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Multi-platform International Summer School on Agent-Based Modelling & Simulation

Major specificities of the training

  • It is multi-platform - you will eventually work with only 1 platform but you will be introduced to 3 of the most prominent platform in the field of ABM (NetLogo, Gama and CoRMAS) and you will have many opportunities to collaborate with participants using the other platforms.

  • It is focusing on model design AND implementation. You will learn and practice intensively conceptual modelling with a graphical conceptual modeling language called UML and implement (coding) a model within 1 of the 3 platforms. Models exploration, calibration and sensitivity analysis will be introduced and initiated but it is not a focus of the school.

  • It has a strong focus towards a collaborative practice of modelling and simulation - we all work as modellers within pluri-disciplinary grounded projects and we believe that models are powerful objects for emulating collective work and thinking. We are used to share, discuss and even co-design our models and simulation with colleagues from various background, experts or stakeholders. During the training, you will have to do most of the practical work in collaboration with other participants and you will learn tools and techniques to design and communicate your models. However it is still a training on ABM implementation, so if you are interested mostly by the process of collaborative modelling, you may be more interested in attending a Companion Modelling training.

  • Group work : a large part of the training (16 to 20 hours) is dedicated to the practical design and implementation of a model. Participants will be invited to form groups of 2 to 4 people according to the type of problems they are interested in. A set of typical situations and problems that can be studied with agent based models will be proposed by the trainers. Choosing one of them, each group will design, implement and explore a model inspired from this situation. We encourage that in each group, framing and conceptual modeling is done collectively but that each participant implements the model on the platform s.he has chosen. It means that ideally there will be in each group only 1 conceptual model, but as many implementations (possibly on different platforms) as participants.


Week 1 is focused on general background lectures and learning of UML and platforms

  • Background lectures (general concepts, ABM, modeling and SES, models exploration)
  • Lectures and practice of UML
  • Discovery of the 3 platforms
  • Coding practice on 1 platform
  • Group work : choice of a situation, framing and model pre-design
  • Ice-breaking role playing game

Week 2 from Monday to Thursday is focused on the design and implementation of a model on a platform

  • Each day starts with a 1h lecture on a case study using 1 of the platforms
  • Each morning ends with a 1h coding practice
  • Each afternoon starts with a 30’ technical lecture
  • The rest of the day is dedicated to group work: design and implementation of the groups models
  • Some slots for discussing individually participants personal research projects will be allocated on request

On Friday morning of week 2 there is a plenary restitution of the different groups models and a debriefing and the school ends at 1pm.

Skills and profiles of the candidates

We enjoy having each year participants with very heterogeneous profiles in terms of age, nationality, scientific background and experience in modelling or coding.
Candidates should have an interest in applying modeling and simulation to renewable resource management issues and sharing some or all part of the modeling and simulation process with people who are not experts of the model.
No previous knowledge on ABM is required. However as a large part of the practice will consist in programming a model on one of the platform, some previous experience in computer coding is strongly recommended. For those with not any consistent experience in computer coding, please contact us specifically.


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