Author Archives: Bruce Edmonds

Learning and Gaining from your Model: A Course in Analysis, Application, and Publication of Individual/Agent-Based Models

This is is a computational approach to analyze complex systems in many disciplines, including ecology, geography, economics, and systems biology. The aim of agent-based models (ABMs) is to model the essential traits and behaviors of adaptive agents (plants, animals, humans, institutions) and to investigate individual- and system-level properties that emerge as the agents interact with each other and their environment. Individual behavior and system-level patterns are mutually dependent and ABMs are a powerful tool for understanding this relationship.

Deadline for applications: 19th Feb 2016!!


Free Agent-Based Economic Modelling course (repost)

Agent-Based Economic Modelling

First Ancona-Milano Summer School on AB Economics

Ancona, 1-5 September 2015


Why Agent Based Macroeconomics

Agent Based Macroeconomics (ABMs) is the application to macroeconomic
modeling of computational techniques developed to analyze multi-agent
systems, i.e. economies where heterogeneous households, firms, financial
intermediaries interact with each other and the environment. The dynamic
pattern of the resulting aggregate time series – for instance of GDP – is
characterized by the endogenous emergence of deep disequilibria and sudden
state transitions – i.e. dramatic recessions followed by slow and painful
recoveries – which is what a macroeconomic model should do in times of
global financial crisis and great recessions. This is the reason why ABMs
have been gaining attention both within the academic debate and among
international institutions and policymakers.

To who is the summer school addressed?

This Summer School is addressed to highly motivated graduate and Ph.D.
students, as well as researchers working for public and private research
centers, who want to integrate their curricula with the analytical and
technical tools developed within this innovative field of study.

Aims and Objectives

Students will be introduced step by step to the logic of Agent Based
modelling and will progressively come to master the fundamental tools
required to build and analyze an Agent Based model, following a “learning
by doing” didactic approach.

The Summer School will be geared around the live construction of simplified
AB models of real and financial markets, explicitly designed for didactic
purposes. Laboratory modules will be accompanied by exercises and
applications designed to promote an active and cooperative learning by

In addition, the summer school will cover some complementary aspects of
model-building techniques, such as calibration and validation protocols,
and methods for economic networks analysis.

What will you learn?

By attending the Summer School, students should then be able to achieve a
deeper understanding of the relatively young Agent Based scientific

Even more important, the highly practice-oriented didactic approach which
characterizes our Summer School should provide participants with the
necessary knowledge and skills to start developing their own AB economic


The Summer School is jointly organized by the Marche Polytechnic University
(Ancona) and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan) – Complexity
Lab in Economics, with the financial support of the Institute for New
Economic Thinking (INET).


Dr. Alessandro Caiani (Marche Polytechnic University)

Dr. Tiziana Assenza (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Application Procedure

The number of participants is restricted to 20. We will thus only consider
applicants with strong interest in the field.

An expression of interest must be sent via mail before July, 15th 2015 to, attaching
an updated CV and a letter of motivation. Later applications will also be
evaluated, but only in the case of free posts.

Participation Fee

The Summer School admission is free of charge. Further information .

Contacts and Further Information

Further useful information, details, materials, contacts, links, will be
available on the Summer School website as soon as possible.

For any question please write to

Course: Agent-Based Modelling for the Social Scientist (Surrey)

Agent-Based Modelling for the Social Scientist –
A Practical Guide to Model Building and NetLogo

8th-11th June 2015, Centre for Research in Social Simulation, School of Social Science, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
Computational methods have revolutionised the sciences, including the social sciences. By being able to investigate dynamics in silico, model complex, interdependent systems and experiment with different hypotheses, computer modelling has become a research tool as important as the survey.

Course Summary
This course will guide you through the research process of agent-based modelling in the social sciences: formulating a research question, specifying a model, creating a simulation and interpreting the output. During the course you will be helped to build a model using NetLogo, acquiring basic and intermediate programming skills.

Course Objectives
The syllabus includes:
• conceptualising agent-based models
• operationalising and calibrating from data
• experimenting and analysing
• interpreting models
• verifying and validating

Each step of the research process will be complemented by:
a. Hands-on sessions of model building in NetLogo, a widely used and powerful language for social science modelling. The sessions are designed in such a way that you will understand the structure of a model and learn to write the program code yourself.
b. Model development sessions. These sessions will facilitate the development of a model relevant to your research, from conception through specification to first steps of implementation.
At the end of this course you will be able to see the world through modeller’s eyes and start programming your own agent-based models.

Students/PhD £200, higher education staff £400, others £800. The course is part of the ESRC Advanced Training Initiative; three bursaries for non-DTC South East PhD students are available, covering fees and some travel. To apply please send a brief report from your supervisor/manager about the relevance of the course for your work and a statement why you need financial support attend. Deadline for bursary application 8th of May 2015.
To book please visit <>
For further information please email: <>

Course on Agent-based Modeling and Simulation at the Max Planck Institut for Demographic Research

The International Advanced Studies in Demography (IDEM) program is currently accepting applications for an intensive course on Agent-based Modeling and Simulation, to be held 20-30 October 2014 at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.

The course aims at introducing students to agent-based modeling and simulation and offers four important skills: simulation skills, an agent-based modeling language, software skills (NetLogo), as well as strategies for designing agent-based models and implementing simulation experiments. This course is jointly organized by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, the Vienna Institute of Demography and the University of Southampton.

There is no tuition fee. However, students are expected to pay their own transportation and living costs. A limited number of scholarships are available on a competitive basis for outstanding candidates and for those applicants who might otherwise not be able to come.

The application deadline is 20 August 2014.

For more information about the course and application instructions please visit

Dr. Anna Klabunde
Research Scientist
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Konrad-Zuse-Str. 1
18057 Rostock
Phone: (+49) (0) 381 2081 – 174

New free coursera course on “Model Thinking” in NetLogo, Oct 6th – Dec 15th 2014

Model Thinking

By Scott E. Page of the University of Michigan. In this class, you will learn how to think with models and use them to make sense of the complex world around us.

About the Course

We live in a complex world with diverse people, firms, and governments whose behaviors aggregate to produce novel, unexpected phenomena. We see political uprisings, market crashes, and a never ending array of social trends. How do we make sense of it? Models. Evidence shows that people who think with models consistently outperform those who don’t. And, moreover people who think with lots of models outperform people who use only one. Why do models make us better thinkers? Models help us to better organize information – to make sense of that fire hose or hairball of data (choose your metaphor) available on the Internet. Models improve our abilities to make accurate forecasts. They help us make better decisions and adopt more effective strategies. They even can improve our ability to design institutions and procedures. In this class, I present a starter kit of models: I start with models of tipping points. I move on to cover models explain the wisdom of crowds, models that show why some countries are rich and some are poor, and models that help unpack the strategic decisions of firm and politicians. The models covered in this class provide a foundation for future social science classes, whether they be in economics, political science, business, or sociology. Mastering this material will give you a huge leg up in advanced courses. They also help you in life. Here’s how the course will work. For each model, I present a short, easily digestible overview lecture. Then, I’ll dig deeper. I’ll go into the technical details of the model. Those technical lectures won’t require calculus but be prepared for some algebra. For all the lectures, I’ll offer some questions and we’ll have quizzes and even a final exam. If you decide to do the deep dive, and take all the quizzes and the exam, you’ll receive a certificate of completion. If you just decide to follow along for the introductory lectures to gain some exposure that’s fine too. It’s all free. And it’s all here to help make you a better thinker!

Subtitles for all video lectures available in: English, Chinese (provided by Yeeyan), Ukrainian (Pinchuk Foundation), and Turkish (provided by Turkcell Akademi).


Week long ABM course using NetLogo in Leipzig, September 15-19, 2014.

Due do some cancellations, we still have a few places free in our course on agent-based/individual-based modelling, given by Steve Railsback, Daniel Ayllon, and me in Leipzig, September 15-19, 2014.

The course is designed for those who consider or plan to teach agent-based modelling, but in previous courses we also have accepted postdocs and PhD students. We teach how to teach by just teaching: we treat all participants as beginners (which many of the participants in our earlier course were), and make them do exercises taken from our texbook.

More infos on the course are available here: and below. The course fee is 450 Euros, which includes instruction, lunches, and several social events. The fee does not include transportation or lodging.

If you have interest, please contact me (