Abstract Social Network Analysis is now a valuable tool to study social complexity in many animal species, including primates. However, this framework has rarely been used to implement quantitative data on the social structure of a group within computer models. Such approaches allow the investigation of how social organization constrains other traits and also how these traits can impact the social organization in return. In this commentary, we discuss the powerful potential of social network modeling as a way to study group scale phenomena in primates. We describe the advantages of using such a method and we focus on the specificity of this approach in primates, given the particularities of their social networks compared with those of other taxa. We also give practical considerations and a list of examples as for the choice of parameters that can be used to implement the social layer within the models.