Announcing two books on individual-based and agent-based models and their application to theoretical and applied science
Agent-based and Individual-based Modeling: A Practical Introduction, a new
textbook by Steven Railsback and Volker Grimm
This textbook is designed for university courses even with instructors new to
computational modeling and ABMs, as well as for self-instruction. Information is
at the book’s permanent web site
Individual-based Modeling and Ecology, our 2005 monograph on individual-based modeling
by Volker Grimm and Steven F. Railsback
Volker Grimm is a researcher in the
Department of Ecological Modeling, Center for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Germany
a group which has developed and applied individual-based models to a wide variety of systems and problems.
Dr. Grimm has published several highly influential reviews of the use of IBMs in ecology,
and many papers based on his own studies that use IBMs.
Steve Railsback is a consulting environmental researcher and adjunct professor with the
Environmental Modeling Program at Humboldt State University
and formerly was on the research staff of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Environmental Sciences Division.
Dr. Railsback has published on conceptual and theoretical foundations for individual-based ecology,
application of fish IBMs to applied and theoretical problems, and software for IBMs.
Princeton University Press
(Princeton Series in Theoretical and Computational Biology).
Now on sale from Princeton
and other booksellers.
Individual-based models are an exciting and widely used new tool for ecology.
These models provide ecologists with an effective way to explore the mechanisms
through which population and ecosystem ecology arises from how individuals interact
with each other and their environment. This book is the first major reference
on individual-based modeling and its use to develop theoretical understanding
of how ecological systems work, an approach the authors call “individual-based ecology”.
The book first provides a general primer on modeling: how to design models that
are as simple as possible while still allowing us to address the problems we
need to study, and how to move efficiently through a cycle of model design, implementation, and analysis.
Next, the general problems of theory and conceptual framework for individual-based ecology are addressed:
What is “theory”—how do we develop general, re-usable models of
how system dynamics arise from characteristics of individuals? What conceptual
framework do we use when the classical framework of differential calculus no longer applies?
A review of over 30 studies illustrates the wide variety of ecological problems
that have already been addressed with individual-based models.
The authors then identify the many ways in which the mechanics of building and
using individual-based models differ from those of traditional science and provide
extensive guidance on formulating, programming, and analyzing models. This book
should be very helpful to any ecologist interested in modeling, and to any
scientist interested in agent-based modeling.
Click here to download (in PDF format) a draft Table of Contents
or Chapter 1: Introduction
A review of the book in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
This review is from the perspective of non-ecologists. Other reviews are at the
web page at Princeton.