Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Agent Based Modelling Platforms

Object Orientated languages have changed the way we can model system, modelling platforms are also changing the way we go about modelling. There are a whole host of ABM platforms, packages and one off systems. being or have been developed. The most popular appear to be Swarm, NetLogo, StarLogo, Ascape, Repast and OBEUS. OBEUS is a new boy however it is not Open source, but shareware. It was designed by Benenson and developed by Kharbash from Tel Aviv University. OBEUS is based on the theory of Geographic Automata Systems (GAS), developed by Benenson and Torrens in their book “Geosimulation –Automata-Based Modelling of Urban Phenomena” (2004). The question one has to ask is which one, one should use?

These toolkits provide the user with a set of reusable model components etc. Which is a good thing as there are many one off models which are lost to researchers once a project is over. I wanted a toolkit that provided GIS integration along with being open source. For this reason I chose Repast.


Unknown said...

How do i model ABMs with a few million agents with a environment grid size of a few million? With toolkits such as Repast SWARM etc, I can take time off for a lunch in between two time steps for such problems.

Unknown said...

How do i model ABMs with a few million agents and environment grid size of a few million. If I use Repast, SWARM, NetLogo etc, they are so slow that the time for one increment in time step can be as large as 200+ secs.

Andrew Crooks said...

I guess the question is to do with abstraction, do you need 2 million agents? Secondly, are you criticising the toolkits for their performance? You could always write your own program, which may be faster, I now some people that have. These are general-purpose tools allowing the modeller (who may or may not be a computer scientist) to move away from parts of the model that are not content specific thus spending more time on the modelling process.