Model to Model

A workshop to explore the relation between Multi-Agent Based Simulation models
held on the 31st March and 1st April 2003 in Marseille, France

The M2M workshop was sponsored by GREQAM-CNRS

What was M2M all about?

In recent years there has been an explosion of published literature utilising Multi-Agent-Based Simulation (MABS) to study social, biological and artificial systems. However, despite the plethora of novel models and interesting results it is rare that models are compared, built-on or transferred between researchers. It would seem there is a dearth of "model-to-model" analysis.

The aim of this workshop is to gather researchers in MABS who are interested in understanding and furthering the transferability of knowledge between models and beyond. Although models tend to give very seductive results, it is not always clear how people who are not the modeller can interpret or utilise such results - particularly when building their own models.

Understanding complex systems often seems to necessitate the use of more than one model. This might be for several different reasons, for example: different models at varying levels of abstraction might be used for different purposes. By specifically comparing models a better view of what modelling brings to the understanding of (real and artificial) societies may be facilitated.

Comparison of models can be achieved by diverse means that have been commonly used by researchers to attain validation or to get a better understanding of others' work, for example:

The workshop is a tightly focused international event bringing together researchers in agent-based modelling from across the globe. We hope that the M2M workshop will begin a serious strand of work aimed at the productive comparison and re-use of agent-based simulation results. The ultimate aim of such a project is to approach a level of rigor and reproducibility that has become the norm in the natural sciences.


Presented papers (List of Abstracts)

A more general model of cooperation based on reinforcement
learning: Alignment and Integration of the Bush-Mosteller and the
Roth-Erev model
Andreas Flache (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) and Michael Macy (Cornell University, USA)
[Abstract] [Paper as PDF] [Paper as HTML]

Computational Models and Multi-level Experimental Data: A Study of Behavior in Public-Goods Provision Experiments
Marco A. Janssen and  T.K. Ahn (Indiana University, USA)

Comparative analysis of agent-based social simulations: GeoSim and FEARLUS models
Claudio Cioffi-Revilla (George Mason University, USA) and Nicholas M. Gotts (Macaulay Institute, Scotland)
[Abstract][Paper as PDF] [Paper as HTML] [Online at the FEARLUS Project]

Simulations of Group Dynamics with Different Models
Jürgen Klüver and Christina Stoica (University of Essen, Germany)
[Abstract][Paper as PDF] [Paper as HTML]

Individual-based model to enrich an aggregate model
Raphaël Duboz, Frédéric Amblard, Eric Ramat, Guillaume Deffuant, Philippe Preux (Laboratoire d'Informatique du Littoral and Cemagref, France)
[Abstract] [Paper as HTML]

Comparing individual-based model of behaviour diffusion with its mean field aggregated approximation
Margaret Edwards, Sylvie Huet, François Goreaud, Guillaume Deffuant (Cemagref, France)
[Abstract] [Paper as PDF] [Paper as HTML]

Re-implementing John Duffy’s model of speculative learning agents in a small scale society: Problems, interest and issues
Juliette Rouchier (GREQAM, Marseille, France)
[Abstract][Paper as PDF] [Paper as HTML]

Replication, Replication and Replication – Some Hard Lessons from Model Alignment
Bruce Edmonds and David Hales (Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester, UK)
[Abstract][Paper as PDF] [Paper as HTML]

Comments, Pictures etc.

Some comments about the workshop by the participants may be found here and some pictures here.


There is a closely related special section of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) <> on the same subject, including updated versions of some of the papers.  This is accessible at, the editorial introduction to this is at

Organisation committee:

Program committee:

Rob Axtell, Francois Bousquet, Edmund Chattoe, Paul Davidsson, Marco Janssen, Catholijn Jonker, Christophe Lepage, Scott Moss, and Mario Paolucci.

Additional reviewers

(Much appreciated help from the good guys when needed most!)
Frederic Amblard, Nick Gotts, Bill McKelvey, Luis Antunes, Olivier Barreteau, Matt Hare.

The Next M2M Workshop

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