Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling

By Marco A. Janssen

This dynamic electronic textbook covers concepts and theories in the social and life sciences about social, ecological, and social-ecological systems, and how to capture those in agent-based models.


About the Book

This textbook provides a practical introduction to agent-based modeling using NetLogo based on 15 years of teaching this methodology to students in the life and social sciences. Agent-based modeling is increasingly used by social and life scientists in their research and teaching. Agent-based modeling is discussed in this book as a research tool in tandem with other methodologies, as such attention is given to modeling as a scientific method.

The book first describes basic concepts and introduces you to NetLogo. Then gets you more familiar with modeling and NetLogo by exploring several classic agent-based models. Further, we discuss methods to analyze models using sensitivity analysis and calibration. We close with a series of chapters on ecosystem management, and diffusion of viruses and gossip in networks.

Each chapter uses practical examples with NetLogo models, and those models are part of the standard NetLogo software or are freely available in the Computational Model Library of

How to use the book

Works on any Apple device

The book was created with iBook Author in order to include interactive widgets, videos and other engaging features. You can read the book on your iPad and interact with some of the models in the web version of NetLogo. The best experience to interact with the book is to use an Apple device.

  • Interactive
  • NetLogo models included
  • From basic concepts to advanced applications
  • From theory via models to code

About the Author

Marco A. Janssen is a professor in the School of Sustainability and director for the  Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment (CBIE). Dr. Janssen received a master degree in Operations Research (1992) at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics (1996) at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Since the early 1990s, Dr. Janssen has applied computational modeling to study social, ecological, and social-ecological systems at local, regional, and global scales. Dr. Janssen has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals including Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Global Environmental Change, Ecology & Society, Ecological Economics, Current Anthropology and the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

Currently, Dr. Janssen is co-Editor in Chief of Ecology & Society and President of the International Association for the Study of the Commons. He also co-directs the Network for Computational Modeling in Social and Ecological Sciences.


Book Launch

The book is now available in Apple Books. Let me know your experience or any questions you have.

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