People frequently ask me, “how do I do agent-based modeling?”
Here are some resources that I share on such occasions.

Note: in the examples below, some models are studied with analysis and some models are studied with simulation. Simulation is a method, but not a defining feature of agent-based modeling.

Below this long list of references is a set of links pointing to models you can try yourself! But…. I strongly recommend building your own after reading a paper. The NetLogo website contains a great user manual on getting started.

Build your own web experiment with

The “what” and “why” of agent-based models

Epstein, J. M. (1999). Agent‐based computational models and generative social science. Complexity, 4(5), 41-60.

Macy, M. W., & Willer, R. (2002). From factors to actors: Computational sociology and agent-based modeling. Annual review of sociology, 28(1), 143-166.

Smith, E. B., & Rand, W. (2017). Simulating macro-level effects from micro-level observations. Management Science, 64(11), 5405-5421.

Models as a tool for explanation (key goal: demonstrate sufficient conditions)

Schelling, T. C. (1971). Dynamic models of segregation. Journal of mathematical sociology, 1(2), 143-186.

Baronchelli, A., Felici, M., Loreto, V., Caglioti, E., & Steels, L. (2006). Sharp transition towards shared vocabularies in multi-agent systems. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment, 2006(06), P06014.

DellaPosta, D., Shi, Y., & Macy, M. (2015). Why do liberals drink lattes?. American Journal of Sociology, 120(5), 1473-1511.

Axelrod, R., & Hamilton, W. D. (1981). The evolution of cooperation. science, 211(4489), 1390-1396.

Goldberg, A., & Stein, S. K. (2018). Beyond Social Contagion: Associative Diffusion and the Emergence of Cultural Variation. American Sociological Review, 83(5), 897-932.

Axelrod, R. (1997). The dissemination of culture: A model with local convergence and global polarization. Journal of conflict resolution, 41(2), 203-226.

Models as a tool for hypothesis testing or generation (computational experiments)

Centola, D., & Macy, M. (2007). Complex contagions and the weakness of long ties. American journal of Sociology, 113(3), 702-734.

Lazer, D., & Friedman, A. (2007). The network structure of exploration and exploitation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 52(4), 667-694.

Laboratory experiments paired with models

Mao, A., Dworkin, L., Suri, S., & Watts, D. J. (2017). Resilient cooperators stabilize long-run cooperation in the finitely repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma. Nature communications, 8, 13800.

Centola, D., Becker, J., Brackbill, D., & Baronchelli, A. (2018). Experimental evidence for tipping points in social convention. Science, 360(6393), 1116-1119.

Becker, J., Brackbill, D., & Centola, D. (2017). Network dynamics of social influence in the wisdom of crowds. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 114(26), E5070-E5076.

Sample Models

(NetLogo Online—Can be ‘played’ in browser or downloaded for code)

Naming Game:

Schelling Segregation:

Diffusion in Small Worlds:

Complex Contagions:

Emperor's Dilemma:

Complex Problem-solving: (won’t run on web—must be downloaded)

Sample Models (R)

Coordination games:

Wisdom of Crowds:

Complex Contagions: