Design of Agent-Based Models

Developing Computer Simulations for a Better Understanding of Social Processes

Tomas Salamon

Table of Contents

Methodology of social science

Approaches to simulation; discrete-event simulation; continuous simulation and system dynamics; agent-based simulations; combined techniques; serious gaming or participatory simulations.

Multi-agent system

Principles of multi-agent systems; application domains of multi-agent systems (robotics and cybernetics, artificial intelligence, software engineering, networking, search engines, electronic commerce, simulation).


Agent environments; basic principles and characteristics of agents; taxonomies of agents; reactive agents and their architectures (subsumption architecture, dynamic subsumption architecture, network agent architecture); deliberative agents and their approaches (utility-based, logic-based and BDI approach); hybrid agents.

Agent interactions

Types of agent interaction; agent communication.

Agent-oriented programming

Principles of software agents; agent software paradigm and its comparison with other software paradigms; agent structure (behaviors, data, goals); agent features.

Agent-oriented methodologies

Purpose of agent oriented methodologies; comparison of agent-oriented methodologies (Agent Oriented Methodology for Enterprise Modelin, AUML, Cassiopeia, CoMoMAS, Gaia, HIM, MaSE, MASim, Prometheus, Tropos).

Limits of agent-based modeling

Lack of confidence; missing methodology for development; missing leading development frameworks; computational performance limitations; popularity; spatial factors in agent-based modeling.


Methodology for design and development of agent-based models; desired characteristics of methodology; roles (expert, analyst, modeler, platform specialist, programmer, tester); design and development process phases (requirements definition phase, conceptual model phase, platform-specific model phase, simulation model phase); steps of the process (task formulation, task evaluation, conceptual modeling, consistency check, selection of a development platform, transformation guide, platform-specific model, development, debugging and testing, model evaluation); agent conceptual modeling; agent diagrams (global level, detailed level, goal diagram, environment diagram); particle diagram (class diagram, communication diagram, activity diagram).


Introduction to Jackson Structured Programming; research on ABM software.