Agent-based simulation has become increasingly popular as a modeling approach in the social sciences because it enables researchers to build models where individual entities and their interactions are directly represented. The Second Edition of Nigel Gilbert's Agent-Based Models introduces this technique; considers a range of methodological and theoretical issues; shows how to design an agent-based model, with a simple example; offers some practical advice about developing, verifying and validating agent-based models; and finally discusses how to plan an agent-based modelling project, publish the results and apply agent-based modeling to formulate and evaluate social and economic policies. An accompanying simulation using NetLogo and commentary on the program can be downloaded on the book’s website:

Developing An Agent-Based Model

4.1 Modeling Toolkits, Libraries, Languages, Frameworks, and Environments

In this chapter we will consider how, having designed a model, one can implement it in programming code and how one can then check that the design and the code are correct.

Although some modelers build their agent-based models using only a conventional programming language (most frequently Java, although any language could be used), this is a difficult way to start. Over the years, it has become clear that many models involve the same or similar building blocks with only small variations. Rather than continually reinventing the wheel, commonly used elements have been assembled into libraries or frameworks that can be linked into an agent-based program. The first of these to be widely used ...

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