Agent-Based Simulations and Related Application like "Map Aware Non-uniform Automata - MANA"

In my quest to find a new wargame model I have stumbled on a wealth of articles whose subject is the use of agent based simulations to study force-on-force and asynchronous (a.k.a. anti-terror) warfare.

My question to the group is: has anyone played with any of these abstract tools?


I have recently downloaded a tool kit called NetLogo which is a nice development package and is loaded with models to play with; but these models do not address military conflict directly. I will try to build my own model from scratch but if anyone has any experience with this topic I would appreciate a little help.




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Hello Robert,

I've done extensive work in NetLogo, specifically addressing some of these issues. I've done models on emergence of 4GW, deterrence, and even one showing how fractal patterns emerge from prisoner's dilemma games. In a nutshell I'd say that NetLogo is a great prototyping tool, but it gets bogged down in a hurry.
Hello John,

Wow, sounds like you're a pro with NetLogo. I'm a newbie myself. I've been using the models from the library to learn the syntax and programming constructs as they are applied to solve various problems. I would agree (based on my limited experience) the NetLogo is a great tool.

With that said, I have snooping around and reading various articles (see link below) with the intention of designing a game based on the concepts of Agent Based Models. Like NetLogo I am new to this decipline but it's my time to spend so I am giving it a go. I've been writing business software for 25 years and I have been using ASP for a number of years for game and business development. If all goes well I will be able to share with this group a number of simple applications (either NetLogo or C#/XML) that will combine to form at best an interesting simulation (or worse, another one of my vaporware projects evaporating before my eyes).

If that is your intention Robert, then I would recommend using Repast. It is a fully realized Java ABM extension that runs within the Eclipse IDE. I believe that you will find it to be a superior tool to do what you have in mind than NetLogo. NetLogo uses a modified version of the Logo language, and does not compile into stand-alone applications. What's more, the ability to design a UI with it is very limited in terms of how you would get a user to interact with it.
I've downloaded and installed Repast. Now it's off to school with the tutorial. This will give me something to play with during my commute.

Thanks again!
I didn't read the paper thoroughly, but there are definitely some better models out there than Lanchester, especially if you're wanting to model IW. Here's something I came across at an unclassified MORS conference that does what you're talking about.

Thanks for the links. Lanchester was a bit deep for me but the emphasis of the article was on behavior based models using polyagent concepts (a more intuitive technique than the pure mathematical approach than game theory)

Also, if you have any NetLogo models that you would like to share I would be interested.

Thanks again,
email me at and I'll forward the prisoner's dilemma one to you.
Hi Jon,

Thanks again for the model. Because I am using NetLogo 4.1 I encountered a syntax error with the code. The fix was not difficult (see instructions below). Hopefully, my fix did not derail the logic. I will play with it and send you any questions that I may have.

4.0 to 4.1 Code Conversion
;set [payoff] of myself [payoff] of myself + 1
ask myself [set payoff payoff + 1]


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