UCL Agent‑Based Modelling Working Group

ABM tutorials and guides

Here you will find some recommended online tutorials, blogs and other sources of information on many aspects of ABM including general overviews, model development, software guides, example models and even film-making. There are also several books and journals covering ABM topics.

General overview

Robert Axelrod, a Professor for the Study of Human Understanding at the University of Michigan and Leigh Tesdatsion, a Professor of Economics, Mathematics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University have created an On-Line Guide for Newcomers to Agent-Based Modeling in the Social Sciences. A very helpful resource for newcomers to ABM.

Jan Burian has created this Complex Systems Tutorial that aims to provide a "basic introduction to Complex Systems Science and relevant modeling tools", including ABM.

Charles Macal and Michael North at the Complex Adaptive Systems Group at Argonne National Laboratory have written many articles designed for newcomers to ABM. We particularly like their tutorial on agent-based modelling and simulation, containing lots of advice on model development and a detailed overview of agents.


The GIS and Agent-Based Modeling blog by Andrew Crooks (an assistant professor in the Department of Computational Social Science and researcher in the Center for Social Complexity at George Mason University) covers the latest advances in agent-based modelling and GIS. Lots of fantastic information on how to create realistic agent-based models by integrating it with geographic information systems (GIS).

Tutorials on specific ABM software

The OpenABM website provides tutorials on Netlogo, Repast and Cormas ABM software.

David O'Sullivan and George Perry provide example NetLogo models to support their forthcoming book. The makers of NetLogo also provide an updated list of tutorials. Most models on the CoMSES Computational Model Library, and all of collection of models created by Jose Vidal, are for NetLogo. You can also find some YouTube tutorials on how to create basic models.

Jeremy Fiegel at ISC-PIF has created a NetLogo tutorial movie maker to help modellers make light-weight NetLogo movies, which can otherwise be very large (a 30 second clip can leave you with 1 GB file!). Tried and tested by one of our UCL-ABM team to create the Netlogo flocking model you can find on our introduction to agent-based modelling page.

We found this nice Repast software agent-based modelling tutorial, as recommended Leigh Tesfatsion. This Complexity Workshop has created online tutorials for Repast and Netlogo.

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