The methodologies like “system dynamics” and “dynamic substance flow analysis” for considering industrial ecology are limited in deficient considering the influence of agents and considering material for endless entities. ABM is a good tool to beat the mentioned limitations for static and equation-based models. Bollinger et al. tried to show the proses for ABM industrial ecology in the field of metal. Their research question is as follows: “What conditions foster the development of a closed-loop flow network for metals in mobile phones?”
There are three features in cellphone flow such as including rare metals, the use of cellphones is rising and, minor parts of it are recycling in the world.
He believes while system dynamic considers procedures within the network, ABM considered agents all of whom are contributing to the life cycle of cell phones. In their ABM model there are several agents which have decision-making regulations as well as properties such as their stock capacity, etc. all the agents go to the simulation model and decide whether or not buy a metal, cellphone etc. the agents also have limited information about their surroundings such as a consumer does not know about the lifetime of the phone that he/she is buying. Bollinger et al. also considered different agents for each cell phone in their simulation model which are generating during the simulation and their metals add to the network. All of the agents excluding the consumers are looking for maximizing their revenue.
After the simulation and comparison between ABM and equation-based simulation they come up with the conclusion that ABM has many pros over the equation-based simulation such as considering merchandises as an agents which has its own characteristics, making an allowance for actors to be different agents which can make an atmosphere to have different relations in the network and, let the agents to be rational and make rational decision since they are really close to the real world.
Another advantage of ABM is that it makes different arrangements during the simulation while in equation-based simulations the arrangement during the simulation is consistent.