Links to Related Materials

More information about our first book Individual-based Modeling and Ecology is available from Princeton University Press. The book is available from Princeton and bookstores.

The book Modeling Populations of Adaptive Individuals, by Steven Railsback and Bret Harvey, provides guidance on representing adaptive behavior in individual- and agent-based models. Its focus is especially on tradeoff behaviors that, e.g., balance food intake and predation risk. The book is available from Princeton University Press and other book sellers. More information, supplementary materials, and the example models from the book are here.

Our paper on speeding up NetLogo codes and using NetLogo for large models is here (with updates).

Spatial Simulation: Exploring Pattern and Process by O’Sullivan and Perry should interest anyone (especially ecologists) interested in modeling systems that vary over space and time. The book focuses on basic modeling issues and established ways of representing spatial processes. The authors provide extensive on-line materials including a “zoo” of example models in NetLogo.

Ecologist-Developed Spatially-Explicit Dynamic Landscape Models edited by James D. Westervelt and Gordon L. Cohen is another resource for learning about individual- based modeling and NetLogo. It starts with chapters on modeling basics, collaborative group projects, and getting started with NetLogo. The remaining chapters present 11 individual- based models, mostly from applied ecology but several from social science. The NetLogo code for all the models is available for download.

Uri Wilensky and William Rand have produced the book An Introduction to Agent-based Modeling: Modeling Natural, Social, and Engineered Complex Systems with NetLogo. The title and objectives are quite similar to ours, but we find this book quite different in approach, organization, and style. It contains more background and history of agent-based modeling and “complexity science” than our book does.

Agent-Based Spatial Simulation with NetLogo, Volume 1 – Introduction and Bases is a book edited by Arnaud Banos, Christophe Lang, and France Nicolas Marilleau. From the publisher: “Through a governing example, taking inspiration from a real problem in epidemiology, this book proposes, with pedagogy and economy, a guide to good practices of agent modeling. The reader will thus be able to understand and put the modeling into practice and acquire a certain amount of autonomy. This book rests on well-known techniques and tools: (i) modeling such as UML, (ii) simulation such as the NetLogo platform, (iii) exploration methods, and (iv) adaptation using participative simulation.”

OpenABM is an on-line agent-based modeling forum that scientific modelers should take advantage of. It provides announcements and events, and a large library of models contributed by users. Its focus is mainly but not exclusively on social science. Many of the models are in NetLogo and described using the ODD protocol. OpenABM is part of the Network for Computational Modeling for SocioEcological Science.

Our close friend and collaborator Uta Berger coordinates the Summer School in Individual- and Agent-based Modeling at Dresden University of Technology, where much of this book’s content has been developed and tested. This series of short-courses is intended primarily to teach graduate students how to use agent-based modeling in their research. If you fit that description, we encourage you to visit the course web site.

Are you interested in the relations between ABMs and scientific theory? So are we. See this project that we are participating in: Agents for Theory — From Cases to General Principles: Theory Development through Agent-Based Modeling.

The individual-based ecological modeling site at Humboldt State University.

Volker Grimm’s home page.

Those of you interested in economics are strongly encouraged to see all the useful materials at our friend Dr. Leigh Tesfatsion’s Agent-based Computational Economics site.


This book would not have been possible without all the experience, wisdom, and skill that has gone into NetLogo.

This site was designed by our friends at Carson Park Design.

The background photos and simulation graphics on this site are from studies by Matt Johnson and colleagues, Humboldt State University Department of Wildlife, of how land use on coffee plantations in Jamaica affect the ability of migratory songbirds to control a major pest, the coffee borer beetle. Prof. Johnson and Steve Railsback produced a model of this problem, which is referred to (e.g.) in Chapter 17. See also: Railsback and Johnson. 2011. Pattern-oriented modeling of bird foraging and pest control in coffee farms. Ecological Modelling 222:3305-3319; and Railsback and Johnson. 2014. Effects of land use on bird populations and pest control services on coffee farms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111:6109–14. The photographs were taken by Matt Johnson in some of the coffee-growing regions he has worked in.

The cover art on our book is Above the Imperial Palace, a 2010 painting by the wonderful artist Astrid Preston. The first edition’s cover art is Astrid’s Orange Haiku (also 2010), and her painting Topiary Garden is on the cover of our 2005 book. To us, much of her work conveys the basic idea of agent-based modeling: a system (landscape, forest, etc.) made up of unique individuals that are represented very simply but retain just enough “essence” of reality to be instantly recognizable. We cannot thank her enough for letting us use these three beautiful pieces. You will certainly enjoy a visit to her on-line gallery.