Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling
A Practical Introduction
Steven F. Railsback & Volker Grimm


Agent-based modeling is a new technique for understanding how the dynamics of biological, social, and other complex systems arise from the characteristics and behaviors of the agents making up these systems. This innovative textbook gives students and scientists the skills to design, implement, and analyze agent-based models. It starts with the fundamentals of modeling and provides an introduction to NetLogo, an easy-to-use, free, and powerful software platform. Nine chapters then each introduce an important modeling concept and show how to implement it using NetLogo. The book goes on to present strategies for finding the right level of model complexity and developing theory for agent behavior, and for analyzing and learning from models.

Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling features concise and accessible text, numerous examples, and exercises using small but scientific models. The emphasis throughout is on analysis--such as software testing, theory development, robustness analysis, and understanding full models--and on design issues like optimizing model structure and finding good parameter values.

  • The first hands-on introduction to agent-based modeling, from conceptual design to computer implementation to parameterization and analysis
  • Provides an introduction to NetLogo with nine chapters introducing an important modeling concept and showing how to implement it using NetLogo
  • Filled with examples and exercises, with updates and supplementary materials at
  • Designed for students and researchers across the biological and social sciences
  • Written by leading practitioners

Leading universities that have adopted this book include:

  • Amherst College
  • Brigham Young University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Miami University
  • Northwestern University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Portland State University
  • Rhodes College
  • Susquehanna University
  • University College, Dublin
  • University of Arizona
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Oregon
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Virginia
Steven F. Railsback is adjunct professor of mathematics at Humboldt State University and a consulting environmental scientist. Volker Grimm is senior scientist in the Department of Ecological Modeling at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ in Leipzig and professor at the University of Potsdam. They are the authors of Individual-Based Modeling and Ecology (Princeton).