Update on the ODD protocol for describing ABMs

Dear all,

Here a brief update regarding the ODD protocol:

1. A new paper on ODD is in press:

Polhill GJ, Parker DC, Brown DG, Grimm V. Using the ODD protocol for describing three agent-based social simulation models of land use change. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (in press; I will provide a link to the preprint as soon as we got the final approval of our revised manuscript).

In this paper, Dawn Parker, Dan Brown and Gary used ODD to rewrite descriptions of their own ABMs on land use and land cover changes. The main purpose was to test whether ODD is not only suitable for ecological but also social science models. The overall answer is: Yes. We identified several “bottlenecks” in understanding and applying the protocol, but in principle is seems that ODD can (and should) be used as it is, at least for the next few years, but we need to update the description of ODD.

2. Together with Gary, I am planning to write a short paper for “Ecological Modelling”, where we summarize the experience so far with ODD, and provide an updated and hopefully improved description of ODD, including a new template, examples, and a new FAQ.

In ecology, I have seen, as colleague or reviewer, about 20-30 manuscripts using ODD, so I see some chance the ODD will reach the critical mass of users soon in ecology.

In social sciences, I have now overview. Therefore:

3. I would be very grateful if you could let me know whether you are or were using ODD yourself in one of your manuscripts or whether you saw ODD being used on a conference or as a reviewer. Gary and I could then include this information in our ODD update paper (of course, we are not interested in confidential information, in particular when you saw ODD as a reviewer.)

4. As always, I am happy for any kind of feedback regarding ODD.

Best regards,


Volker Grimm asked me to make the new ODD paper available here at openabm (currently in press at JASSS). Here is a link to the paper!



Cameron Griffith
Indiana University

the paper is now published in JASSS…the above link is now defunct.

Here is the link to the published paper:



Cameron Griffith
Indiana University