The world’s dumbest Agent-Based Model

So, the focus has shifted a little bit here at CASA in London. I’m trying to design an agent-based modelling system that is as generic as possible in its construction, using Java for the Object model and Processing for the visualisation. The new generic framework works by giving each agent their own complete little view of the world, controlling who knows what and when they get to discover stuff. A static class calle a GamesMaster acts as god, responding to requests from Agents to learn about new parts of the world.

It’s an interesting exercise and I’ve already used the framework to come up with the simplest imaginable Agent-Based Model (ABM) where Agents are randomly thrown into a world of square spaces (like a chessboard) and are randomly selected by the GamesMaster to be allowed to ‘Grow’. This growth simply looks at the Agent’s bordering spaces and, if they are unoccupied, expands the Agent to fill them. The results are “interesting” (not in the scientific sense I don’t think, just in a purely “Oh right” sense).

Simple ABM
randomly-coloured Agents growing on a grid

Author: Rob Levy

Economist at NEF. Former teaching Fellow in Economics at UCL and Bristol University. Recently submitted my PhD. We'll see what happens...

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