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Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling: A Practical Introduction Paperback – November 6, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0691136745 ISBN-10: 0691136742

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691136742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691136745
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Biologists . . . have been relatively slow to take advantage of enhanced computing power and unlock the potential of these techniques. This book removes any excuse. Based on a course run by the authors, who both come from an ecological background, and building on an earlier, more conceptual book, this aims to provide the necessary tools to students and researchers."--Frontiers of Biogeography



"This volume would be an excellent text for an introductory course in modeling as science, or for self-study by a mature researcher interested in learning about this important new way of doing science."--H. Van Dyke Parunak, JASSS



"This book represents something I have been waiting for some years now: a good and solid introduction to the field of individual- and agent-based models (hereafter IBM/ABM's). This book fulfills my needs, using a mix of theory and practical examples which seems to suit the topic well. . . . [T]he book is not only a practical guide but also serves as a good introduction to the basics of 'healthy' programming. These authors are the right ones to do this as they have a strong background in the philosophical aspects as well as the practical issues of modeling."--Basic and Applied Ecology



"Railsback and Grimm have done the heavy lifting required to establish a solid IBM course by providing a carefully crafted inquiry-based curriculum. This accomplishment removes a major impediment to the proliferation of IBM courses. Although the book seems aimed at a graduate-level course, I also do not see why an ambitious teacher with motivated students could not use this textbook as the basis of an upper-level undergraduate course in individual based modeling. Agent-based and individual-based modeling has the potential to foster an appreciation of the value and place of individual-based models in our field in the next generation of emerging ecologists (who already have computational leanings)."--Christopher X. Jon Jensen, Ecology

From the Inside Flap


"Knitting together ecology, economics, and social systems, this wonderful book will encourage and enlighten novices and experienced modelers alike. It highlights the importance of patterns at every level of the modeling process, the need for clear explication of assumptions, and the benefits of models composed of discrete entities (agents) which interact, evolve, and mimic reality."--Louis Gross, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


"Railsback and Grimm provide a needed book on how to develop, code, and analyze agent-based models. They so expertly explain the art and science of modeling that even the most modeling-shy beginner will master the skills. Readers will also gain a deep understanding of the increasing importance of agent-based models for interpreting the patterns of nature and human society."--Donald L. DeAngelis, U.S. Geological Survey


"Railsback and Grimm have written a superb introduction to agent-based models. They combine hands-on programming exercises, introductions to some of the core concepts in complex systems, and instruction in model design and analysis. The result is an excellent book that's ideal for both undergraduates and academics."--Scott E. Page, author of Diversity and Complexity


"This exceptional book offers a systematic introduction to the scientific use of agent-based modeling, including the implementation, testing, and validation of models. Until now there was no good textbook available to teach students the theory and practice of agent-based modeling. Railsback and Grimm provide such a text, one that will likely become a classic in the field."--Marco A. Janssen, Arizona State University


"This book is an invaluable guide to agent-based modeling. A significant contribution to the field, it will train the next generation of modelers and teach best practices to existing modelers. Railsback and Grimm have in-depth expertise and experience in developing and teaching agent-based modeling, and are well qualified to write such a book."--Richard Stillman, Bournemouth University


--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Trueman on February 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Finally, an introduction to agent-based modeling using Netlogo. Vow! I have been waiting for such a book for years. Looking at the titles of the chapters it looks like the perfect book to learn agent-based modeling and Netlogo at the same time. Indeed, if you are an ecologist, this is THE book for you. Unfortunately, if you are interested in anything else, The Netlogo User Manual is still your best choice. This book gives too much detail about modeling ecological problems without paying enough attention to fundamental information about agent-based modeling or Netlogo. Out of 103 references 76 are about biology, most of them about special problems of ecology. The classical books about agent-based modeling are not even mentioned (Growing Artificial Societies by Epstein and Axtell is the only exception).
Drs. Railsback and Grimm are established scientists and modelers. I strongly encourage them to publish a revised second edition of this book that would really deserve to be called a practical introduction to agent-based modeling and Netlogo.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Aristotelis Gkiolmas on March 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Excellent book! A thorough introduction to NetLogo programming, most helpful for beginners in the field.
I work in Education and this book helps a lot with also TEACHING NetLogo. I strongly recommend it to everyone, Biologist or not, who is working with the specific programmming environment.
Aristotelis Gkiolmas, Athens, GREECE.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Taylor on May 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have been using this text as a resource for a middle school (7th and 8th grades) computational science class focusing on agent-based modeling. The first projects (mushroom hunters and butterfly hill-climbing) have provided rich experiences for my students. This is my first chance to teach this sort of modeling using NetLogo--after many years of teaching with StarLogo--and it has been a real pleasure to see a text oriented towards experimentation with ABMs in a language with such a gentle learning curve become available. I intend to use the text itself in a more advanced course for high schoolers in the fall.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul M Blanton on January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good introduction to both agent based modeling and the NetLogo software. A good text for a modeling course. Good accompanying on-line resources. My only complaint is that the book is a little uneven, chapter to chapter, in the level of detail and instruction. Those using this book to teach themselves may get frustrated, as the authors 'take the training wheels off' very quickly. Some basic things seem under-explained, while others are over-explained. I do like that the book isn't a step by step 'push this button' cookbook (like most computer books), but arguably there's a bit too much philosophy of modeling material at times. People with no or little programming experience may get unnecessarily bogged down stymied by simple problems that a teacher or classmate could quickly answer. The strength of the examples and exercises is that they very quickly get the reader to think critically about modeling and its assumptions; the weakness of the more philosophical approach is it will turn off people who are more interested in quickly learning the software. This is NOT a NetLogo instruction manual. While those with some programming experience and/or a fair bit of patience and tenacity can use this book to teach themselves how to program ABMs, the best use of this book is probably as a textbook in a modeling course.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Kreisler on August 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really appreciated that the book focuses on the high level concepts and planning, rather than details such as syntax which you can get from other resources. There are many notes to people with programming experience to relate their knowledge to NetLogo and help prevent frustration. I wish other books about software realized how important understanding the goals and concepts are as opposed to details which you can slot into place once you have a better understanding of the big picture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very well written introduction to agent-based modeling. The authors are luminaries in the field and this book provides a very useful, clear, and effective introduction to practical modeling. The choice of Netlogo as the programming language is very wise, as it lets the reader quickly get to work writing models without getting bogged down in programming details. This book is suitable for a text in a formal course, or as a self-study guide. The emphasis on ODD (Overview, Design, Details) approach to designing and documenting models is very helpful and there are good examples throughout of using the ODD description to replicate models used in published research.

I recommend this book both as a textbook for teaching agent-based modeling and as a reference book for anyone working in the field.
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