MABS'03 @ AAMAS'03

The 4th Workshop on Multi-Agent Based Simulation
Sofitel Melbourne, Brisbane Room (First Floor), Melbourne Australia.
8:30am - 5:00pm, 14th July, 2003.

*** Be There! ***

>>> If you wish to attend MABS2003 then register here.<<<

The workshop schedule is now available!

Increasingly synergies and parallels between the complexities of human social worlds and artificial MAS worlds are being identified.
MABS is the place where computationally realised social theory meets MAS engineering head-on.
It's interdisciplinary, risky and fun - can experiments in artificial worlds help us to build future MAS systems?
Make up your own mind, get an overview of the state-of-the-art of this exciting area at MABS!

The workshop is co-located with AAMAS'03 (at the Sofitel in Melbourne Australia)

call for papers - txt version, call for papers - pdf version )

Workshop aims and scope

Previous MABS workshops
Important dates
Organisation Committee
Program Committee
(new) Workshop Schedule (new)

Workshop Aims and Scope

Multi-Agent Based Simulation (MABS) is a vibrant inter-disciplinary area which brings together researchers active within the agent-based social simulation community (ABSS) and the multi-agent systems community (MAS). The focus of ABSS is on simulating and synthesizing social behaviours in order to understand real social systems (human, animal and even electronic) via the development and testing of new concepts. The focus of MAS is on the solution of hard engineering problems related to the construction, deployment and efficient operation of agent based systems.

Increasingly however - and this was evidenced at AAMAS'02 - the MAS and ABSS communities have much to learn from each other. Real human societies are generally self-organising, highly scalable, robust and open systems. The ABSS community have developed a sizable set of techniques, observations and models that give insight into sufficient mechanisms underpinning these kinds of systems. However, ABSS has not concerned itself with applying these techniques to solve engineering problems. Conversely, the MAS community is concerned with creating working agent systems that solve real problems. This focus has forced  many to abandon experimentation with large scale systems (thousands of agents) composed of smart autonomous agents (i.e. complex adaptive learners) due to lack of traditional techniques (and or computational resources) for managing such complexity.

These differences of emphasis often preclude dialogue between ABSS and MAS workers. MABS workshops have a track record of providing a major forum for such dialogue to occur. The work presented in various sections of the AAMAS'02 main conference demonstrated a keen interest in the use of learning and adaptation combined with large scale agent societies - increasingly sociological issues of cooperation, trust and power hierarchies are being broached from the engineering perspective. The ABSS community is maturing, techniques and results are increasingly being independently reproduced and verified (but still rarely applied to the production of working MAS). Also some empirical social scientists have begun to demonstrate, test and validate concepts using experimental data and ABSS - and in this context MABS offers a potential linkage (shared vocabulary and methodology) between social scientists and MAS workers - this was an issue explicitly raised during AAMAS'02 panel discussions.

At MABS'03 we aim to aim to re-focus the MABS workshop back to its original aim by challenging the ABSS community to propose MAS applications of their work (or programmes towards such applications) and by asking the MAS community to specify open problems in MAS that they feel should be solvable given a deeper understanding of social organization and processes. We encourage therefore, MAS people to challenge ABSS people by demanding new concepts and techniques to solve real problems and those working in ABSS to offer to MAS workers techniques and methods in a form that makes sense to agent engineers.

As well as original work in ABSS and MAS we particularly welcome submissions which identify open MAS problems that might be solvable by the application of ABSS techniques (and vice versa). We also welcome programmatic overviews which propose a way forward for MABS. We strongly encourage all papers to (at least briefly) discuss the relevance of their results to both the ABSS and MAS communities.

Relevant topics could include, but are not limited to, the following:
If your topic area is not included above then advice on the relevance of a paper you plan to submit to MABS can be obtained from the Chair (email  Final judgement is, of course, primarily down to those who review the paper.

Previous MABS Workshops

MABS'03 will be the 4th workshop of the MABS series. The first two were organized as workshops of ICMAS'98 and ICMAS'2000. The 3rd MABS workshop was a workshop of AAMAS'02.

The first MABS workshop, held in Paris at ICMAS 1998, had as its aim  "to develop stronger links between those working in the social sciences, for whom agent based simulation has the potential to be available research tool, and those involved with multi-agent simulation, for whom the social sciences can provide useful concepts and exemplars". The presented workshop papers were  published by Springer-Verlag in LNAI 1534, in a volume called Multi-Agent Systems and Agent-Based Simulation.

The second MABS workshop, held in Boston at ICMAS 2000, extended this development, and provided substantial discussions. The presentations focused on lessons of social simulation for DAI, on the supporting and reporting of social simulation modelling and on social simulation based software applications. The workshop proceedings were published by Springer-Verlag in LNAI 1979, in a volume called Multi-Agent-Based Simulation (see review).

The third MABS workshop, held in Bologna at AAMAS 2002, continued the aim of developing and supporting links between social science and Multi-Agent Systems practitioners via the medium of multi-agent based simulation. Additionally, the workshop echoed a specific AAMAS 2002  topic: "interactions between people and agent technology". The workshop proceedings have been published by Springer-Verlag in LNAI 2581, in a volume called Multi-Agent-Based Simulation II. 

Important Dates

Workshop Schedule

Note: These times are provision and almost CERTAIN to change! Watch this page for updates.
Each talk will be allocated approx. 30 mins in total (20-25 mins for presentation and 5-10 mins for questions).
           Workshop location is: Sofitel, Melbourne, Brisbane Room (First Floor).

8:30am Welcome and Brief Introduction - David Hales (Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester)
Session 1 - MABS Techniques for MAS (Chair: David Hales)
8:40am Invited Talk: Engineering Emergent Behaviour: A Vision
Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo (University of Geneva, Switzerland)

9:10am Employment Decisions Supporting Organizations of Autonomous Agents
Foster McGeary and Keith Decker (Computer and Information Sciences, University of Delaware, USA)

9:35am Towards Verification and Validation in Multiagent-Based Systems and Simulations: Analyzing Different Learning Bargaining Agents
Keiki Takadama, Yutaka L. Suematsu, Norikazu Sugimoto, Norberto E. Nawa and Katsunori Shimohara (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, ATR Human Information Science Labs, Kyoto, Japan, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara, Japan)

10:00am - 10:30am Coffee break

10:30am Weak Interaction and Strong Interaction in Agent Based Simulations
Fabien Michel, Abdelkader Gouaich and Jacques Ferber (LIRMM Laboratoire d'Informatique, Robotique et Micro-electronique de Montpellier, C.N.R.S. - Universite Montpellier II, France)
Session 2 - Economics, Exchange and Influence in Virtual Worlds (Chair: Juliette Rouicher)
11:00am Using Qualitative Exchange Values to Improve the Modelling of Social Interactions
Maria Ribeiro Rodrigues and Antionio Carlos da Rocha Costa (PPGC - Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and ESIN - Universidade Catolica de Pelotas, Brazil)

11:30pm Bilateral Tradings with and without Strategic Interaction
Shinji Tomita and Akira Namatame (National Defence Academy, Yokosuka, 239-8686, Japan)

12:00pm Monetary Policy and Banks' Loan Supply Rules to Harness Asset Bubbles and Crashes
Ichiro Takahashi and Isamu Okada (Faculty of Economics and Faculty of Business Administration, Soka University, Tokyo, Japan)

12:30pm Social change: exploring design influence
Ricardo Sosa and John S Gero (Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, University of Sydney, Australia)

1:00pm - 2:00pm Lunch break
Session 3 - MABS Techniques for Real World Modelling (Chair: Emma Norling)
2:00pm A Methodology for Eliciting and Modelling Stakeholders’ Representations with Agent Based Modelling
Nicolas Becu, François Bousquet, Olivier Barreteau, Pascal Perez, and Andrew Walker (CIRAD, Montpellier, France, Cemagref, Montpellier, France, IRRI, Bangkok, Thailand, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra)

2:30pm Modelling a European decision making process with heterogeneous public opinion and lobbying: the case of the authorization procedure for placing Genetically Modified Organisms on the market
Juliette Rouchier and Sophie Thoyer (GREQAM / CNRS, Marseille, France and LAMETA, ENSAM-INRA, Montpellier, France)

3:00pm - 3:30pm Coffee break

3:30pm Evaluation of Usability of Dial-a-Ride Systems by Social Simulation
NODA Itsuki, OHTA Masayuki, SHINODA Kosuke, KUMADA Yoichiro and NAKASHIMA Hideyuki (Cyber Assist Research Center, AIST, Japan and School of Information Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
4:00pm Multi-Agent Simulation and Interdisciplinary Research: Switching Between Models
Maria Bruno Marietto, Nuno David, Jaime Simão Sichman and Helder Coelho (Intelligent Techniques Laboratory, University of São Paulo Brazil, Dept. of Information Science and Technology, ISCTE/DCTI, Lisbon, Portugal, Dept. of Informatics, University of Lisbon, Portugal)

4:30pm Wrap-up Summary and Goodbye (Round table discussion if there is time: "A killer application for MABS?")


Springer Logo After the event we will give authors the opportunity to revise their papers based on feedback gained from the workshop before publication. We can confirm that  the proceedings will be published by Springer-Verlag in the Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNCS / LNAI) series. We aim to publish before the end of 2003.

Organizing Committee

David Hales (Chair), Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Building, Aytoun Street, Manchester M1 3GH, UK.
tel. +44 (0)161 247 6074, e-mail:
Juliette Rouchier, Greqam (CNRS) - Centre de la Vieille Charité, 2 Rue de la Charité, 13002 Marseille, France.
tel. +33 (0)491 14 0741, e-mail:
Bruce Edmonds, Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Building, Aytoun Street, Manchester M1 3GH, UK.
tel. +44 (0)161 247 6074, e-mail:
Emma Norling, Dept. of Computer Science & Software Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
tel. +61 3 8344 0938, e-mail:
Roberto Pedone, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, Italian National Research Council, V.le Marx 15; 00137, Rome, Italy.
tel. +39.06.86090215, e-mail:

Program Committee

Robert Axtell (Brookings Institution, USA)
Rafael Bordini (University of Liverpool, UK)
Francois Bousquet (CIRAD/IRRI)
Helder Coelho (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Rosaria Conte (IP/CNR Rome, Italy)
Paul Davidsson (Blekinge Inst. of Tech., Sweden)
Nuno David (ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal)
Alexis Drogoul (University Paris VI, France)
Nigel Gilbert (University of Surrey, UK)
Nick Gotts (Macaulay Institute, Scotland, UK)
Matt Hare (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Rainer Hegselmann (Uni. Bayreuth, Germany)
Wander Jager (Uni. of Groningen, Netherlands)
Marco Janssen (Indiana University, USA)
Scott Moss (University of Manchester, UK)
Mario Paolucci, (IP/CNR Rome, Italy)
Keith Sawyer (Washington Uni. in St. Louis, USA)
Jaime Sichman (Uni. of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Liz Sonenberg (Uni. Melbourne, Australia)
Takao Terano (Uni. of Tsukuba, Japan)
Klaus Troitzsch (Uni. of Koblenz, Germany)
Harko Verhagen (University Stockholm, Sweden)
Christophe Le page (CIRAD, France)