Extra: Getting your hands dirty with cellular automata models

This extra article is a continuation of the extra agent-based modeling activities last week. It will provide instructions for you to experiment with some cellular automata models within NetLogo.

Please note that this is an optional step. We do however really recommend you to try this because we believe that to really understand complexity it’s best to play with it.

Playing with your first Cellular Automata model

So you liked our previous extra session on agent based models. Good! Please share your experiences with other learners who might still be hesitant to try it.

Have a look at the first Cellular Automata Tutorial (hold ctrl or cmd for Mac and then click the link so it will open in a new tab). Here, we will show you where to find Cellular Automata models in the NetLogo library. Specifically we will focus on the Voting model as demonstrated earlier by Andreas Flache.

Moving on to more challenging things

Now for our final hands-on session for this course we will explore the opinion dynamics model from Robert Axelroad. This is the same model discussed in our Modeling opinion formation step. Did you think the article was difficult? Good! You will probably find that playing with the model is always easier than passively reading an article. Here’s how to get started:

Was that it? I want more!

This was it for modeling in this introductory course. This was easier than you expected, right? What if you want more? There are many more models out there. Still not satisfied? You can make these models yourself using simple code. Here are some resources to try: Youtube tutorials, MOOCs and of course Google.

From here on we will get a little more practical in this course and start applying some of our concepts to real world problems. Let us start with History!

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This article is from the free online course:

Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World

University of Groningen

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