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Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling:
A Practical Introduction by Steven Railsback and Volker Grimm Announcing a new textbook on agent- and individual-based modeling:

Agent-Based and Individual-Based Modeling: A Practical Introduction

by Steven F. Railsback and Volker Grimm


Volker Grimm is a researcher in the Department of Ecological Modeling, Center for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Germany, a group which has developed and applied individual-based models to a wide variety of systems and problems. Dr. Grimm has published several highly influential reviews of the use of IBMs in ecology, and many papers based on his own studies that use IBMs.

Steve Railsback is a consulting environmental researcher and adjunct professor with the Environmental Modeling Program at Humboldt State University, and formerly was on the research staff of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Environmental Sciences Division. Dr. Railsback has published on conceptual and theoretical foundations for individual-based ecology, application of fish IBMs to applied and theoretical problems, and software for IBMs.

Publisher: Princeton University Press.

Now on sale from Princeton and other booksellers.

Additional Information:

A complete description of the book, example sections, supporting materials, etc. are available from its web site.

Individual-based Modeling and Ecology by Volker Grimm and Steven F. RailsbackA book on individual-based models and their application to theoretical and applied ecology:

Individual-based Modeling and Ecology

by Volker Grimm and Steven F. Railsback

Publisher: Princeton University Press (Princeton Series in Theoretical and Computational Biology).

On sale from Princeton and other booksellers.


Individual-based models are an exciting and widely used new tool for ecology. These models provide ecologists with an effective way to explore the mechanisms through which population and ecosystem ecology arises from how individuals interact with each other and their environment. This book is the first major reference on individual-based modeling and its use to develop theoretical understanding of how ecological systems work, an approach the authors call “individual-based ecology”.

The book first provides a general primer on modeling: how to design models that are as simple as possible while still allowing us to address the problems we need to study, and how to move efficiently through a cycle of model design, implementation, and analysis.

Next, the general problems of theory and conceptual framework for individual-based ecology are addressed: What is “theory”—how do we develop general, re-usable models of how system dynamics arise from characteristics of individuals? What conceptual framework do we use when the classical framework of differential calculus no longer applies? A review of over 30 studies illustrates the wide variety of ecological problems that have already been addressed with individual-based models.

The authors then identify the many ways in which the mechanics of building and using individual-based models differ from those of traditional science and provide extensive guidance on formulating, programming, and analyzing models. This book should be very helpful to any ecologist interested in modeling, and to any scientist interested in agent-based modeling.

Additional information:

Additional information, including reviews and the Table of Contents, is available from the book's web page at Princeton University Press.