Agent-Based Modeling on Complexity Explorer

For anyone interested in how to use agent-based modeling to understand and examine a very diverse and disparate set of complex problems, the Santa Fe Institute’s online course, Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling, starts June 7 on Complexity Explorer.


SFI’s Complexity Explorer was launched in 2013 as a web-based repository of educational materials related to complex systems science. Having participated in his very first course, Introduction to complexityI wrote about the experience as well as details of some of his later courses, see Go deeper into complexity with the Santa Fe Institute.

Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling was first run in the fall of 2015 and, like other Complexity Explorer courses, welcomes a new cohort of students each time it is re-run.

In this video course instructor Anamaria Berea presents the 2022 edition:

As stated in the video, the subject of the course is the simulation of complex agent-based systems and includes “fun problems” such as how birds flock, how ants search for food, and how certain neighborhoods end up be culturally separated.

No programming experience or knowledge is required as a prerequisite. The course opens on June 7 and ends on August 27. While in session, the first unit will be completely free and open. To continue the course and receive a certificate costs $50 and once the course closes, the videos and quizzes will all be open and available for free.

The course explores why agent-based modeling is a powerful new way to understand complex systems, what types of systems lend themselves to complex systems analysis, and how agent-based modeling has been used in the past to study everything from economics to biology to politics. business and management science. It shows how to build a model from scratch and how to analyze and understand model results using the NetLogo programming language.

If you want to learn more about the programming environment used for this course, see Getting Started with NetLogo.

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Sharon D. Cole