Discussion papers

CPM-14-224 - 11 November 2014

Event-Driven Multi-Agent Simulation

Ruth Meyer

This paper has been presented at the MABS 2014 workshop and is published in the post-proceedings by Springer.


Most agent-based models today apply a time-driven approach, i.e. simulation time is advanced in equidistant steps. This time advance method is considerably easier to implement than the more flexible and efficient event-driven approach.

Applying the event-driven approach requires that (a) the durations for agent and environment actions are determined before they terminate, (b) each agent is able to instantly react to changes in its environment, and © the update of the state of the environment can be kept efficient despite updating agents asynchronously.

The simulation toolkit FAMOS fulfils these requirements, extending an existing discrete-event simulator. The toolkit also supports a flexible representation of space and the movement of agents in that space. These are areas where existing toolkits for agent-based modelling show shortcomings, despite the fact that a majority of multi-agent models explicitly model space and allow for mobile agents.


Event-driven time advance, discrete event simulation, agent-based simulation, spatially explicit agent-based model