ABS Theory

Agent Based Simulation Theory

How can complex behaviour in Biology and the Financial Markets be modelled, detected and analysed? Theoretical work in this area develops the new concept of "complex events" that extend in both time and space:

  • Context sensitivity in individual-based modeling (Chen, Clack and Nagl, BMC Systems Biology 1, Supplement 1, pp 44, ISSN 1752-0509, BMC 2007)
  • Specifying, Detecting and Analysing Emergent Behaviours in Multi-Level Agent-Based Simulations (Chen, Nagl and Clack, in Proceedings Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC'07), pp 969-976, ISBN 1-56555-316-0, Society for Modeling and Simulation International, 2007
  • A calculus for multi-level emergent behaviours in component-based systems and simulations (Chen, Nagl and Clack, in Proceedings Emergent Properties in Natural and Artificial Complex Systems (EPNACS'2007), in ECCS'07 European Conference on Complex Systems, pp 35-51, 2007)
  • Multi-level behaviours in agent-based simulation: colonic crypt cell populations (Chen, Nagl and Clack, in Proceedings Seventh International conference on Complex Systems, paper 22, New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) and Interjournal, 2008)
  • A method for validating and discovering associations between multi-level emergent behaviours in agent-based simulations (Chen, Nagl and Clack, LNCS 4953:1-10, Springer, 2008)
  • Complexity and Emergence in Engineering Systems (Chen, Nagl and Clack, Studies in Computational Intelligence 168:99-128, Springer 2009)
  • A formalism for multi-level emergent behaviours in designed component-based systems and agent-based simulations (Chen, Nagl and Clack, Understanding Complex Systems 44:101-114, Springer 2009)

The novel Complex-Event formalism described in the following paper has since been applied by oncologists to model cancerous tumour growth, with specific success in the field of colonic crypt tumorigenesis. The journal is ranked 3rd out of 14 journals covering the field of computer simulation. The formalism supports the modelling of phenomena that are distributed simultaneously across different physical and temporal levels; superiority over alternative modelling techniques has been independently validated, and as further validation this paper demonstrates how it extends the established X-Machines formalism.

  • Identifying Multi-Level Emergent Behaviors in Agent-Directed Simulations using Complex Event Type Specifications (Chen, Clack and Nagl, Simulation 86:41-51, Sage, 2010)

Christopher D. Clack
Department of Computer Science
Gower Street