Extra: Getting your hands dirty with agent based models
This is an optional step. In this step you will need to download free software. You should in no case purchase any software! In this course you have seen a few simulations with NetLogo and will see some more. This article will explain the ones we have used and explain how you can work with NetLogo yourself!
Please note that this is extra material. However, we do encourage you to try this yourself because it will give you a better feeling for the concept of complexity. Let’s get you warmed up by watching this introductory video from the people that created NetLogo.
Now let’s get started! Netlogo is free software that is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. You can download the software here. And for your convenience we have added a tutorial to guide you through the installation process (the tutorial is for Windows but the process for Mac and Linux is quite similar). Finally you can read the software manual and system requirements.
Playing with your first model
We are going to start slowly. We use a model that comes pre-packaged with NetLogo and one we have shown you before in Agent Based Model 2: Emergence of Social Segregation.
If you watch this tutorial we will show you how to open models from the Netlogo library and specifically the social segregation model you have seen in the lectures.
Playing with Marco Janssen & Wander Jager’s consumer choice model
Alright, let’s explore a model that is not included in the library. It’s the Consumer Behaviour model from Wander Jager.
- Download the .zip file containing the Netlogo file at the bottom of this step.
- Unzip this file on your computer to extract the model file (‘Wjager.nlogo’) and save it wherever you like on your computer.
- Watch this tutorial which will explain how you can open it and play around with it.
I am baffled by how simple this was, what’s next?
Well, that’s up to you! You now know the basics of running models in Netlogo. We recommend playing with the models that are already in the library. Or for now continue with the course and learn about evolutionary dynamics. There are tons of modeling possibilities for this subject. For this course we will return with a special class of agent based models called cellular automata next week.
© University of Groningen