ABM Resources

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Complete kits and platforms

Open source

(must be freely distributable under an open source license, i.e. "free as in speech" as defined by the superset of the Open Source Definition from the Open Source Initiative and the Free Software Foundation)

  • A-globe
  • ABLE
  • Ascape
  • Breve
  • Cormas "Cormas is a programming environment dedicated to the creation of multi-agent systems, with a specificity in the domain of natural-resources management. It provides a framework for developing simulation models of coordination modes between individuals and groups that jointly exploit common resources."
  • Cougaar
  • EcoLab
  • EVO
  • JADE
  • JAS
  • Mesa
  • metaABM (A meta-modeling environment supporting multiple ABM platforms)
  • Mobidyc "The free software for building and running Individual Based Models with no computer skill. Mobidyc is a software project that aims to promote Individual-Based Modelling in the field of ecology, biology and environment."
  • NetLogo
  • Quicksilver
  • Repast
  • SeSAm
  • SimPy
  • Swarm
  • Xholon
  • Zeus


(available for free "as in beer", source may or may not necessarily be available, if source is available it is not under an open-source license)

  • deX
  • StarLogo
  • StarLogoT
  • VisualBots -- Easy to use multi-agent simulator for Microsoft Excel - Visual Basic syntax, rich object model, documentation, sample simulations


Swarm add-ons and extensions

  • COSMIC -- General simulation utility classes, provided by the Complex Systems Modelling Group at Imperial College
  • EcoSwarm@HSU -- Modeling tools for use with the Swarm simulation system
  • LogZone -- Zone exploration tool.

Related tools and technologies


Why and How to do Agent- and Individual-based Modeling

This page provides citations for materials to help people understand when to use agent-based modeling, and how to design and use ABMs. Please add useful citations!

  • Railsback, S. F., and V. Grimm. 2012. Agent-based and individual-based modeling: a practical introduction. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. This is a textbook for classes and self-instruction on scientific agent-based modeling. It uses NetLogo as a software platform. The book focuses on modeling concepts, theory, and methodology and how to implement them in NetLogo. See: http://www.railsback-grimm-abm-book.com/.
  • Salamon, T. 2011. Design of Agent-Based Models : Developing Computer Simulations for a Better Understanding of Social Processes. Repin, Czech Republic: Bruckner Publishing This monograph provides an overview of the principles of agent technologies and is primarily focused on the design and development process of agent-based models. See: http://www.designofagentbasedmodels.info/.
  • DeAngelis, D.L. & W.M. Mooij. 2005 Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes. Annual Reviews in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 36: 147-168. The authors attempted to identify all the publications using individual-based models in ecology. They look at the kinds of problems and subjects that this approach has been applied to.
  • Grimm, V. 1999. Ten years of individual-based modelling in ecology: what have we learned and what could we learn in the future? Ecological Modelling 115:129-148. This paper reviews the status of individual-based modeling in ecology as of about 1998, focusing especially on the links (or lack thereof) between models and theory.
  • Grimm, V., and S. F. Railsback. 2005. Individual-based modeling and ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. This book addresses the full cycle of designing, testing, using, and publishing agent-based models, and should be useful even for non-ecologists. Additional information is at: http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/titles/8108.html
  • Grimm, V., E. Revilla, U. Berger, F. Jeltsch, W. M. Mooij, S. F. Railsback, H.-H. Thulke, J. Weiner, T. Wiegand, and D. L. DeAngelis. 2005. Pattern-oriented modeling of agent-based complex systems: lessons from ecology. Science 310:987-991. This paper discusses how to address 3 major problems in applying agent-based models to real-world problems: how do you design models that are complex enough but not too complex? how do you develop and test the theory used in your model? and how can you find good parameter values?
  • Grimm, V., U. Berger, F. Bastiansen, S. Eliassen, V. Ginot, J. Giske, J. Goss-Custard, T. Grand, S. Heinz, G. Huse, A. Huth, J. U. Jepsen, C. Jørgensen, W. M. Mooij, B. Müller, G. Pe’er, C. Piou, S. F. Railsback, A. M. Robbins, M. M. Robbins, E. Rossmanith, N. Rüger, E. Strand, S. Souissi, R. A. Stillman, R. Vabø, U. Visser, and D. L. DeAngelis. 2006. A standard protocol for describing individual-based and agent-based models. Ecological Modelling 198:115-296. How can you describe an ABM (e.g., in model documentation or a publication) in such a way that its essential characteristics can be understood easily, while still providing all the details? This paper recommends a standard protocol for describing models, which is also a good way to think about models as they are being designed. The on-line appendices provide example descriptions of many models.