Advanced SIKS-Course on Agent Based Simulation



On February 21 and 22 2011, the School for Information and Knowledge Systems (SIKS) will organize an advanced course on Agent Based Simulation. The course takes two days, will be given in English and is part of the so called Advanced Components Stage of the Educational Program for SIKS-PhD- students. Although these courses are primarily intended for SIKS-PhD-students, other participants are not excluded. However, their number of passes will be restricted and depends on the number of students taking the course. The course is given by experienced lecturers actively involved in the research areas related to the topics of the course.

Agent-based modelling and Simulation (ABMS) focus on the study of the actions and interactions of autonomous agents (both individual or collective entities such as organizations or groups) with a view to assessing their effects on the system as a whole. It combines elements of game theory, complex systems, emergence, computational sociology, multi-agent systems, and evolutionary programming.

The models simulate the simultaneous operations and interactions of multiple agents, in an attempt to re-create and predict the appearance of complex phenomena. The process is one of emergence from the lower (micro) level of systems to a higher (macro) level. Central to ABM is the idea that (simple) behavioural rules generate complex behaviour, but also that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Most agent-based models are composed of:
(1) numerous agents;
(2) decision-making heuristics;
(3) learning rules or adaptive processes;
(4) an interaction topology; and
(5) a non-agent environment.

Individual agents are typically characterized as bounded rational, presumed to be acting in what they perceive as their own interests, such as reproduction, economic benefit, or social status using their own decision-making rules. The environment specifies constraints and rules for interaction, at physical, social and cultural-normative level.

Social simulation is a research field that applies agent-based computational models to the study of social phenomena, such as the emergence of social norms, the segregation of ethnic groups in urban cities and the formation of collective opinion. It aims to help (social) scientists to understand and explain complex social phenomena by looking at agent interaction in given social structures. This course is appropriate for researchers who would like to apply ABMS for their research into complex social systems.

LOCATION: Conference center Conference Center Woudschoten, Zeist

DATE: 21-22 February 2011

Dr. Virginia Dignum (TUD)
Dr. Frank Dignum (UU)

PROGRAM: (provisionary)

February 21
  • 09:00 - 09:30 Coffee and introduction
  • 09:30 - 11:30 Introduction in social simulation
  • 11:30 - 13:00 Introduction in agent based social simulation
  • 13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Exercises
  • 15:00 - 15:30 Coffee/tea
  • 15:30 - 17:00 Agents for social simulation
February 22
  • 09:00 - 09:30 Introduction to applications
  • 09:30 - 10:30 Firefighting teams
  • 10:30 - 11:00 coffee
  • 11:00 - 12:00 STRO
  • 12:00 - 13:00 Policy making
  • 13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Large simulations
  • 15:00 - 16:00 Economics
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Future directions
More details on the program will be provided shortly.

In the conference center there is a limited number of places and there is interest from other groups in the topic as well. Therefore, an early registration is required.

Deadline for registration for SIKS-Ph.D.-students: February 01 2011

After that date, applications to participate will be honoured in a first-come first-serve manner. Of course, applications to participate from other interested groups are welcome already. They will receive a notification whether they can participate as soon as possible.

For registration you are kindly requested to fill in the registration form

Arrangement 1 includes single room, all meals, and course material. Arrangement 2 includes two lunches, one dinner and course material. So no stay in the hotel and no breakfast.