Design Concepts

Many IBMs are designed ad hoc, without reference to any general theoretical or conceptual framework. Therefore, general concepts for the design for IBMs have been formulated, which are mainly taken from the research on 'complex adaptive systems'. These design concepts do not require that models necessarily have a certain structure, but their purpose is to make design decisions consciously. The most important design concepts are related to

Figure 2 Screenshot of the interface of a typical NetLogo implementation of an IBM. The interface consists of the grid representing the space, which consists of grid cells (patches), buttons to set up and run the model, and sliders to change parameters. Further elements that are added by drag and drop are plots, output windows for text, etc. Individual patches and agents (individuals) can be inspected (see window labeled 'turtle 0'), that is, all their built-in and user-defined state variables displayed while the model is executed. State variables can also be modified interactively. Besides the 'Interface' tab, the 'Information' tab contains a verbal description of the model, and the 'Procedures' tab the program, which uses a simplified modeling language that contains numerous commands for dealing with patches and agents (see NetLogo web pages). Note that typical NetLogo applications include more then two types of patches and many agents that interact with each other and the environment, that is, the patches. This figure was produced with NetLogo 3.1.4 (Wilensky, U. 1999. NetLogo, http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. Centre for connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL).

Figure 2 Screenshot of the interface of a typical NetLogo implementation of an IBM. The interface consists of the grid representing the space, which consists of grid cells (patches), buttons to set up and run the model, and sliders to change parameters. Further elements that are added by drag and drop are plots, output windows for text, etc. Individual patches and agents (individuals) can be inspected (see window labeled 'turtle 0'), that is, all their built-in and user-defined state variables displayed while the model is executed. State variables can also be modified interactively. Besides the 'Interface' tab, the 'Information' tab contains a verbal description of the model, and the 'Procedures' tab the program, which uses a simplified modeling language that contains numerous commands for dealing with patches and agents (see NetLogo web pages). Note that typical NetLogo applications include more then two types of patches and many agents that interact with each other and the environment, that is, the patches. This figure was produced with NetLogo 3.1.4 (Wilensky, U. 1999. NetLogo, http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. Centre for connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL).

adaptive behavior: emergence versus imposed properties, adaptation (does the model explicitly include behavior decisions?), fitness (if adaptation is included, what fitness measures are used by the individuals?), what do individuals know, and how do they predict the consequences of their decision alternatives. Further design concepts include interaction, stochasticity, collectives, and observation.

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