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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds So what is Agent Based Modelling? Well, first, you make a mathematical model of an atom, and this atom can reflect an organism such as an animal or a human. And then next you formalise this in an agent in the computer model. For example, in NetLogo, which is a very popular platform– and you will encounter this later– but if you want to have a more rich model, Repast is an alternative platform suitable for modelling quite complicated cognitive functions. Anyway, the idea is that you create an artificial population of agents, and you let them interact. So the main challenge now is, can we use this methodology to better understand complexities in human behaviour in our society?

Skip to 1 minute and 0 seconds While one key example is Thomas Schelling’s model of segregation, which has been developed in 1969, 1971. And Thomas Schelling had the question, what happens if people are comfortable in a mixed neighbourhood? This like to be outnumbered by the other. And the other can relate to ethnicity or religion or whatever. So Schelling was puzzled by this question. And in the following movie, we will demonstrate the principles of Schelling’ experiment. And this will be done in the next step.

Principles of agent-based modelling

This video explains the main principle of agent-based modelling.

As you construct an ABM you essentially create an artificial population of agents and then simulate their interactions.

As an example, it shows how Thomas Schelling’s modelled the emergent phenomena of racial segregation in cities.

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Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World

University of Groningen

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