In Ecology and Socio-Ecological systems many patterns at the population or community level emerge from processes, variability and interactions at the individual scale. Therefore it is increasingly acknowledged that the basic entities in many models should be individuals. This is the aim of individual based modelling (or agent-based modelling).
In this course, we present the principles of agent-based modelling. We will introduce participants to NetLogo**, a development environment and a domain specific computer language for agent-based modelling. In lectures, we explain techniques to develop, analyse, test and document agent-based simulation models. Hands on session will familiarise participants with the concepts: In small groups they will develop, implement and analyse an agent-based model to answer an ecological or socio-ecological question. Questions will be suggested by the instructors and will comprise applied (e.g. sustainable forestry) and theoretical topics. Every group will present their project and their experiences at the end of the course in a short presentation. Our intention is that after the course the participants are able to implement and analyse simple models in NetLogo.
** Wilensky, U. 1999. NetLogo. http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modelling, Northwestern University. Evanston, IL.