Exploring the role of contracts to support the emergence of self-organized industrial symbiosis networks: An agent-based simulation study

Vito Albino, Luca Fraccascia*, Ilaria Giannoccaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the efficacy of contractual mechanisms for enhancing the formation of self-organized industrial symbiosis networks in environments characterized by diverse levels of uncertainty and turbulence. We propose a simple contract scheme designed to foster the formation of stable industrial symbiosis relationships and to guarantee that the industrial symbiosis is beneficial for all parties involved. Industrial symbiosis networks are framed as complex adaptive systems and an agent-based model is provided, to study the effect of the proposed contract on their emergence. In particular, we utilize a real case study and by means of simulation assess the benefits associated with the proposed contract in terms of emergence of stable industrial symbiosis relationships. The results show that the proposed contractual mechanism is a facilitator for establishing symbiotic relationships especially in scenarios characterized by low environmental uncertainty and high turbulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4353-4366
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of cleaner production
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Agent-based simulation
  • Contracts
  • Industrial symbiosis networks
  • Input-output process
  • Self-organization and emergence

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