • Complex adaptive social systems
  • Health systems and rural health
  • Management and coordination in complex systems
  • Development and diffusion of information and ideas
  • Dynamics of supply and demand

Project involvement and collaborators


Intrigued by the Charles Perkins Centre's vision to tackle some of our society's largest burdens through innovative and problem oriented collaborative research that surpasses over traditional boundaries between academic disciplines, Fabian became a postdoctoral researcher in the Integrative Systems Lab in 2013. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy & Economics from the University of Bayreuth and a M.Sc. in Statistics from the University of Munich (LMU). He was recently awarded a PhD in Marketing from the University of Sydney.
In his dissertation he developed a computational framework to model the evolution of a business network as a complex adaptive social system. His model includes economic, technological and environmental aspects that drive the self-organisation of an economic system of production and exchange. In such an economic network participants are able to realise economic benefits through specialisation while at the same time entering various mutually dependent, cooperative relationships. He uses Agent-based Modelling, computational experiments and multidimensional data-visualisation to investigate the dynamics of self-organisation, and the ways through which human actions and interactions create and change the context of their own decision making over time.
At the Charles Perkins Centre, he continues to pursue research that tries to better understand the complex interdependencies of interactions in social groups. Areas of interest include the development of norms regarding sustainable food production and healthy consumption, the economics of supply and demand and their effects on availability and composition of foods as well as the effects of social networks and the diffusion of ideas.

Selected publications

  • Held, F. P. and Wilkinson, I. (forthcoming) Agent Based Simulation Models as a Research Method. In L. Young and P.V. Freytag New Methods in Marketing.
  • Held, F. P., Wilkinson, I. F., Marks, R. E., & Young, L. (forthcoming). Agent-Based Modelling, a New Kind of Research. Australasian Marketing Journal.
  • Wilkinson, I. F., Held, F., Marks, R. E., & Young, L. (2013). Developing Agent-Based Models of Business Relations and Networks. In R. Stocker & T. Bossomaier (Eds.), Networks in Society: Links and Language. Singapore: Pan-Stanford Publishing.
  • Held, F. P. (2013). Modelling the Evolution of Business Relationships and Networks as Complex Adaptive Systems. (Doctoral Thesis), University of Sydney. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2123/8999
  • Held, F., Wilkinson, I. F., Marks, R., & Young, L. (2010). Exploring the Dynamics of Economic Networks: First Steps of a Research Project. Paper presented at the 3rd World Congress on Social Simulation, Kassel, Germany.
  • Wilkinson, I. F., Held, F., Marks, R., & Young, L. (2010). Towards Simulation Models of the Dynamics of Business Relations and Networks. Paper presented at the International Marketing and Purchasing Group Conference, Budapest.


For more information, or to register your interest, please contact:

Associate Professor Zdenka Kuncic