Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Towards a standard model for research in agent-based modeling and simulation



Towards a standard model for research in agent-based modeling and simulation


Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a bottom-up modeling approach, where each entity of the system being modeled is uniquely represented as an independent decision-making agent. ABMs are very sensitive to implementation details. Thus, it is very easy to inadvertently introduce changes which modify model dynamics. Such problems usually arise due to the lack of transparency in model descriptions, which constrains how models are assessed, implemented and replicated. In this paper, we present PPHPC, a model which aims to serve as a standard in agent based modeling research, namely, but not limited to, conceptual model specification, statistical analysis of simulation output, model comparison and parallelization studies. This paper focuses on the first two aspects (conceptual model specification and statistical analysis of simulation output), also providing a canonical implementation of PPHPC. The paper serves as a complete reference to the presented model, and can be used as a tutorial for simulation practitioners who wish to improve the way they communicate their ABMs.