This is the era of Big Data and computational social science. It is an era that requires tools which can do more than visualise data but also model the complex relation between data and human action, and interaction. Agent-Based Models (ABM) - computational models which simulate human action and interaction – do just that. This textbook explains how to design and build ABM and how to link the models to Geographical Information Systems. It guides you from the basics through to constructing more complex models which work with data and human behaviour in a spatial context. All of the fundamental concepts are explained and related to practical examples to facilitate learning (with models developed in NetLogo with all code examples available on the accompanying website). You will be able to use these models to develop your own applications and link, where appropriate, to Geographical Information Systems. All of the key ideas and methods are explained in detail: • geographical modelling; • an introduction to ABM; • the fundamentals of Geographical Information Science; • why ABM and GIS; • using QGIS; • designing and building an ABM; • calibration and validation; • modelling human behaviour; • visualisation and 3D ABM; • using Big Geosocial Data, GIS and ABM. An applied primer, that provides fundamental knowledge and practical skills, it will provide you with the skills to build and run your own models, and to begin your own research projects.

Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling

Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling

Chapter Outline

In this chapter we introduce the key concepts behind agent-based modelling. What is an agent, and what are rules? These are discussed along with a consideration of the main advantages and disadvantages for simulating spatial systems. A range of established applications are presented to give a flavour of how agent-based models can be successfully applied. The overarching aim of this chapter is to give the reader an understanding of what an agent-based model is. This knowledge will be built upon in subsequent chapters.

2.1 Introduction

Agent-based models are beginning to appear in many different aspects of our lives. This has been particularly noticeable in digital media; for example, Massive (2017) has used agent-based modelling in a number of ...

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