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Agent-Based Models

Agent-based simulation has become increasingly popular as a modeling approach in the social sciences because it enables researchers to build models where individual entities and their interactions are directly represented. The Second Edition of Nigel Gilbert's Agent-Based Models introduces this technique; considers a range of methodological and theoretical issues; shows how to design an agent-based model, with a simple example; offers some practical advice about developing, verifying and validating agent-based models; and finally discusses how to plan an agent-based modelling project, publish the results and apply agent-based modeling to formulate and evaluate social and economic policies.  An accompanying simulation using NetLogo and commentary on the program can be downloaded on the book's website: 

Series Editor's Introduction
About the Author
Chapter 1: The Idea of Agent-Based Modeling
1.1 Agent-Based Modeling

1.2 Some Examples

1.3 The Features of Agent-Based Modeling

1.4 Other Related Modeling Approaches

Chapter 2: Agents, Environments, and Timescales
2.1 Agents

2.2 Environments

2.3 Randomness

2.4 Time

2.5 Population Learning

Chapter 3: Designing an Agent-Based Model
3.1 Design Steps

3.2 An Example of Developing an Agent-Based Model

Chapter 4: Developing an Agent-Based Model
4.1 Modeling Toolkits, Libraries, Languages, Frameworks, and Environments

4.2 Using NetLogo to Build Models

4.3 Building the Collectivities Model Step by Step

4.4 Verification: Getting Rid of the Bugs

4.5 Validation

4.6 Techniques for Validation

Chapter 5: Using Agent-Based Models
5.1 Planning an Agent-Based Modeling Project

5.2 Reporting Agent-Based Model Research

5.3 Agent-Based Models for Public Policy

Societies and Associations


Mailing List and Web Sites


The new edition of Agent-Based Models provides the same strong conceptual overview as the first edition, with significant updates and elaborations to reflect ten years of growth in this important approach to modeling. 

Sally Jackson
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Nigel Gilbert is one of the fathers of agent-based modeling and in this book provides a great introduction into the field. 

Garry Sotnik
Portland State University

A great introduction for social scientists who want to know about agent-based modeling. It offers readers guidelines on how to build such models and what to consider when designing and testing them. 

Andrew Crooks
George Mason University

If you are planning to motivate and introduce the field of agent-based modeling to social scientists who have little or no prior knowledge of the topic, then this is your book. 

James Nolan
University of Sasketchewan

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1. The Idea of Agent-Based Modeling

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.