CSDMS 2014 annual meeting - Uncertainty and Sensitivity in Surface Dynamics Modeling

Agent-Based Modeling Research: Topics, Tools, and Methods

Joshua Watts

Arizona State University, United States

Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) or Individual-Based Modeling is a research method rapidly increasing in popularity -- particularly among social scientists and ecologists interested in using simulation techniques to better understand the emergence of interesting system-wide patterns from simple behaviors and interactions at the individual scale. ABM researchers frequently partner with other scientists on a wide variety of topics related to coupled natural and human systems. Human societies impact (and are impacted by) various earth systems across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, and ABM is a very useful tool for better understanding the effect of individual and social decision-making on various surface processes. The clinic will focus on introducing the basic toolkit needed to understand and pursue ABM research, and consider how ABM work differs from other computational modeling approaches. The clinic: - Will explore examples of the kinds of research questions and topics suited to ABM methods. - Will (attempt to) define some key concepts relevant to ABM research, such as emergence, social networks, social dilemmas, and complex adaptive systems. - Will provide an introduction to ABM platforms, particularly focused on NetLogo. - Discuss approaches to verification, validation, and scale dependency in the ABM world. - Introduce the Pattern-Oriented Modeling approach to ABM. - Discuss issues with reporting ABM research (ODD specification, model publishing). - Brainstorm tips and tricks for working with social scientists on ABM research.

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Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Human Dimensions Focus Research Group