MISS-ABMS 2024: Multi-platform International Summer School on Agent-Based Modelling & Simulation for renewable resources management

In several ways, MISS-ABMS is multi-cultural. The trainers come with a diversity of backgrounds : we are geographers, ecologists, agronomists, computer scientists and modelers, and we propose to convey approaches and perspectives specific to each of the trainers’ areas of competence and give a multicultural perspective in our training so that participants do not only learn from one point of view of agent-based modelling. Secondly, the participants come from diverse geographic origins and with diverse backgrounds (agronomy; ecology; geography; economy; water sciences; computer sciences; social sciences; …).

MISS-ABMS promotes a collaborative practice of modelling and simulation. The trainers are agent-based modelers involved in pluri-disciplinary grounded projects and all of them believe that models are powerful objects for emulating collective work and thinking. During the training, you will carry out the practical work in collaboration with some other participants and you will learn tools and techniques to design and communicate your models.

The personal objectives of the participants may vary : while most of them aspire to improve their ability to implement an ABM by mastering one of the three platforms taught during the session, there are those who rather aim at gaining experience in how to link together the different stages of an agent-based modelling process. In any case, to fully benefit from the training session, participants should be engaged in a project including the use of an ABM : the training is specifically designed to help them to get a foot on the ladder.

You will eventually work with only 1 platform but you will be introduced to 3 of the most prominent agent-based modeling platforms in the field of socio-ecological sciences : NetLogo, GAMA, Cormas. You will have many opportunities to collaborate with participants using the other platforms. Before making your choice, light is shed on the advantages and disadvantages of each one. The different stages of an agent-based modelling process are presented, with a focus on model design and implementation

In the first days of this 2-week training course, you will learn and practice conceptual modelling through an introduction to a graphical conceptual modeling language called UML (Unified Modeling Language), a protocol called ODD (Overview, Design concepts, Details), a co-design methodology called ARDI (Actors, Resources, Dynamics, Interactions). An introduction to the 3 platforms through a tutorial on how to implement from scratch a simple ABM is given to all participants. After selecting the platform on which they wish to improve their skills, participants follow a directed practical course which teaches them how to code a benchmark model. The remaining of the training is mainly dedicated to group work to go through the various stages of developing an ABM. MISS-ABMS proposes a significant time for Group Work to design and implement an ABM based on proposed descriptions of situations well suited for agent-based modelling

Participants will be invited to form groups of 2 to 4 people according to their interests. A set of typical situations and problems that can be studied with ABM will be proposed by the trainers. Choosing one of them, each group will design, implement and explore a model inspired from this situation. We encourage that in each group, framing and conceptual modeling is done collectively but that each participant implements the model on one platform. It means that ideally there will be in each group only 1 conceptual model, but as many implementations (possibly on different platforms) as participants.

What MISS-ABMS is not MISS-ABMS is not fully dedicated to the development of programming skills Models exploration, calibration and sensitivity analysis will be introduced but it is not the focus of the school. If these are your specific needs, you may be more interested in joining one of the advanced sessions (every 4 to 5 years) or specific training such as ExModelo. Statistical analyses are not covered in our course. If you are wondering if an ABM could help you analyze your nice and huge field data but you do not know which tool to use, an introductory course to statistics may be of much more help than our training. As our training is on ABM design and implementation, if you are mainly interested by the process of participatory modelling, you’d be wiser to attend a Companion Modelling training.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.comses.net/events/724