Category Cross-Omics>Agent-Based Modeling/Simulation/Tools

Abstract BehaviourComposer is a web-based tool for constructing, running, visualizing, analyzing, and sharing agent-based models.

These models can be constructed by non-experts by composing pre- built modular components called 'micro-behaviors'.

The manufacturers are attempting to seed and nurture a Web 2.0 community to support modeling. Models, micro-behaviors, lesson plans, tutorials, and other supporting material can be shared, discussed, reviewed, rated, and tagged.

Creating models by composing micro-behaviors --

BehaviourComposer provides libraries of generic micro-behaviors organized into categories for specifying the initial state of agents, movement, appearance, attribute maintenance, reproduction, death, and social networks.

In addition there are micro-behaviors for creating graphs, histograms, sliders, buttons, and event logs.

Specialized libraries of micro-behaviors have been created for modeling epidemics, collective decision making, network formation, predator/prey ecologies, artificial economies, and low carbon ICT.

These libraries of micro-behaviors have been created by the Modelling4All team, but BehaviourComposer 2.0 can use micro- behaviors hosted on any web site.

A micro-behavior can be authored by any web page creation software (including wiki’s). The BehaviourComposer 2.0 processes the HTML micro-behavior web pages to add buttons to facilitate using or editing the micro-behavior.

Users construct models in BehaviourComposer 2.0 by adding micro- behaviors to prototypical agents. They can focus initially on getting a single individual of each "type" to behave correctly.

Then they can add a micro-behavior to create the desired number of copies of the prototype. The fresh copies can easily be given additional behaviors, to produce a heterogeneous population.

Micro-behaviors should Not be confused with the software engineering concept of modules, components, or other programming language abstractions such as packages, classes, methods, or procedures. These modular constructs have interfaces that must be carefully matched in order to combine them.

They represent program fragments that run only if another fragment invokes them. In contrast, micro-behaviors run as independent processes, threads or repeatedly scheduled events.

They are designed to run simultaneously with a minimum (and in most cases zero) need to coordinate their execution order and interactions.

Micro-behaviors resemble the structured processes in the LO programming language (LO - Linear Objects. Concurrent logic programming language based on "linear logic", an extension of Horn logic with a new kind of OR-concurrency).

A web-based modeling tool --

BehaviourComposer is built upon the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and NetLogo (see G6G Abstract Number 20449).

BehaviourComposer is a rich internet application (a web application with features comparable to desktop applications) using AJAX [(Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), is a group of interrelated web development techniques used on the client-side to create interactive web applications or rich Internet applications].

GWT supports interface elements such as tabs, panels, buttons, and editors as well as facilitating communication with servers. Users interactively assemble micro-behaviors into collections that represent prototypical agents.

When the user clicks the run button, the server assembles a complete NetLogo program. The user can then run the program in their browser as a Java applet or download the program into NetLogo.

BehaviourComposer supports micro-behaviors that use NetLogo's facilities for animating simulations, providing sliders for interactively exploring the parameter space, producing dynamical graphs, and interactively running experiments.

Other NetLogo tools such as the BehaviorSpace for automating the exploration of the parameter space and gathering statistics are only available after launching NetLogo as an application rather than an applet.

Each micro-behavior is presented as a ‘web page’ which can be accessed via links, tags, or a search engine just like any other web page.

Browsing for micro-behaviors uses the same tools and skills as web browsing for any other kind of information. New tools and skills do Not have to be mastered.

A section of the web page is the program fragment itself. A button is automatically generated when the page is loaded into BehaviourComposer.

When the button is pushed the code fragment is added to the desired prototype agent. By convention, the rest of the page includes sections that:

Note: The BehaviourComposer 2.0 software currently only supports micro-behaviors constructed in NetLogo.

As a Web 2.0 Component --

BehaviourComposer 2.0 is focused on 'model authoring' and to integrate well with Web 2.0 services provided by third parties.

The Modelling4All web site does Not publish models. Instead models are always available via URLs containing unique global unguessable identifiers.

These URLs provide privacy which is often desired for work-in- progress. No models are accessible unless their URLs have been published elsewhere.

They become public only after a user references their model's URL in a blog, wiki, web site, email forum, or any other place where search engine spiders can find them.

System Requirements

Contact manufacturer.


Manufacturer Web Site BehaviourComposer

Price Contact manufacturer.

G6G Abstract Number 20448

G6G Manufacturer Number 104076