MAS Prototyping Tool: First Steps with Netlogo

Presented by Francisco J. Miguel Quesada, and Xavier Vilà Carnicero

The tutorial will introduce Netlogo, a free and open source programmable modelling environment for simulating natural and social phenomena. This multi-agent extension of the LOGO language has proved to be useful in a wide range of educational and research domains, as an entry-level tool for modelling a variety of MAS, and it also has a wide extent into the current “social simulation” community. The session will focus on a hands-on approach to Netlogo environment so that each participant, at the end of the day, will be able to build, execute, validate and experiment with a small-scale virtual society of “intelligent” agents. Netlogo is not suitable for deploy and run large scale high-cognitive multi-agent systems, but seems efficient enough as a quick prototyping tool for experimenting with your own conceptual or formal models and get insightful ideas about the modelling and simulation process. The tutorial keeps a basic level -mostly, cellular automata, and reactive agents- just to provide an idea of the possibilities, and will offer references for further development.


  • Introduction to social systems modeling with Netlogo:
    • Agent-based modeling (ABM).
    • Netlogo: download, install and first steps.
    • Netlogo resources: Library of models, Dictionary, On-line resources.
  • Design and structure of Netlogo models:
    • Procedures, variables, blocks.
    • End-user view of Netlogo simulation models.
  • Basic coding with Netlogo:
    • Graphic interface and GUI objects.
    • Agents, Procedures, Variables and the basic command “ask”. ◦ Monitors and Reports.
  • Advanced coding with Netlogo.
    • Agentsets and Breeds.
    • Conditional blocks and loops.
    • Plots and other output tools.
  • Expert coding with Netlogo.
    • Working with Lists and Links.
    • Input/Output data.
  • Experimentation module: BehaviorSpace.
    • Batch run of experiments.
    • Exploring the space of parameters.