Sunday, October 23, 2011: 2:00 PM
Grand Suite 5 (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Course Type: Half Day
Course Level: Beginner
Course Limit: 30

Format Requirements: This course consists of a short theory section, followed by practical applications and interactive development. Previous knowledge of a programming language is a plus, but it is not required. Participants will need a Computer running Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OSX, or Linux, with Repast Symphony 2.0 installed. Repast Symphony is an open source agent-based modeling toolkit available from

Background: An agent-based model (ABM) is a class of computer simulation models for analyzing complex random systems while tracking detailed information about the system over time. ABMs consist of two critical components: agents and the environment. Agents have unique attributes that can affect how they behave, and how they interact with each other. The environment can be a foundation for how these interactions take place, what behavior each agent exhibits, and what resources are used. Health-care applications of ABMs include estimating the change in disease transmission rates over time, geographic spread of infectious diseases, and decision support systems for breast cancer prediction and treatment recommendations. This course will cover the basics of ABMs, areas of applications, and a hands-on tutorial of the development of an ABM simulation using software.

Description and Objectives: This course will provide a description of ABMs and its development, an overview of the core components of an ABM simulation, recent applications of ABMs, and hands-on walk-through of Repast Symphony and the construction and analysis of a simple health-care ABM.


  • Overview of Agent Based Modeling (ABM) theory
  • Current applications of ABMs
  • Walk-through of building a simple ABM model using Repast software
  • Advantages and disadvantages of ABMs over other modeling techniques
  • Guidelines for developing customizable and scalable ABMs.
Course Director:
Oguzhan Alagoz, PhD
Course Faculty:
James V. Codella, MEng