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Santa Fe Institute

Introduction to Agent-based Modeling

Santa Fe Institute via Complexity Explorer

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This course will explore how to use agent-based modeling to understand and examine a widely diverse and disparate set of complex problems. During the course, we will explore why agent-based modeling is a powerful new way to understand complex systems, what kinds of systems are amenable to complex systems analysis, and how agent-based modeling has been used in the past to study everything from economics to biology to political science to business and management. We will also teach you how to build a model from the ground up and how to analyze and understand the results of a model using the NetLogo programming language. We will also discuss how to build models that are sound and rigorous. No programming background or knowledge is required, and the methods examined will be useable in any number of different fields.


4.6 rating, based on 85 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Introduction to Agent-based Modeling

  • Anonymous
    I took this course primarily because I had enjoyed precious offerings from Complexity Explorer. I had very little programming background, and my expectations for this course were mixed, given that, at first sight, NetLogo looks a little clunky with…
  • Tim Tröndle
    The lecturer is an expert in agent-based modelling which is very valuable for this course. Personally I do not think I learnt a lot from it though, and that's partly because the course covers to a large fraction NetLogo and its features. A good part…
  • Anonymous
    This course is the poorest programming course i ever attend! 1. In general, the course is all like reading out loud the textbook. 2. Short and insufficient programming lectures. 3. 70% is not about simulation in Netlogo at all. 4. Poor teaching, th…
  • Anonymous
    I thoroughly enjoyed the course on agent-based modeling by the Santa Fe Institute. It taught me a great deal as it was my first experience with programming my own agent-based model. In a relatively short time, I managed to create a model that fits my research interests and I will definitely continue to use this in my research.
  • Anonymous
    This course is a great disappointment for those who want to learn agent-based modeling: 1. It is necessary to have some previous knowledge in programming and modeling. 2. The instructor has very serious teaching problems, he just reads the slides, w…
  • Anonymous
    For me this course was an important step forward in learning modeling after finding out about NetLogo in 'Model Thinking' course by Scott Page. Coming from the field of medicine and being passionate about modeling for several decades I did not expe…
  • Anonymous
    Very nice course. The topics of the lessons were meaningful and complete. You don't need previous experience in modeling nor in programming for taking this course. The first weeks give you an easy-to-underst and overview of the different types of mo…
  • Anonymous
    Coming from a background of no previous experience with Agent-Based Modeling in general (and Netlogo in particular), this course is a great introduction: accessible and easy to follow, the core of this course will take you through the basic theoreti…
  • Anonymous
    Learned a lot while enjoyed the process. The instructors are experts in ABM.
    Starts at an an introductory level and progresses at a manageable pace to more advanced level and finishes with the history and areas of research in ABM. Many examples are provided and explained. At the end you have a very thorough understanding of ABM with NetLogo. It is a great foundation for developing your own beginner and advanced models.

    Great fit for those who are beginners in developing with NetLogo or for those who wish to learn NetLogo.
  • Profile image for Ikeoluwa Ireoluwa
    Ikeoluwa Ireoluwa
    The course presents a clear understanding of how agent-based modeling can be adapted across different disciplines. With a simple and intuitive yet powerful tool (Netlogo), I learnt how sensible insight and clear deductions can be made from models based on agents following simple rules. The course demonstrates the power of non-linear reasoning and complexity dynamics in natural and contrived systems. The instruction was clear, professional and challenging in a very good way.

    I totally enjoyed going through with this course!
  • Anonymous
    Completed all modules, but did not build a model. I was more interested in applications of ABM and how it works, rather than spending so much time with coding. Course was very effective--videos with split screens (computer screen plus lecturer face was a very effective learning tool). However, for those of us who what to learn more about how ABM is applied and methodology, rather than pure coding, you might consider in the future breaking ABM into two courses. One, how to build ABM models; and two with more emphasis on history, methods and going through real world applications in addition to demonstration models.
  • Maurice McCabe
    Very thorough course on beginning and advanced ABM topics. Starts at an an introductory level and progresses at a manageable pace to more advanced level and finishes with the history and areas of research in ABM. Many examples are provided and explained. At the end you have a very thorough understanding of ABM with NetLogo. It is a great foundation for developing your own beginner and advanced models.

    Great fit for those who are beginners in developing with NetLogo or for those who wish to learn NetLogo.
  • Anonymous
    I am excited with the model which I manage to create in such a short time due to the course. I developed an information sharing supply chain, which compares individual forecasting vs group forecasting in different market types, sizes and also considers consumer loyalty (e.g. promotion strategies). The forecasting was made with extension R by using extreme learning machine algorithm.
  • Alan Mode
    This is an excellent introduction to Agent Based Modeling and the NetLogo language. The class moves quickly from basic ideas to actually building models and using the basic parts of the NetLogo system. While not required, the book by the instructor is very helpful and really needed for use after the completion of the class when you have forgotten details. I recommend the class to anyone entering the field of complexity modeling, either for interest or application in a professional setting.
  • Anonymous
    The content was not dense enough, there were too many videos for the amount of knowledge gained. Most of what you need to learn about making an agent-based model is contained in half of unit 4, which was very instructive, but most of the rest was dispensable in my opinion. Of course it was general knowledge about ABMs, but I needn't have spent 10 weeks watching videos about it.
  • Angel E. Garcia Baños
    I must clarify that I already had prior knowledge of the topics discussed. But even so, the course is quite affordable and easy to understand for people of any STEM background. The course is not boring, it is entertaining, it shows the main topics from a new perspective that I did not have. And it teaches the NetLogo programming language and framework, where it is better to have basic knowledge of any other programming language, to take better advantage of it.
    I recommend the course to anyone interested in creating their own models to analyze/syntetize complex systems, emergent properties, etc.
  • Profile image for Weligela Mieso Annota
    Weligela Mieso Annota
    This complexity course is something that all human being must be understood and know in detail ,I am happy over taking and understanding the complexity interiors.
  • Anonymous
    In general, I find the course to be very informative and interesting. It is quite easy to pass (the grading system is designed to be this way), and I would classify the difficulty of the material as being akin to that of an introductory course in co…
  • Anonymous
    Great course and subject matter. The cost and payment system is very reasonable. I chose to pay slightly more than the minimum fee for the course, but still feel I got amazing value for money. Thank you to Complexity Explorer and its financial suppo…
  • Anonymous
    The course is excellent for people who want to understand ABM and have no idea. I think that to enjoy the course, it is necessary to have programming knowledge and you should like to program, but if you do not have programming knowledge, you can take the course, but you probably will not enjoy it as much. The course gives you a lot of knowledge of ABM, Netlogo and R. The way the course is organized makes it very practical. By this I mean, that you can learn while practicing by programming. If you have a project that you want to start developing or you are developing with ABM and Netlogo, this perfect course can help you clarify many doubts about it. You have to develop a project during the course and that is one of the best parts.

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