Design of Agent-Based Models (Paperback)
Although there are plenty of publications dealing with the theory of multi-agent systems and agent-based simulations, information about the practical development of such systems is scarce. The aim of this book is to fill this empty space and to provide knowledge about design and development of agent-based simulations in an easy and comprehensible way. The book begins with the fundamentals of multi-agent systems, agent principles and their interaction, and goes on to discuss the philosophy of agent-based programming. Agent-based models - like any other scientific method - have drawbacks and limitations, which are presented in the book as well. The main portion of the text is then devoted to a description of methodology and best practices for the design and development of agent-based simulation software. The methodology (called Agentology) guides the reader through the entire development process, from the formal definition of the problem, through conceptual modeling and the selection of the particular development platform, to the programming and debugging of the code itself and the final assessment of the model. The visual language as the means of representation of the conceptual model is included. The reader is also presented with a comparison of present multi-agent development environments and tools, which could be helpful for the selection of appropriate development instruments. Given that the theoretical foundation is presented in an accessible way and supported by many practical examples, figures, schemes and source codes, this publication is especially suitable as a textbook for introductory graduate-level courses on multi-agent systems and agent-based modeling. Besides appealing to students and the scientific community, the monograph can aid software architects and developers who are not familiar with agent principles, conveying valuable insights into this distinct computer paradigm.