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Dr. Paul M. Torrens, Center for GIS, Department of Geographical Sciences, and UMIACS, University of Maryland

Accelerating agent-based models

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Project overview

Increasingly, the engineering of complex systems requires consideration of an intricate web of components and their interaction in diverse social and technical environments. Simulation can assist in designing and testing socio-technical systems by allowing the potential space of outcomes to be explored under given designs. Agent-based models have been developed as a method for building models of complex systems, with great success. Agents may be designed to represent system components and to specify the interactions between them in an incredible level of detail. While popular, the full potential of the methodology to support engineering of complex systems has not been reached, however, because of a set of key challenges. First, there exists a relative lack of robust methods for calibrating agent-based models to theory. Second, there is a paucity of reliable approaches for extracting coarse-grained, system level information as it emerges in agent-based simulations. Third, there is a dearth of schemes for handling uncertainty in the application of agent-based rules to system behavior. Fourth, computation of agent-based models is inefficient when agents are numerous in volume and richly-specified in behavior. Together, these impediments constrain the ability of agent-based modeling to enable prediction, to support decisions, and to facilitate the design, control, and optimization of complex systems. The main objective of this project is to broaden the extensibility of agent-based modeling beyond these constraints. This will be achieved by developing novel, computational methods to fuse agent-based modeling, uncertainty measurement and quantification, and mathematics for pattern-extraction.

This project will expand the capabilities of agent-based modeling in supporting the design, engineering, and testing of complex systems. Our initial focus is to develop a prototype scheme that can be applied to complex socio-behavioral systems, but the project is of potential relevance across a diverse array of substantive areas. Indeed, one of our central aims is to provide the glue that can bridge diverse schemes for agent-based simulation across application areas. This could be incredibly useful in reconciling agent-based modeling into a larger “ecology” of mathematical modeling and computation, fundamentally expanding the range of questions that can be posed and systems that can be explored in simulation, while better allying simulation to real-world dynamics.

Eye candy
nsf Torrens, P.M; Ghanem, Roger; Kevrekidis, Yannis (2010-2011). "Accelerating innovation in agent-based simulations: Application to complex socio-behavioral phenomena". National Science Foundation (Division of Civil and Mechanical Systems)
Related groups
Roger Ghanem, USC Civil Engineering
Yannis Kevrekidis, Princeton Chemical Engineering

GIS movement tracks

Big data movement analytics


climate indicators spatial analysis

Land indicators of climate

geosimulation high performance computing

High-performance computing and networking for geosimulation

earthquake model agent based GIS

Earthquake models

CA ice sheet model

Ice-sheet modeling

kinect control of GIS and robots
Robot motion control

simulating disasters ABM GIS
Human behavior in critical scenarios

crowd model riot model simulation wired

Modeling riots

physics engine GIS

Dynamic physics for built infrastructure

moving agents through space and time

Moving agents through space and time

validating agent based models

Validating agent-based models

machine learning GIS

Machine-learning behavioral geography

high performance computing urban simulation emergence

Accelerating agent-based models

megacity models

Megacity futures

immersive modeling

Immersive modeling

space-time GIS

Space-time GIS and analysis

measuring sprawl

A toolkit for measuring sprawl

space-time GIS

Modeling time, space, and behavior

simulating crowd behavior

Simulating crowd behavior

wi-fi geography

Wi-Fi geography

Simulating sprawl

Simulating sprawl