Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Agent Based Modeling and Simulation, Introduction to

  • Filippo CastiglioneEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_13-5

Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a computational modeling paradigm that is markedly useful in studying complex systems composed of a large number of interacting entities with many degrees of freedom. Other names for ABM are individual-based modeling (IBM) or multi-agent systems (MAS). Physicists often use the term micro-simulation or interaction-based computing.

The basic idea of ABM is to construct the computational counterpart of a conceptual model of a system under study on the basis of discrete entities (agents) with defined properties and behavioral rules and then to simulate them in a computer to mimic the real phenomena.

The definition of agent is somewhat fuzzy as witnessed by the fact that the models found in the literature adopt an extremely heterogeneous rationale. The agent is an autonomous entity having its own internal state reflecting its perception of the environment and interacting with other entities according to more or less sophisticated rules. In practice, the term...


Discrete mathematical modeling Simulation Complex systems 
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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Applicazioni del Calcolo (IAC)Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)RomeItaly