SSC'14 Tutorials

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The Tools Tutorial Day (TTD) aims to offer a wide and contrasting perspective on social simulation tools by means of a “hands-on” approach. This year the target is threefold: (A) those skilled simulation practitioners concerned with scalability issues, whose requirements could be fulfilled by the power of high-performance computing, (B) those researchers concerned with human-in-the-loop methodologies, and (C) those newcomers, interested on social modeling but with low programming skills, whose requirements could be fulfilled by the power of meta-modeling tools, or by entry-level tools.

In the present edition there will be tutorials on PANDORA and FLAME, two HPC environments that could run ABM simulations on “supercomputing” hardware. There will be also tutorials on SOCIAAL and MASS/PET, two projects that take advantage of the interaction between real and virtual agents in simulated scenarios. The rest of the tutorials are cases of the meta-modeling approach, MODELLING4ALL and IODA, for building artificial societies without expert programming skills, and finally a presentation of the entry-level prototyping tool NETLOGO.

The TTD underlying idea is that by enhancing the power of massive simulations, by linking simulations with actual social behavior, and by lowering the requirements for modeling, the computer social modeling would become a more widely accepted methodology.


Tools Tutorial Day      
Hour PC room “B” (30p) PC room “C” (60p) LSDS PC room (25p)
10:00-11:30 SociAAL
(High-Performance Compt.)
Netlogo First Steps I
(Artificial societies)
11:30-12:00 Coffee break service
12:00-13:30 Modelling4ALL
(High-Performance Compt.)
Netlogo First Steps II
(Artificial societies)

Lunch break service (at Plaça Civica Restaurant)
15:00:16:30 IODA
17:00-19:00 Conference Ice Breaker - Wine tasting
(at Hotel Campus) (subject to confirmation)

All sessions are included in the SSC'14 registration. We will appreciate if you could help organization by providing information about your preferences when fulfilling the Registration Form at the website:

SociAAL Tutorial (10:00, PC Room “B”)

“Modelling and Simulation Ambient Assisted Living”
Conducted by Jorge Gómez, Pablo Campillo y Juan Pavón (GRASIA-UCM)

The tutorial will introduce a framework developed within the SociAAL (Social Ambient Assisted Living) project that addresses the problem of requirements gathering and realistic testing of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) applications. This framework enables the developer to model the daily living activities of a group of people living in a residence or any other location. The framework also pursues to produce artifacts that host the AAL application itself. This application has to run within an Android emulator, what ensures that it can run as well in a real device which runs Android too. Through the SociAALML modeling language it is possible to describe the particular behavior of each inhabitant together with individual attributes that affect their behavior. In the project, we have studied the case of people with Parkinson disease and modeled how the Parkinson affects to daily activity. The tutorial attendants will learn the basics of SociAALML and will be able to observe how their models are rendered into rich 3D simulations of unlimited length. These simulations include too Android emulator instances whose sensors are connected to the 3D simulation itself. NOTE: Though the tutorial is not an Android one, it will be shown the basics of these applications and attendants will have the opportunity to experiment with some of them.

Pandora Tutorial (10:00, PC Room “C”)

“A C++/Python versatile ABM platform”
Conducted by Xavier Rubio-Campillo (Barcelona Supercomputing Center)

Pandora is an open-source framework designed to develop any type of Agent-Based Models, from tiny simulations run in a laptop to large-scale models with millions of agents in the computer nodes of a supercomputer. The framework automatically generates the code for executing a C++ model in a distributed ciomputing environment. Pandora can also be used for novice programmers, as it provides a Python interface with the same functionality than the C++ version for rapid prototyping. The user can choose its preferred programming language, and use the tools of the framework to develop, test, execute and analyse Agent-Based Models.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Previous knowledge of C++ or Python is required to follow this Tutorial.


Netlogo First Steps I & II (10:00 and 12:00, LSDS PC Room)

“An entry-level tool for building artificial societies”
Conducted by Gabriel Wurzer (Vienna University of Technology) and Francisco J. Miguel (Laboratory of Socio-Historical Dynamics Simulation, UAB)

NetLogo is a programmable modeling tool for simulating natural and social phenomena. It is particularly well suited for modeling complex systems developing over time, with hundreds or thousands of "intelligent agents" all operating independently and interacting. This makes it possible to explore the connection between the micro-level behavior of individuals and the macro-level patterns that emerge from their interaction. Netlogo is simple enough to serve as a powerful tool for researchers in many fields. In this Tutorial, you can create your own model of (virtual) society, and then experiment with some hypothetical scenarios. NOTE: NO previous experience in computer programming is required to follow these sessions.

Modelling4All Tutorial (12:00, PC Room “B”)

“Help people understand a NetLogo model by building it, without writing any code”
Conducted by Howard Noble (University of Oxford) & Richard Taylor (Stockholm Environment Institute).

In this 90 minute tutorial we will use the Modelling4All project software called the Behaviour Composer (BC) to construct a NetLogo model for exploring the spread of an infection through different social networks. You will build the model by following a step-by-step online guide that helps you understand the assumptions built into the code. We will describe how we use the BC to teach agent-based modelling at Oxford, and how you can create your own 'micro-behaviours' and step-by-step guides. NOTE: NO previous experience in computer programming is required to follow these sessions.

Flame Tutorial (12:00, PC Room “C”)

“Agent-based Simulations using FLAME”
Conducted by Claudio Márquez Pérez and Eduardo César (Support Tools for Performance Tunning Group, Computer Architecture and Operating Systems Department (CAOS), UAB)

In order to solve complex and large agent-based modelling and simulations (ABMS), Flexible Large-scale Agent Modelling Environment (FLAME) allows an easy way to run simulations in parallel computers. FLAME, itself is a code generator engine that provides an easy deployment of serial/parallel ABMS. In FLAME, agent models are written in a combination of XML and C languages as basis. FLAME takes advantage of its agent communication schema to enable agents to interact efficiently with the environment, and handle the parallel agent communications in a simple way. In this tutorial, through an overview of FLAME and simple exercises ‘step-by-step’, you will understand the basic characteristics of FLAME and its agents operation, and deploy different agent behaviours. IMPORTANT NOTE: Experience programming in C is a requirement for participation in this tutorial.

IODA Tutorial (15:00, PC Room “B”)

“IODA: An interaction oriented approach to multi-agent simulations”
Conducted by Sèbastien Picault (University of Lille 1, Paris)

We will give an interactive presentation of the "IODA" project ("Interaction Oriented Design of Agent simulations"), as a brand new point of view at designing ABM simulations. Instead of centering the model on agents only, it focuses on the interactions they can perform together, allowing to build very quickly multiagent models and revise them very easily. Though the concepts and methods of IODA are platform- and language-independent, you will practice the IODA approach within a dedicated NetLogo extension (distributed freely), which should be particularly fruitful for skilled NetLogo modelers.

MASS / PET Tutorial (15:00, PC Room “C”)

“PET: The Participatory Extension of a Multi-Agent Simulation Suite”
Conducted by László Gulyás (Intelligent Applications and Web Services, AITIA International, Inc.)

The Participatory Extension (PET) is one of four major components built around a simulation core of the Multi-Agent Simulation Suite (MASS). It enables humans to interact with other agents -human or “virtual”-, while participating in simulations by incorporating MASS components into an interface compatible with any of the major web browsers. It enables the users to administrate, run and participate in simulations in a familiar way, applying the mechanisms and practices they use every day while browsing web-pages and using other web-based applications. As PET is designed for multiple users, it has a user management system that enables defining various user groups and permission levels. In this Tutorial you will use a WWW interface in participatory and experimental modeling with multiple users and participants. NOTE: Although its is not a requirement, attendants to this Tutorial will benefit from some previous notions about the Functional Agent-Based Language for Simulations (FABLES).