Agent-Based Modelling

Itzhak Benenson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Agent-based (AB) modelling is a leading methodology of dynamic GeoComputation that aims at making a direct connection between the knowledge on human behaviour and decision making and the dynamics of geographic systems. An AB model implements spatial and non-spatial aspects of the behaviour of individuals and institutions within an explicitly represented geographic environment. In this way, it enables investigation of the dynamics and evolution of geographic systems as driven by humans. An AB model is a sort of a virtual world populated by avatars whose behaviour reflects decades of scientific research in social and physical geography, economics and behavioural science. In this way, researchers can directly study if and how humans can change themselves, nature and society. This chapter presents a methodology for AB modelling and focuses on operational issues: the choice of agents, the representation of relationships between them, the formulation and formalisation of the agent behavioural rules, a study of the AB model dynamics and an application of the AB models to real-world problems. The approach is illustrated with the help of two AB models: the famous Schelling model of ethnic residential dynamics and PARKAGENT, a model of parking search in the city. The chapter finishes with a list of recent developments in the field of AB modelling and a set of guidelines aimed at students wanting to adopt an AB modelling approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeoComputation, Second Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9781466503298
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


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