AML 520 (85097): Agent-based modeling

Fall 2012

Professor: Marco Janssen

TuTh: 4.30 - 5.45, Cowden 124

Course content
Agent-based modeling is a method to study the macro-level consequences of micro-level interactions of agents in social phenomena like cooperation, diffusion, foraging and complex societies. In this course students will learn the basics of agent-based modeling and how this method is used to study social systems in ancient and modern times. Further attention is given how to test agent-based models and combine them with other (empirical) methods.

Topics that will be discussed are: methodology of modeling, complex adaptive systems, cellular automata, agent-based modeling, model analysis, pattern oriented modeling, model documentation, and applications like foraging behavior, diffusion processes, evolution of cooperation, etc.

The class reading will review the literature and a significant part of the class will be devoted to get hand-on experience in learning to develop agent-based model in Netlogo. Each student has a project on an application of their own interest and work on this during the semester.

There is no official pre-requisite for this course, but it is expected that the participants have basic programming experience. Those who have never done any computer programming should first take another course, such as AML 430 Social Simulation (Spring semester course).
Course format
Lectures, discussions, individual research project,  programming assignments

Required Book: Steven F. Railback and Volker Grimm (2011) Agent-based and Individual-based Modeling: A Practical Introduction, Princeton University Press

Other readings will be provided at the beginning of the semester.


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