By taking part in this course, you will gain a modelling culture and learn the different skills required for building agent-based models (ABMs) applied to sociological, ecological, or socio-ecological systems.
The trainers (around 8 to 10 by session) come with a diversity of backgrounds: we are geographers, ecologists, agronomists, computer scientists and modelers, and we propose to convey approaches and perspectives specific to each of the trainers’ areas of competence and give a multicultural perspective in our training so that participants do not only learn from one point of view of agent-based modelling. We are agent-based modelers involved in pluri-disciplinary grounded projects and we all believe that models are powerful objects for emulating collective work and thinking. During the training, you will carry out the practical work in collaboration with some other participants and you will learn tools and techniques to design and communicate your models.
The personal objective of participants may vary: while most aspire to improve their ability to implement an ABM by mastering one of the three platforms taught during the session, there are those who rather aim at gaining experience in how to link together the different stages of an agent-based modelling process. In any case, to fully benefit from the training session, you should be engaged in a project including the use of an ABM: the training is specifically designed to help get a foot on the ladder.
In the first days of this 2-week training course, you will learn and practice conceptual modelling through an introduction to a graphical conceptual modeling language called UML (Unified Modeling Language), a protocol called ODD (Overview, Design concepts, Details), a co-design methodology called ARDI (Actors, Resources, Dynamics, Interactions). You will also receive an introduction to 3 agent-based modelling platforms (NetLogo, GAMA, and Cormas) through a tutorial on how to implement from scratch a simple ABM. After selecting the platform on which you wish to improve your skills, you will follow a directed practical course which teaches how to code a benchmark model. The remaining of the training is mainly dedicated to group work to go through the various stages of developing an ABM.