Exploring associations between micro-level models of innovation diffusion and emerging macro-level adoption patterns

Published in Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications

Laciana, C., Rovere, S.L. and Podestá, G.P.


Publication year 2013
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physa.2012.12.023
  • Grupo de Aplicaciones de Modelos de Agentes (GAMA), Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Avenida Las Heras 2214, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, C1127AAR, Argentina
  • Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149-1098, USA


IAI Program


IAI Project CRN3035


  • We develop a microscopic model of processes influencing individual adoption behavior. 
  • Micro-level simulations match closely adoption curves predicted by the Bass model.
  • Bass parameters for many actual adoptions can be induced by the microscopic model.
  • We established linkages between micro-level parameters and innovation takeoff time. 
  • We illustrate use of the micro-model to assess outcomes of marketing interventions.


A micro-level agent-based model of innovation diffusion was developed that explicitly combines (a) an individual&rsquos perception of the advantages or relative utility derived from adoption, and (b) social influence from members of the individual&rsquos social network. The micro-model was used to simulate macro-level diffusion patterns emerging from different configurations of micro-model parameters. Micro-level simulation results matched very closely the adoption patterns predicted by the widely-used Bass macro-level model (Bass, 1969 [1]). For a portion of the  domain, results from micro-simulations were consistent with aggregate-level adoption patterns reported in the literature. Induced Bass macro-level parameters  and  responded to changes in micro-parameters: (1)  increased with the number of innovators and with the rate at which innovators are introduced (2)  increased with the probability of rewiring in small-world networks, as the characteristic path length decreases and (3) an increase in the overall perceived utility of an innovation caused a corresponding increase in induced  and  values. Understanding micro to macro linkages can inform the design and assessment of marketing interventions on micro-variables&ndashor processes related to them&ndashto enhance adoption of future products or technologies.