MASS: Multi-Agent Simulation Suite
The Multi Agent Simulation Suite consists of four applications offering solutions for different aspects of modeling. Each of the applications is developed with the intention of providing professional tools for users without heavy programming skills.
Unlike most other modeling tools our software offers user-friendly interfaces and handy wizards for writing models, creating visualizations or analyzing simulation data. The components include:
- Functional Agent-Based Language for Simulations
- Visualization Module
- Model Exploration Module
- Participatory Extension
FABLES is a programming language and its integrated environment developed by AITIA specially designed for creating agent-based simulations. It requires minimal programming skills, as its formalism is similar to the mathematical formalism used in publications in the subject.
FABLES has a whole range of functions intended to make the use of the language easier like the language assistant, syntax highlighting, bracket matching and the context sensitive help. An observation wizard is also provided with the language, which gives great ease to creating visualizations from the simulations. With the Eclipse-platform-based IDE this constitutes what is called Integrated Modeling Environment.
- Agents, formulas and schedules
- Charting and visualization wizard (no programming necessary)
- Integrated modeling environment
- Java code generation (cf. simulation core)
A rich set of dynamic charts and visualizations to display simulation output, accompanied by easy-to-use wizards that bring the definition of any chart only a few mouse clicks away. The Charting Package (CP) is an addition to VISU and comes with a graphical editor to pick from a rich set of descriptive statistics to specify the data to be charted.
VISU/CP is a general purpose module that is integrated with both FABLES and MEME. In addition, it is also bridged to PET, such that simulations generated from FABLES models (using VISU/CP) are automatically ported to the web environment in PET.
Models are generally used for studying, or exploring the behavior of the certain real phenomena in different circumstances. This is done by observing various factors of the model during (or at the end of) unattended, usually long and/or large number of simulations or batch running of experiments in other words. These observations produce huge amounts of raw data that need to be managed and analyzed.
MEME is a tool for dealing with the above described experiments and the data produced. It allows the user to store and organize the raw data in databases and to merge and split them. It has an easy to use, automated wizard to create distillated (processed) view tables and to visualize these tables on numerous types of graphs and charts. MEME is able to run RepastJ 3.1 (FABLES), NetLogo, MASON and pure Java simulations directly and collect their results internally. MEME is developed to be able to interoperate with other existing statistical software like R and Matlab in the future. These capabilities further simplify the modeling work and allow the users to focus on the models themselves.
MEME supports and automatizes the creation of statistically sound Designs of Experiments (e.g., fractional factorial designs, Box-Behnken designs and much more). Finally, MEME also automatizes the distribution of the computational experiment on the available computing resources (i.e., on a local computer cluster or on computers in the cloud) in order to minimize execution time.
- Incremental results maintenance
- Results filtering
- Variable selection
- Aggregation and transformation
- Statistics and scripting
- Charting wizard
- Experiment design
- Advanced experiment design
- Distributed experiment execution
Enables participatory simulations. Participatory simulations are computer experiments where artificial agents are mixed with human players (subjects). This technique bridges agent-based modelling with behavioral experiments. Participatory simulations are most often used to develop laboratory experiments (e.g., in behavioral economics) with complex models, but can be equally useful to test and validate agent-based models.
PET is a module that web-enables simulations available in MASS (written in FABLES, Repast or MASON). It enables the users to administrate, run and participate in simulations in a way that they are familiar with, applying the mechanisms and practices they use every day while browsing web-pages and using other web-based applications. PET can also be useful in educational settings, providing a platform for using simuations virtual classrooms.
As PET is designed for multiple users; it has a user management system that enables defining various user groups and permission levels thus allowing differentiating between users who can create models, start or just take part in simulations. This is useful in both laboratory experiments (i.e., differentiating between the experimenter and the participating subject) and in a virtual classroom scenario, where the teacher can set various access rights to various students (e.g., experimenting with a given parameter setting, or allowing the student to change the model configuration, etc.),
- WWW interface
- Simulation recording and playback
- Participatory and experimental modeling
- Multiple users and participants