Lessons from implementing in parallel with 3 platforms the same didactic agent-based model

Le Page Christophe, Abrami Géraldine, Becu Nicolas, Bommel Pierre, Bonte Bruno, Bousquet François, Gaudou Benoit, Müller Jean Pierre, Philippon Damien, Taillandier Patrick. 2017. Lessons from implementing in parallel with 3 platforms the same didactic agent-based model. . s.l. : CoMSES Net, 1. CoMSES Net virtual conference "CoMSES 2017". 1, s.l., 2 Octobre 2017/20 Octobre 2017.

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Résumé : Developing an agent-based model (ABM) typically involves acquiring knowledge of the model's domain, developing the model itself, and then translating the model into software. This process can be complex and is an iterative one. Any ABM, to be considered as a robust and reliable tool, must be replicable in different computing settings. Previous works in comparing the implementation of the same ABM with different simulation platforms have been conducted either from scratch with a simple [1]or even “stupid” [2] benchmark or by trying to replicate an original implementation of a model related to a specific domain, for instance economics [3], political science [4] or ecology [5]. Most of these works relate difficulties to produce similar outputs from the various implementations, which is questioning the value of agent-based simulation as a scientific method. We present here an experience of conducting in parallel three implementations of the same model, a fire spreading over a forest and fire-fighter agents trying to eliminate it. Starting from a non-prescriptive narrative of this stylized socio-ecosystem, a set of UML diagrams was produced to serve as a common basis for the implementation by experienced agent-based modelers with three platforms: Cormas, Gama and NetLogo. We show that following the principles of test-driven agent-based simulation development can help uncovering potential areas of ambiguity which inevitably remain in the information provided by the description. In addition to these tests carried out on components of the model taken in isolation, we encourage to provide in the documentation the specification of a particular configuration of the simulation. Running then the simulation step-by-step allows checking in the visualization interface if the expected phenomenon occurs or not. It means ABM platforms should provide functionalities to load from external files any particular situation, and also to directly manipulate agents on the visualization interface. (Résumé d'auteur)

Classification Agris : U30 - Méthodes de recherche
K01 - Foresterie - Considérations générales
P01 - Conservation de la nature et ressources foncières
K70 - Dégâts causés aux forêts et leur protection

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