Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling features concise and accessible text, numerous examples, and exercises using small but scientific models. The emphasis throughout is on analysis--such as software testing, theory development, robustness analysis, and understanding full models--and on design issues like optimizing model structure and finding good parameter values.
Grimm and Railsback start with a general primer on modeling: how to design models that are as simple as possible while still allowing specific problems to be solved, and how to move efficiently through a cycle of pattern-oriented model design, implementation, and analysis. Next, they address the problems of theory and conceptual framework for individual-based ecology: What is "theory"? That is, how do we develop reusable models of how system dynamics arise from characteristics of individuals? What conceptual framework do we use when the classical differential equation framework no longer applies? An extensive review illustrates the ecological problems that have been addressed with individual-based models. The authors then identify how the mechanics of building and using individual-based models differ from those of traditional science, and provide guidance on formulating, programming, and analyzing models. This book will be helpful to ecologists interested in modeling, and to other scientists interested in agent-based modeling.
The advent of widespread fast computing has enabled us to work on more complex problems and to build and analyze more complex models. This book provides an introduction to one of the primary methodologies for research in this new field of knowledge. Agent-based modeling (ABM) offers a new way of doing science: by conducting computer-based experiments. ABM is applicable to complex systems embedded in natural, social, and engineered contexts, across domains that range from engineering to ecology. An Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling offers a comprehensive description of the core concepts, methods, and applications of ABM. Its hands-on approach—with hundreds of examples and exercises using NetLogo—enables readers to begin constructing models immediately, regardless of experience or discipline.
The book first describes the nature and rationale of agent-based modeling, then presents the methodology for designing and building ABMs, and finally discusses how to utilize ABMs to answer complex questions. Features in each chapter include step-by-step guides to developing models in the main text; text boxes with additional information and concepts; end-of-chapter explorations; and references and lists of relevant reading. There is also an accompanying website with all the models and code.